Will a LeBron James tweet again deliver new Kendrick Lamar music?

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Victoria Hernandez
·4 min read
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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James controls the ball in the second half against the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix on March 2.
Lakers forward LeBron James controls the ball in the second half against the Phoenix Suns, but can he control when Kendrick Lamar releases new music? (Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

LeBron James tweeted that it's time for new Kendrick Lamar music. The Lakers star made his post on Saturday, saying he's in "dying need" of the Compton superstar's art in the midst of rising racial tensions.

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The last time James tweeted that Lamar needed to drop new music, it worked.

In 2016, the Grammy winner was performing a series of unreleased tracks on his television performances. James tagged Lamar's label chief executive, Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, that he needed to release the songs.

A week later, Lamar dropped a collection called "Untitled Unmastered." Tiffith went on Instagram afterward to share that James' request did influence the release of the project.

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James' recent post comes a few days after he received backlash for tweeting about the police killing of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. He deleted his post, which called for accountability for the police officer in the same vein as Derek Chauvin, who on Tuesday was found guilty of two murder charges for killing George Floyd.

James explained why he deleted the post, saying it was "being used to create more hate," and that acting out of anger is not a good idea for anybody, including himself.

Lamar has been a voice against injustices for several years now and quietly joined the Compton Peace Walk with Russell Westbrook and DeMar DeRozan in June after Floyd's death. His 2015 anthem "Alright" saw a 71% increase in streams last summer as racial tensions rose not only with Floyd's death, but those of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others.

"Alright" was part of Lamar's Grammy-winning album "To Pimp a Butterfly" and won two awards on its own. The song caused controversy when Lamar performed it while jumping on top of a police car during the 2015 BET Awards. "Alright" became an anthem for the movement for racial equality as protestors sang it across the country after the deaths of Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Sam DuBose and others.

Lamar's voice for social justice dates back to songs like "Faith" off his 2009 self-titled EP, "HiiiPower" off his 2011 debut album "Section.80," and "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst" off his major-label debut "good kid m.A.A.d city." He's shown the realities of life in the streets of Compton and sends a message of empowerment to the Black community.

Lamar hasn't released any new music of his own since 2017's "DAMN" album, where he sampled the Fox News clip that criticized the BET Awards performance. He received a Pulitzer Prize for his social commentary on the project that included songs like "DNA" that celebrated the Black experience and "Duckworth," the story of how his father thwarted a violent encounter with Tiffith.

He did appear on Busta Rhymes' "Look Over Your Shoulder" in October and did some ad-libs for fellow Los Angeles rapper Reason's "New Beginnings" album, which released the same month.

The responses from James' tweet expressed agreement with the sentiment that it is time for new music from the illustrious artist.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.