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Kendrick Lamar Says He’s Working on ‘Final’ Top Dawg Entertainment Album

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Kendrick Lamar is gearing up to end an era. The rapper shared a message on a new website,, saying he is currently working on his “final” album for Top Dawg Entertainment, the label where he began his career. “As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years,” Lamar wrote. “The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood.” (Curiously, he also signed the message as “oklama.” Do we have an album title?) With his 2012 breakout album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lamar became one of the label’s most prominent artists; his two following albums, 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly and 2017’s DAMN., are regularly considered among the best of the 2010s. In total, he brought the label four No. 1 albums, also including the compilation untitled unmastered. and the soundtrack to Black Panther, which he executive-produced. And through projects like Black Panther: The Album and his Black Hippy collective, Lamar worked closely with his TDE labelmates including SZA, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, and ScHoolboy Q. However, in recent years, TDE has faced allegations of mismanagement from prominent artists like SZA. Co-president Dave Free, a close collaborator of Lamar’s who co-founded at-service company pgLang with the rapper last year, left the label in 2019. “May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators,” Lamar added in his note. “As I continue to pursue my life’s calling.”

Lamar also gave insight into his current workflow in his message, writing that he has been going “months without a phone” and “collecting old Beach cruisers” as he works on new music. “Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family,” he wrote. “While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most. The life in which my words will land next.” Lamar has kept a relatively low profile since releasing DAMN., which became the first pop album to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2018, and helming the Black Panther soundtrack. The last verse he released was on Busta Rhymes’ “Look Over Your Shoulder” in October 2020. This November, Lamar is set to headline Day N Vegas Festival — where he previously performed his last set, as a 2019 headliner — in what’s currently set to be a career-spanning set and his only performance of 2021. Which is to say, we may still have some waiting to do for new music. “There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown,” Lamar said of his upcoming album. “See you soon enough.”

Kendrick Lamar Says He’s Working on ‘Final’ Top Dawg Album