What does one do to get their shit together for an iTunes preorder link? Whatever you did last night, I hope it involved good snacks, since there wasn’t any music to consume.
On Thursday night, those of us who know that release dates are actually shorthand for 11 p.m. the day before—everyone at this point, right?—waited for Kendrick Lamar to make good on the promise he offered on “The Heart Part 4”: “Y'all got 'til April the 7th to get y'all shit together.”
True, Kendrick Lamar did not explicitly say that he would release an album on April 7th. But please, someone produce the individual who heard that line and understood it to mean an album preorder. That he committed the date to wax makes last night’s anticlimactic moment seem like a blown deadline. Had his threat been a simple tweet, this would be far less dramatic. (As it stands, this is a 2.3 on a scale of one to The Carter V when it comes to album rollout issues.) And it must bother Kendrick now to hear “The Heart Part 4” and notice the inadvertent snafu built into his art. An otherwise bulletproof wrecking machine of a song now ends on a wheeze, like an engine giving out.
In some ways, this week-long delay is a blessing, a relief for busy and tired ears; it’s been a packed few months for hip-hop fans. It is at least an opportunity to absorb other music before analyzing the Kendrick album with the patience and attention to detail of a golf course superintendent. Each word, like blades of grass on a putting green, will be inspected. That’s not a knock—that’s literally why I do this job. The collective analysis—on Twitter, in person, over the phone, and gchat—is a joyful, maddening community builder, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
So, spend time with the Joey Badass's All-American Badass—the most finely wrought and impassioned project of his career. Dig into the latest Father John Misty LP to see if it’s worth the jokes. Or revisit the agonies and ecstasies of Future's HNDRXX, the project to beat in 2017. You have another week to get your shit together.