The Kendrick Chronicles: Untitled
untitled 04| 08. 14.2014
The shortest song on the album is also probably the most unique record in this body of work. The multi-talented SZA, label mate of Kendrick Lamar leads things off with this beautiful and socially aware poem, where Kendrick whispers in her ear about the pre-superstar days. He acts as that little devil that sits on you shoulder whispering nothing but non sense. “They tell me that my bills past due (Talk about the charge you got)” It seems like no matter if he’s giving us a banger for the clubs, destroying a guest feature, or taking us to a mental zone that only he can, Kendrick Lamar has made it his duty to nourish the mind and soul. You know what’s even crazier than that? I wouldn’t even call this a “song.” Sure, it has a music but it isn’t constructed or presented to the audience in that manner or fashion. If this were a proper album this would be your interlude giving the ear and mind a few minutes to wander off into no mans land as you prepare to digest the rest of the album.
What really stood out for me when I give it the first few spins was how dark and somber this song made me feel. As crazy as this sounds, I think this song sounded better in the dark. The guitar being plucked softly in the back ground while SZA helps you navigate through this feeling was amazing. It gave off almost a therapeutic feel, something you can turn on when you need to cleanse mentally.
“Head is the answer, head is the future, Don’t second guess yourself.”
Something that really stuck with me was how the second verse’s message was similar to the previous song’s. He uses the double meaning of head, education and oral sex, to re-visit the black man he spoke to about “pussy”. He wants us to understand the struggle of most young men trying to make it out of the hood, but the way he does it might be second to none. Kendrick has figured out that using your brain is the way out of poverty and into the position he is today. On the contrary, most young men are thinking with the other head and trying to get “head” from women. He has mastered the way of truly speaking the youths “language” and speaking in a manner that they will truly understand the message trying to be delivered.
Theirs this eery, almost uncomfortable Ora around this record as it slowly fades out. The feeling slowly gathers momentum and comes to a crashing halt when SZA finishes the record. “Head is the future.” This song epitomizes everything Kendrick Lamar is as an artist. It’s the perfect filler record that infiltrates every gap and intertwines the project to make it a complete work of art. This album doesn’t carry the same feel for the second part of the project if not for this record, it sets the tone for the explosive finish that is set to come.