“The Heart Part 4,” the song Kendrick Lamar posted online Thursday night, sounds like a preview for two things. One is the acclaimed Compton rapper’s fourth album, whose release date may or may not be tipped in the final line “Y’all got till April the 7th to get ya’ll shit together.” The other is the apocalypse.
“The whole world goin’ mad / Bodies is adding up, market’s about to crash,” Lamar raps. After listing some signs of civilizational decline including “whites that do the dab,” Lamar mentions Donald Trump (“a chump”), Russia (“y’all up to somethin’”), and “electorial votes” (“look like memorial votes”). Things are seeming sketchy, but Lamar counsels, “Tell 'em that God comin'.”
God is always coming in Lamar’s songs. His first two albums, Section.80 and Good Kid, M.A.A.D City were grounded in narratives about surviving gangs and drugs and police scrutiny in Compton, then 2015’s jazz opus To Pimp a Butterfly and last year’s EP-sized untitled.unmastered saw him exploring more allegorical realms. But throughout the phases of his career, catastrophe has loomed. 2010’s one-off “The Heart Part 1”—which today’s track is a sequel to—invoked the Mayans’ prophecy about the year 2012. To Pimp a Butterfly closed with a recording of Tupac predicting a brutal race war.