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Kendrick Lamar Fires A Warning Shot With New Song 'The Heart Part 4'

Kendrick Lamar performs in Brooklyn in December 2016. On Thursday night, Lamar released a new song, "The Heart Part 4," that seems to preview a new album by Lamar, to be released on April 7.closemore
Kendrick Lamar performs in Brooklyn in December 2016. On Thursday night, Lamar released a new song, "The Heart Part 4," that seems to preview a new album by Lamar, to be released on April 7.

Kendrick Lamar wasted no time following through on his mysterious "IV" Instagram post. Last night, the Compton MC released a new song, "The Heart Part 4," and it's a no-holds-barred lyrical onslaught.

Within the span of five minutes, over shifting beats produced by Syk Sense, The Alchemist, DJ Dahi and Axlfolie, Lamar waxes philosophical, adversarial and political while dropping heat on everyone from phony rappers to President Trump.

"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'
Electoral votes look like memorial votes
But America's truth ain't ignorin' the votes."

The song showcases his uncontested dominance in rap, even as he shrugs off hip-hop's obsession with determining who holds the crown: "I'll let y'all worry about a list, I'm on some other s***," he raps. "A difference between accomplishments and astonishments."

The release of "The Heart Part 4" sparked an immediate eruption on social media, comparable to his controversial "Control" verse in 2013, with fans speculating on the identity of his unnamed targets. Twelve hours later, Twitter reported over half a million tweets about the song. Yet it's almost surreal how Lamar continues to command such a captive audience with his mastery of what is essentially an old trick. In an industry that currently prizes style over technical proficiency, he remains an anomaly. A peerless one.

Lamar saves the biggest shocker for the song's end. Just as he used 2012's "The Heart Part 3" to set up his major-label debut Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, he concludes "The Heart Part 4" with what seems to be release date for his fourth, and yet unnamed, studio album.

"You know what time it is, ante up, this is in forever," he rhymes. "Y'all got till April the 7th to get ya'll s*** together."

Copyright NPR 2017.

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