If you watched Kendrick Lamar perform at the Grammys last night, you might still be recovering. The Compton rapper did an agonizing version of "The Blacker The Berry," wrapping his prison chains around his mic stand, before doing "Alright" in front of a bonfire. But towards the end he started performing new, never-before-heard lyrics, and he pulled it from a vault where he keeps unreleased material.

Kendrick spoke with Andreas Hale about the wealth of music that he keeps unreleased in order to use for live performances. “You see all these performances on these late night shows, I got a chamber of material from the album that I was in love where sample clearances or something as simple as a deadline kept it off the album," he told Hale. "But I think probably close to ten songs that I’m in love with that I’ll still play and still perform that didn’t make the cut.”

Kendrick performed one of those songs on The Colbert Report before dropping To Pimp A Butterfly, and then performed another new unreleased cut on Fallon back in January. Both of those songs have made indelible impressions on fans, who have never received studio versions of those songs to date.

It's unlikely we'll ever hear these songs in their glorious CDQ form, as sample clearance is often the biggest hurdle for major label artists. Yet in a way this method works for Kendrick; it adds an air of inaccessible mystique to his music, as fans will have to show up to his live shows to hear never before heard music.

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