Kendrick Lamar took to Jimmy Fallon last week to perform “Untitled 2” - an enjoyable song enhanced by a solid performance. To say though that it is somehow as revolutionary or as exceptional as the album from which it feels like an outtake of is a disservice.
This is not To Pimp A Butterfly level material, but feels like something created during TPAB’s recording sessions. It shares many similar qualities, with its funky, jazzy, and dynamic instrumental.
However, this is not the watered down performances that most people breakout for late night television shows. You can tell that Kendrick and company care about their performance. Kendrick’s energy going from the third verse to the outro, where he takes the mic off the stand, sky rockets. Kendrick goes from standing stationaryto moving around the upper part of the stage. Kendrick is always in command of the performance, everything is about him. From the moment that the camera zooms in,to the moment Jimmy comes on the stage from the side. Kendrick is the focal point and he draws the watcher in. We are subject to the performance and ride the same wave of energy to the end.
While the song itself is not that amazing compared to Kendrick’s other work, the live performance makes us invest even more in it. And that is why the Untitled series is so enjoyable, it is not just the studio version. It is something that the viewer invests in, we are a part of Kendrick’s world while watching him perform. I hope that he continues doing these Untitled works for the foreseeable future.
by Addison Garry (@addisonagarry)