Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) is on top of the world right now. With superstar names like Kendrick Lamar and SZA and exciting emerging artists like SiR and Lance Skiiwalker, TDE is owning the rap game.
So fans today were excited to learn that TDE will bring it’s all-star roster to a city near your for The Championship Tour. With Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, SZA, Ab-Soul, SiR and Lance Skiiwalker, the tour will kick off on May 4th in Vancouver and will make stops in Oakland, Chicago, Houston, New York and more, until the North American tour concludes on June 16th in Pittsburgh.
Tickets will go on-sale to the general public on Friday, January 26th at 12:00PM (local time), with an AMEX pre-sale beginning on Tuesday.
Check out the tour dates for TDE’s The Championship Tour below.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Kendrick Lamar. Since his highly acclaimed 2012 debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick has continued to be burned into hip-hop’s collective memory. Whether it’s the replay value of his debated ‘classic’ debut record, his infamous, historic ‘Control’ verse, or other features alike, Kendrick’s presence has continued to be felt as one of the most important voices in hip-hop’s new, digital age. Kendrick Lamar’s trajectory seemed to be headed down a more commercial, sellable version of the conscious hip-hop we are accustomed to, as his previous projects continued to get progressively more and more accessible in terms of sound. Whether it was his hit single ‘Swimming Pools’ cleverly highlighting the perils of alcoholism masked under a familiar trap-bounce and catchy-hook, or bangers like ‘Money Trees’ and ‘m.A.A.d city’ being able to teeter on the lines of conscious storytelling while still being festival and club favorites, it seemed as though Kendrick Lamar had mastered the ability to convey his message in the purest form possible while still appealing to the majority. His lead single for his sophomore album, ‘i’, was no different. It was a polarizing record that ditched the hard-bars, name-dropping and 808s for a funkier groove, courtesy of an Isley Brothers sample and Kendrick’s pitched up, OutKast-esque flow. As positive and pivotal as the message was, much of the hip-hop culture was left torn when trying to support a more positive, uplifting message, but with a less hip-hop, lyrical sound. Many thought the Grammy-award winning ‘i’ was a sign of things to come, and possibly a full-fledged leap into an even more radio friendly Kendrick Lamar, but with To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick has ditched the drum-machines for live instrumentation and an exploration in a potent and pure incarnation of modern jazz-funk.
Well he didn’t quite “pull a Beyonce”, but Top Dawg Entertainment‘s Kendrick Lamar surprised us all as he just dropped his critically acclaimed sophomore LP To Pimp a Butterfly (the follow-up to King Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.A.d city album) a week ahead of schedule on iTunes and Spotify. Don’t wait until March 23rd, download the 16-track project now which has features from Thundercat, Snoop Dogg, and more (and stay tuned for our album review when we can soak it all in). Download To Pimp a Butterfly now on iTunes and stream its explicit version on Spotify.
[Update: Perhaps Interscope wasn’t supposed to release the album, as TDE CEO tweeted “I WOULD LIKE 2 PERSONALLY THANK @Interscope FOR FUCKING UP OUR RELEASE… SOMEBODY GOTS 2 PAY 4 THIS MISTAKE !!!!”]
Listen to Kendrick Lamar’s new To Pimp a Butterfly track ‘King Kunta’. ‘King Kunta’ is produced by Sounwave and has been described as having a movie-like quality by the likes of Pharrell, Peter Rosenberg and more. To Pimp A Butterfly drops on March 23rd, so get ready and pre-order it now on iTunes. Stream ‘King Kunta’ here while you still can.
Despite earlier reports that Kendrick Lamar’s previously untitled sophomore LP would actually be called [Untitled], hours ago, King Kendrick revealed the title and cover art for his forthcoming and highly anticipated LP. The album, which is named, To Pimp a Butterfly, is set to release on March 23rd through Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). We aren’t quite sure how one “pimps a butterfly”, but we are anxious to find out.
No, he didn’t skip out because he was salty about losing to Macklemore. Earlier this morning, Kendrick Lamar sat down with radio personality Big Boy and revealed the real reason that he didn’t attend the Grammys this year to accept his awards in person. “I had to turn that album in,” Kendrick explained. “I was on a deadline, on the clock. It’s crazy, as a kid I never thought of no Grammy… writing raps that was way over my head. Just to be accomplished with any award it can be BET Awards or anything, it’s a compliment to me.” As Big Boy’s first guest on his new show, Kendrick also took time to spit a few bars on some Biggie beats. For those who have yet to hear, Kendrick’s new album will be available on March 23rd, and despite rumors, the title of the LP will not actually be called Untitled. We are still awaiting its official title, as Kendrick can’t reveal it because “Tod Dawg (Entertainment) will kill (him)” if he does.
Listen to Ab-Soul’s first taste of new music since last September, as he leaked his own ’47 Bars’ song on Soundcloud. The track, which is produced by The Alchemist, is a tribute to Capital Steez (the Pro Era rapper who died in December 2012). Stream ’47 Bars’ below.
It looks like Anthony Tiffith, CEO of Tod Dawg Entertainment (TDE), did not take kindly to Big Sean’s subliminal Kendrick Lamar diss on his ‘Me, Myself & I‘ freestyle. In the new freestyle to promote his new album Dark Sky Paradise, Big Sean raps “Ya’ll bragging about so and so, like “Oh, he really it? The new n*gga in rap? Well can he really spit?” Or do he just hide behind his skits like half of these rappers doin’, and ya’ll f*cking go and praise him in this bitch like they the savior of the sh*t (rap),” which may be subliminal shots to Kendrick Lamar, who many praise as the savior of rap. Well if Tiffith saw it like others did, he may have just expressed his opinion on his Twitter. Tiffith tweeted “YALL PLEASE LEAVE DOT (Kendrick) ALONE MAN.HE DONT TAKE NO 1 SERIOUS..HE DONT FUCK WITH NOBODY..PLZ, BECUZ WHEN HE GO,HES GONE & IT WONT BE SUBLIMINAL.” In simpler terms, Kendrick Lamar (as he did in his Big Sean collaboration ‘Control’) calls out rappers directly (not subliminally, perhaps in contrast to Big Sean). Is a Kendrick Lamar response coming soon?