Kendrick Lamar performs in Melkweg in Amsterdam on Feb. 7, 2013. The artist has announced his last album with Top Dawg Entertainment. MERLJIN HOEK/FLICKR VIA CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

On Friday, Aug. 20, rapper, songwriter and record producer Kendrick Lamar surprised fans with the announcement of his next album. Lamar also shared that this album will be his last with the record label Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE).

Lamar’s announcement was shared through an Instagram post depicting a digital folder labeled, “nu thoughts,” accompanied by a link to a new website. When users visit this site, oklama.com, they are prompted to open the nu thoughts folder and are met with this letter from Lamar to his fans:

Though K-Dot, his initial stage name when he began his music career, has been signed with the Top Dawg Entertainment record label since the beginning of his career in 2005, there seems to be no hard feelings between him and TDE label executives. Shortly after the rapper’s post was posted, Top Dawg Entertainment’s CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith released a statement via Instagram to show his support for the Pulitzer Prize winner. 

“The whole goal when we started the thing was to make music, make money, and make history. We did those things 10 times over and then some,” Tiffith wrote. “TDE and its artists have provided a way to end generational curses that we were all personally born into over the last 17 years in this business.”

While some may be shocked by the rapper’s decision to leave TDE, some assumed that the transition was inevitable when Kung Fu Kenny established a company called “pgLang” alongside video producer Dave Free.

Unveiled for the first time in March 2020, the pgLang company is described as a “service to creators and projects that selflessly speak with, and for, the shared experiences that connect us all.” The company website gives viewers access to two videos featuring Lamar’s cousin and rapper Baby Keem, singer Jorja Smith, actress Yara Shahidi and Lamar himself.  

Fans might be able to expect more content from pgLang once Lamar’s final project with TDE is released.

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