It’s a tradition unlike any other - a DJBooth liner note breakdown.
When Kendrick dropped untitled unmastered I wasn’t even thinking about a liner note breakdown, but the people put up the bloggin’ Batman signal and I rushed into action. I didn’t have any official liner notes, just rumors and Wikipedia. Still, it was better than nothing. Consider it the untitled unmastered of liner note breakdowns. Not totally 100% completely perfect, not complete, but far better than nothing.
However, now that the “official” credits have been released, now that there are a few more players who deserve the limelight, I figured it was time for an update. If Kendrick can release unfinished material, if Kanye can update his albums when he sees fit, why can’t I do the same? So without further adieu, here are the eight artists who contributed to Kendrick Lamar’s untitled unmastered that I didn't mention the first time around, bringing us to a grand total of 29 people who worked on the album.
Dominic Angelella: keys on “untitled 01 l 08.19.2014.”
Dominic Angelella is a session player who has some interesting credits to his resume. He’s credited on Tinashe’s Aquarius, was a composer on Mac Miller’s Blue Slide Park, and he played the mandolin on Juicy J’s Stay Trippy album, which is cooler than anything I’ll ever do in my life. I also thought this tweet was kind of cool; one minute you are getting ready for bed and the next you realize you are on Kendrick's new project and have to go out and celebrate. The life of a session player.
Astronote:production credit on “untitled 03 l 05.28.2013.”
Joe Baldacci: drum and drum engineering on “untitled 01 l 08.19.2014.”
Joe Baldacci is credited for both the drums and the drum engineering on "Untitled 1." He also appears to be part of a group called DRGN King with Dominic Angelella. Now, I’m probably - no, definitely - ill-equipped to speak in-depth on the art of engineering and programming, but I thought it was interesting that an unmastered project had drum engineering. I guess even for an unamastered project you are going to have to figure out how to mic some drums.
Josef Leimberg: added trumpet on “untitled 05 l 09.21.2014.”
Joseph “Liemberger” (as he is credited on the liner notes) is actually Josef Leimberg. I know this because he was credited on To Pimp A Butterfly and I ended up interviewing him and discovering he is ½ of Lovedragon, with Terrace Martin being the other half. Both Leimberg and Terrace have a credit on “untitled 05” which would, technically, make this a LoveDragon production.
Mono/Poly: production credit on “untitled 04 l 08.14.2014.”
Mono/Poly is an electronic producer who is signed to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint. In addition to his work on “untitled 08,” Mono/Poly has credits on projects from Thundercat, Ne-Yo, Tha Doggpound and Busdriver.
Mani Strings:additional vocals on “untitled 03 l 05.28.2013.”
Mani Strings is a singer who contributed some supporting vocals to “untitled 03”. Peep her Soundcloud. It seems like Anna Wise is getting credited for the “What did the black man say” parts, but judging from the below Instagram post, it might actually be Mani. It would also make sense considering Anna Wise isn’t credited on this track.
Ritz Reynolds: Production credit on “untitled 01 l 08.19.2014.”
Like Dominic Angelella, Ritz Reynolds has production credits on Tinashe’s Aquarius, Mac Miller’s Blue Slide Park, and Juicy J’s Stay Trippy so I’m guessing those two are kind of partners in crime. Additionally Ritz has credits on two Roots albums, Undun and Rising Down. Oh, and he’s also part of DRGN King. I wonder how they all got linked with Kendrick? I also wonder if DRGN King and LoveDragon battled for Dragon superiority. Dragons everywhere; no Khaleesi.
Taz Arnold:Ending skit on “untitled 07 l 2014 - 2016”
It didn't surprise me at all to see Taz on here as he popped up on To Pimp A Butterfly a few times. It’s interesting he is credited with the end skit on “Untitled 07.” I didn’t really think anyone other than Kendrick would get a credit for the dressing room skit. Maybe he recorded it? Maybe it was Taz' idea to include it? Could he have been the one playing the guitar?
So there you have it, the new names attached to K.Dot's mini-project, which turned out to be way more elaborate than I thought. It's crazy how difficult it is to get a real, official source on who does what on each album. Even these "official" notes have spelling errors and I'd have to imagine this isn't everyone who contributed. You'd think something like album credits would be relatively cut and dry, but then again, nothing in this business is ever as easy as you think, including these pieces.
Add these eight to the original 21 and there you have it, all 29 people credited on Kendrick Lamar's untitled unmastered.