Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar dropped the first single from his upcoming album late last night, after hinting at the song in a cryptic Instagram post that simply featured the roman numeral IV. In "The Heart Part 4," he addresses his changing career, takes shots at Donald Trump and Drake and even hints at a release date for his new album.
Below are four things to know.
1. Production-wise, it consists of several different beats
"The Heart Part 4" is a suite of different production beats from Axl Folie, Syk Sense, DJ Dahi and Alchemist. The song flips among several beats as Lamar switches up his flow in accordance — the first part a somber interpolation of singer Khalid’s voice. “Me and my homie [Axl Folie] were making this beat out of Khalid’s voice and it just turned into a Kendrick vibe,” Lamar said. “We sent it off to him and he was like, ‘Yo, I want this.’”
I'm so honored to have been apart of this. I can't believe that my voice is on a Kendrick song. This is insane. pic.twitter.com/2OJjlO4vJ4— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) March 24, 2017
2. Lamar puts Donald Trump on notice
If this first song is any indication, Lamar is keeping true to his word that his new album would be an “urgent” response to the current political climate in the U.S.
Case in point: “Donald Trump is a chump, know how we feel, punk/ Tell 'em that God comin'/ And Russia need a replay button, y'all up to somethin'/ Electorial votes look like memorial votes/ But America's truth ain't ignorin' the votes.”
3. He has choice words for Drake
Lamar also addresses the subliminal beef that has been carrying on back and forth between Drake and Jay Z for years now. Judging by the lyrics, which seem to directly address Drake’s song “Free Smoke” from his More Life playlist released just last week, Lamar wrote that verse very recently.
“I didn't listen to Hov on that old song / When he told me pay it no mind,” Drake raps on “Free Smoke,” referring to a Jay Z verse off Drake’s 2010 debut album, Thank Me Later.
Lamar’s response is to the point: “Hoe, Jay Z Hall of Fame, sit your punk ass down,” he raps, mentioning Jay Z’s recent inclusion in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame — the first rapper ever to be inducted.
4. Mark April 7 on your calendar
The IV image also likely refers to Lamar’s highly anticipated fourth album, which is hinted at in the song’s final line: "Y'all got 'til April the 7th to get ya'll shit together."
You can purchase Kendrick Lamar’s “The Heart Part 4” on iTunes.
Follow Jesse Kinos-Goodin on Twitter: @JesseKG