Kendrick Lamar wrapped up his eight-city Kunta's Groove Sessions run with a show last week in Oakland and in the wake of the tour ending one of the producers of the album recently revealed the album may be retired.
Speaking in an interview with Complex, TPAB co-creator Terrace Martin talked about the importance of the album, saying "To Pimp a Butterfly is a black album," and addressing the possibility of all the collaborators of the project getting together onstage, "I think one day soon, we’ll all get together and play together on stage." But the most jarring part of the Q+A was Martin's assertion that Lamar may retire To Pimp A Butterfly entirely. When asked about the possibility of the limited run this fall being the end of the line for TPAB live sessions, Martin responded:
We didn’t do that album for popular culture. We did that album for people who have no way out. We did that album for people who can’t even afford to go to the shows. We did an album for people who need hope. You don’t prostitute that.
It's an interesting way to look at the project. Throughout the interview Martin speaks of a place that seems beyond music, talking about the kind of conversations they anticipated to start with the music and what it meant to the public at large.
Moreso, the idea of retiring the live show and moving on to a new collection is a really exciting one. The music world is getting more vanilla than ever. With blogs consolidating, the industry re-establishing itself and independent artists getting pushed to the side we once again are faced with repetitive aesthetics and half-brain mixtapes released with wanton disregard for art.
There's a real need to create that excitement again, to draw people to the music physically and not exclusively through a screen or headphones. By taking this album off the touring circuit Lamar would be making a fairly large statement and one that I believe is somewhat necessary.
Imagine the reaction to his next tour should he decide to go that route. The TDE emcee already took a step in an interesting direction by playing for and selling out smaller rooms and forgoing an arena tour.
Kendrick has always put music before the spectacle and it would appear that mantra will only continue.