Perhaps no 2015 album is more anticipated than Kendrick Lamar's follow-up to 2012's "good kid, m.A.A.d. city." The forthcoming LP recently got an official release date of March 23, and now the LP has a name and cover art.
The album will be titled "To Pimp a Butterfly," according to a recent Rolling Stone cover story teaser (and confirmed by reps for Top Dawg Entertainment, Lamar's label).
Additionally, Lamar posted a picture of the album art Tuesday night. The album has echoes of the "good kid" cover (it features a childhood photo of Lamar in the front of the frame).
But the imagery reflects the political and personal volatility of his recent singles. The black-and-white picture depicts a large group of young African American men in various poses -- flashing stacks of money, lovingly hoisting babies -- in front of the White House while generally looking jubilant. At their feet, a white judge is splayed on the ground, his eyes covered in black Xs.
Recent tracks like the Grammy-winning "i" and the searing "The Blacker the Berry" have shown a huge range of emotions, from emphatic self-respect to seething rage. The album art, which comes about three months after D'Angelo's similarly stark, assertive protest art for "Black Messiah" -- underlines each of those feelings, and only deepens the potency of what will be one of the year's most-discussed LP's.
"Don't all dogs go to heaven? Don't Gangsta's boogie?" Lamar wrote to caption the photo, but with bawdier language. "Do owl...stank? Lions, Tigers & Bears. But TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY. Its the American dream ....' - lil Homie."
The album does not have a final track list, but according to iTunes pre-release info, it will include 16 songs, among them "The Blacker the Berry."