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Kendrick Lamar says he’s lost 500 songs

The existence of unreleased songs, old demos and alternative versions of tracks is an exhilarating revelation for fans of hip hop, and when an artist unveils that they have unreleased or unfinished material sitting in their vault, fans often come out begging for their release. Kendrick Lamar has more than a few unreleased songs.

In an interview with L.A. radio show ‘The Neighbourhood’ on Real FM 92.3, Compton rapper and esteemed lyricist Kendrick Lamar revealed that the number of unreleased songs he has, is in, what he believes to be, the thousands. 

When asked about the material, Lamar disclosed, “I done lost hard drives…hard drives from ‘05, ‘06 that we never got back”, detailing how he tried to recoup the material on the hard drives, the rapper continued, “[I] took it all the way to San Francisco to get it fixed, it never got fixed…got songs in vaults”. Out of curiosity, the show host (Big Boy) asked if Lamar still had the hard drives to which the rapper confirmed, “mm-hmm”. The host happily declared, “let me tell you, man, I probably got someone for real who can get it”. Lamar admitted that since the hard drive crashed, he has been “praying to God that it’ll come back to life one day”. 

Lamar is not alone in his predicament. It is not uncommon for artists to let their prized material slip through the net and disappear into cyberspace. Sometimes, alternative versions of songs exist that never see the light of day.

In an interview with DJ Target on BBC Radio One, Lethal B while talking about meeting Jay-Z, asked Target, “Do you know he’s actually done a verse on Pow?!”, one of Lethal B’s most renowned tracks. He continued, “Green Lantern told me Jay-Z wants you to do a chorus and Jay’s gonna lay down a verse, so I went to the studio. A story came out a few days later that Jay-Z and Green Lantern fell out, but to cut a long story short, I found out he did record it, but he was dissing someone on it…me and Just Blaze have become cool over the past few years, and he told me he has heard it!!!”

So lost in cyberspace, there is even a Jay-Z version of Lethal B’s ‘Pow’. Hopefully, Kendrick fans can get his unreleased songs and hopefully, Lethal B fans can get the ‘Pow’ Jay-Z remix. However, both seem unlikely at the moment. 

You can watch Kendrick Lamar talk about his unreleased music and more in the video.