Itâ€™s been four years since the release of Damn, Kendrick Lamarâ€™s stunning fourth album, and since then, heâ€™s mostly been silent apart from a few guest appearances and his highly curated Black Panther: The Album. But at last, K.Dot announced Friday (August 20) that he is working on a new album â€” the final one with his longtime label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE).
In a letter to his fans posted on his website, he writes about how grateful he is that he has made a cultural impact on the hip-hop world.
â€œAs I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years. The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood,â€ he writes. â€œMay the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my lifeâ€™s calling.â€
He also writes about where he is currently at in life, which includes writing, listening, and collecting old beach cruiser bicycles. â€œThe morning rides keep me on a hill of silence. I go months without a phone. Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family,â€ he muses. “While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most. The life in which my words will land next.â€
Lamar ends the letter with a photo of him at the studio and a final message. â€œThereâ€™s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. Iâ€™ve prayed for you all. See you soon enough,â€ he concludes. The letter is signed â€œOklama.â€
Anthony â€œTop Dawgâ€ Tiffith, CEO and founder of TDE, responded supportively with a note he posted on Instagram: â€œWith this being Dotâ€™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.â€ He also captioned the post with: â€œItâ€™s been an honor and a privilege for TDE to bless the world with the GOAT!â€
Kendrickâ€™s Damn was released in April 2017. It received widespread critical acclaim, peaking at No. 1 on the U.S Billboard 200 in the first week and in the Billboard Year-End chart. His single â€œHumbleâ€ became Lamarâ€™s first No. 1 single on the Hot 100. The album was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) that year. In 2018, Damn even became the first non-jazz or classical work to earn a Pulitzer Prize for Music and won Best Rap Album at the Grammy Awards.