Kendrick Lamar has revealed the title and artwork for his upcoming third studio album. To Pimp A Butterfly is no doubt a play on the title of Harper Lee’s politically charged 1960 novel To Kill A Mockingbird. Meanwhile, the album artwork depicts a group of black men standing in front of the White House, holding money and alcohol, while a dead judge lies at their feet.
Update – March 12th: Kendrick has also confirmed the album’s tracklist. Spanning 16 tracks, it includes “The Blacker the Berry” and “i”.
Update – March 15th: The album features Snoop Dogg, George Clinton, Thundercat, and more.
One possible and very logical explanation via Reddit:
The cover and title say all you need to know about the album. These guys are in front of the white house and they’re holding cash, alcohol, and a little kid has his middle finger up. People are pimping this butterfly – this beautiful culture, BUT, Kendrick is saying that we are letting it happen. They’re in front of the white house, a huge symbol of freedom, and they’re ignorant enough to hold bottles while a body lays at their feet. This album is going to be super socially conscious and that makes me more excited. I bet this album is controversial. Kendrick wants the culture to change and for people to look at themselves.
We’ll find out for sure come March 23rd when To Pimp A Butterfly is officially released. The album serves as the follow-up to Kendrick’s earth-shattering 2012 LP good kid, m.A.A.d city.
To Pimp A Butterfly Tracklist:
01. Wesley’s Theory (feat. George Clinton and Thundercat)
02. For Free? (Interlude)
03. King Kunta
04. Institutionalized (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise and Snoop Dogg)
05. These Walls
08. For Sale? (Interlude)
10. Hood Politics
11. How Much A Dollar Cost (feat. James Fauntleroy and Ronald Isley)
12. Complexion (feat. Rapsody)
13. The Blacker The Berry
14. You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)
16. Mortal Man