Kendrick Lamar took to social media on Friday to tease his “final TDE album.”
The Compton rapper announced the news on Twitter with a link to a site called oklama.com, which features a folder titled “nu thoughts” containing a written statement in which he reveals his nearly two decade-long run with Top Dawg Entertainment is coming to an end.
“As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years,” Kendrick wrote. “The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling.”
“There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I’ve prayed for you all. See you soon enough,” Lamar ended the note, signing off as “oklama.”
Shortly after the announcement, CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith took to social media to confirm the news in a statement.
“The whole goal when we started this thing was to make music, make money, and make history,” he wrote. “We did those things 10 times over and then some. TDE and its artists have provided a way to end generational curses that we were all personally born into over the last 17 years in this business. With this being Dot’s last album on TDE, this is more of a VICTORY LAP, a celebration. I know he will be successful in whatever it is he decides to do and will have our FULL support,” he continued.
TDE president Punch shared a similar statement on Instagram in which he expressed his admiration for Kendrick, before teasing “album coming soon (lol).”
“It’s funny when things change, because most of the time we automatically assume it’s something negative,” Punch wrote. “It’s rarely seen as growth. Growth is a great thing and it’s essential for life. Life happens in stages and this particular stage is almost complete. Kendrick is a generational artist who has accomplished so much and has contributed immensely to this thing we call Hip Hop. It’s only right for him to continue to evolve and build his own business and brand how he sees fit.”
Punch wrapped up by clarifying, “We want each and every artist we work with at TDE to build and grow and be self sufficient. That’s the whole point. Also please remember that this is FAMILY and will always continue to be so. Album coming soon (lol).”
To date, Kendrick has released his entire discography through TDE, which includes four studio albums (2011’s Section.80, 2012’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly, 2017’s DAMN), his 2016 compilation project Untitled Unmastered, and 2018’s Black Panther: The Album.
Over four years removed from the release of his last solo record, Kendrick reflected on his hiatus in the beginning of today’s note: “I spend most of my days with fleeting thoughts. Writing. Listening. And collecting old Beach cruisers. The morning rides keep me on a hill of silence. I go months without a phone. Love, loss, and grief have disturbed by comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family. While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most. The life in which my words will land next.”
There’s also a small black-and-white photo of K.Dot evidently in the booth:
Before his longer statement, Punch briefly surfaced on Twitter. Responding to one user who asked him when Kung-Fu Kenny will drop, Punch wrote, “It’s funny you should ask lol.”
About an hour later, he tweeted, “Yo yooo. What y’all on today?”
The announcement comes nearly three months after the Game claimed Kendrick’s new album is coming “real soon.”
“I talked to Top Dawg. You know, he told me Kendrick ’bout to hit n***as with some shit real soon and shit,” Game said in his Instagram Stories in June. “So, you know, who knows how real soon that is but if Kendrick is working, that shit is always major.”
While we wait for more information about Kendrick Lamar’s new album, read his full open letter above.