Kendrick Lamar’s new release, “The Heart Part 4,” is one of those songs that guides you through itself. It’s never too hard to figure out where your attention is supposed to be, because Lamar knows where he wants it to be, and that’s where he leads it.
The song is carefully restrained, with a soft beat that swells at some parts of the verses, but overall seems to stay more in the background. This beat serves to help carve out one exceptionally strong focus of the song, which is its words. Lamar’s lyrical talent comes as a surprise to nobody at this point, and he makes full use of it here, taking a timely shot at Donald Trump and the 2016 election in the second verse.
However, the emphasis on words doesn’t come across as imbalanced. The song isn’t holding itself back. Beneath the surface rhythm there is a definite sense of musicality to “The Heart Part 4,” fluid and creative, always shifting, always defined. The background sounds bubble in and out, at times sounding almost choral, and drums are used at a few moments to hammer in the parts of the song that demand more emphasis.
Lamar ends the song with the line, “Y’all got till April the 7th to get y’all shit together” — a cryptic note hinting at a release date for his next album. If “The Heart Part 4” is any indication of what is to come, then we have a lot to look forward to.