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Kendrick Lamar's long-serving engineer has hinted the hip-hop megastar might drop his long-awaited fifth studio LP in 2021.
The Grammy-winning rap star hasn't released a studio album since 'Damn' in 2017, but, earlier this year, Top Dawg Entertainment president Punch claimed fans would likely hear some new material from him very soon.
Punch made the claims whilst replying to podcast host Karen Civil on Twitter, after she invited the music mogul onto her ‘Girl I Guess’ podcast, and at the same time asked if her listeners could hear a new Kendrick Lamar song.
She wrote: “Now you know your always invited! Can we play that new Kendrick you played me?! (sic)”
And Punch replied: “YES! Soon. (sic)”
His engineer, Derek 'MixedByAli' Ali, had also previously teased that Kendrick has enough new material for “six albums”, and now he's given an update that will no doubt excite fans.
He told Complex: “I would say every album that he has dropped since [2012’s] ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City’ has come with a different feeling, so just look forward to Kendrick obviously expressing himself in the most creative way – the most highest of the creative way.
"How he works, I’ve never seen it before. The recording process, the thought process of piecing an album together and sequencing it. Things like that is what keeps guys like me great. Watching his work ethic … You would expect someone like [Kendrick] to be at home and sitting back: nah, he still comes in on time and is punctual.”
Pressed on whether a new record will surface this year, he replied “It might, it might: you never know.”
Ali had said in November: "For Kendrick alone, let me say I think we could put together like six albums.
"Everyone [at TDE, Lamar’s label] is the same way: it’s all about just understanding that you could always do something better. It’s having that mindset to just strive for the best possible version of you.
"That’s Kendrick’s whole mind state, always striving to do better. Whether it’s recording a new verse - you know he would record a whole song and get one ad-lib back a month later because he don’t like how he breathed the ad-lib, y’know? He’s a true artist."