Kendrick Lamar has been on a press run for weeks promoting his new album, To Pimp A Butterfly. 

And although it was set to be released on March 23rd, the album has suffered an extremely unfortunate series of marketing mistakes over the last 19 hours.

Showcased in head-scratching fashion, here’s a breakdown of what happened:

1. The album was put online for sale in its entirety. Anthony Tiffith, CEO & Founder of Top Dawg Entertainment, blamed Interscope on Twitter for “fucking up” the release. The message has since been deleted off Twitter, but according to Rolling Stone, here’s what it read:

[quote_box_center]”I WOULD LIKE 2 PERSONALLY THANK @Interscope FOR FUCKING UP OUR RELEASE… SOMEBODY GOTS 2 PAY 4 THIS MISTAKE !!!! #TOP”[/quote_box_center]

2. Then, the album was taken down and made available once again for pre-order.

3. Finally, at midnight this morning, the clean version of To Pimp a Butterfly was made available for purchase on iTunes (and streaming on Spotify), one week earlier than previously announced.

We’re not sure why they had to make it so complicated. But with the insatiable thirst fans have for new music from their favorite artists, it seems as though a heavily anticipated hip-hop album is best left to the approach of Drake and Beyoncé.

Even the seemingly ingenious method of releasing physical copies weeks after the digital copy is available (ala Watch the Throne) doesn’t work anymore. But if nothing else, just make sure people don’t say shit until the project is released.

Anticipation for the follow up to the 2012 classic, good kid, m.A.A.d city, has been building ever since it started receiving the accolades it deserved. And while it’s still not entirely clear who should stand to blame for the headache behind the release of Kendrick Lamar’s new album, his management (and sales) are likely to suffer as a result.

Released almost seven months ago, “i” was the lead single for Kendrick’s third studio album. The Isley Brothers sampled song didn’t set the internet ablaze, but was given proper credit as an uplifting message for youths, and left to be reconsidered when heard as a segment of Lamar’s always ‘conceptual’ projects. And don’t forget, “Backseat Freestyle” wasn’t praised by many as a single until it was heard in the context of GKMC’s entirety.

“The Blacker the Berry” was received as more of what we expected from Kendrick. It’s a lyrically dense juxtaposition of violence between African tribes and South Central L.A. gangs, and the hypocrisy of outrage regarding the deaths of black youths at the hands of police and disinterest in black on black crime that exists predominantly.

Here’s a full list of all the tracks, and check back in later this week for our full review of the album itself.

To Pimp A Butterfly

1. Wesley’s Theory (feat. George Clinton & Thundercat)
2. For Free? (Interlude)
3. King Kunta
TheSixThirty_KendrickLamar_albumcover_0318154. Institutionalized (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Snoop Dogg)
5. These Walls (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat)
6. U
7. Alright
8. For Sale? (Interlude)
9. Momma
10. Hood Politics
11. How Much a Dollar Cost (feat. James Fauntleroy & Ronald Isley)
12. Complexion (A Zulu Love) [feat. Rapsody]
13. The Blacker the Berry
14. You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)
15. i
16. Mortal Man

(Featured photo: Flickr/Jon Elbaz