Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ Continues Trend of Surprise Releases, But Was This One On Purpose?
Following Beyonce’s surprise digital drop of her self-titled album and Drake’s unexpected record-breaker If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late, Lamar’s album marks yet another surprise digital drop.
The key difference, however, is that Lamar’s surprise album drop may not have been on purpose.
Reports and tweets from associated camps suggest that this was the result of miscommunication and not a planned attempt to catch Lamar’s fans off guard.
There are also reports for music streaming giant, Spotify, that suggest the surprise wasn’t an accident at all.
A Spotify rep explained that the service would never release an album without the artist’s approval and a clear plan intact.
Either way, there were very public displays of confusion about the album’s release.
So what will this mean for the album’s projected success?
According to Forbes, not much.
“Though Lamar’s may have been an unintentional surprise, it’s unlikely to significantly hurt his album sales,” Forbes reported.
It has, however, seemed to cut down on the rapper’s overall fan fare.
While Beyonce and Drake’s digital drops sparked trending topics and nearly obliterated the Internet in a fashion that Kim Kardashian nudes have never come close to doing, Lamar’s album didn’t see an unusual amount of buzz online.
What it did see, however, was some controversy between the different parties handling the project.
Anthony ‘Top Dawg’ Tiffith, the head of Lamar’s independent label, accused Interscope of being responsible for the leak.
“I WOULD LIKE 2 PERSONALLY THANK @Interscope FOR FUCKING UP OUR RELEASE…SOMEBODY GOTS 2 PAY 4 THIS MISTAKE,” Tiffith tweeted.
The tweet has been deleted.
This marks Lamar’s third studio album, the project that gave birth to some of Lamar’s most talked about tracks to date.
One track on the album, “The Blacker the Berry,” boldly addressed racial issues in America and gave a controversial perspective about the Black community in the midst of racial turmoil sweeping the country.
In the song, Lamar slams himself as a hypocrite for his own violent actions against his own people as he criticizes the negative impacts of both systemic and institutional racism.
The song was praised by some and slammed by others as far as its message but few were able to refute the artistic qualities of the song.
“The Blacker the Berry” dropped after Lamar had already won two Grammy’s for his track “i.”
Meanwhile, Lamar is encouraging his fans to remain calm in the midst of album leak controversy.
“Keep calm. All is well,” he tweeted.
He then shared a link to an explicit version of the album streaming on Spotify while a clean version is still up to download from iTunes.
The album may not have been at the center of a social media whirlwind, but it is certainly receiving major praise already.
The New York Daily News described the album as an “instant classic” while the Los Angeles Times deemed him an “essential voice” for L.A. and beyond.