Although the release initially appeared to be an accidental leak, major-label distributor Interscope confirmed to The Times late Sunday that the early drop was indeed intentional, likely a stunt in the same vein as previous major releases, like
On Sunday night, Lamar's album went live on streaming platforms
At the time, Lamar himself seemed fine with it — or at least resigned to it. He tweeted Sunday night, "Keep calm. All is well." The boss at his label Top Dawg Entertainment, on the other hand, wasn't so zen.
"I WOULD LIKE 2 PERSONALLY THANK @Interscope [Records] FOR ... UP OUR RELEASE... SOMEBODY GOTS 2 PAY 4 THIS MISTAKE !!!! #TOP," tweeted Anthony Tiffith, Top Dawg's chief executive, about 20 minutes after the clean version appeared on iTunes (and 40 minutes before the explicit became available).
As for the glitch of the album being available and then not? An Apple source with knowledge of the rollout who requested anonymity because she wasn't authorized to speak publicly said a programming error had wiped out the album and had pushed it back to its previously announced release date, although the advance release was always "supposed to happen." Interscope and parent company Universal Music Group could not be reached for comment on the nature of the intermittent availability as of press time.
Before the album's release, all songs on "Butterfly," except for its first three singles — "i," "The Blacker the Berry" and "King Kunta," the latter of which dropped Friday — had been unannounced and listed on iTunes without titles.
Now revealed, "Butterfly" features guest spots from the likes of Flying
"Butterfly" is Lamar's third full-length LP and comes in the wake of his five-time Grammy-nominated sophomore album, "good kid, m.A.A.d. city."