Kendrick Lamar surprised listeners with a performance of a new untitled track when he stopped by The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on Jan. 7. The cut’s name, “Untitled 2,” plays off the name of the rapper’s first “Untitled,” which he performed as the final musical guest on The Colbert Report in 2014.
New sounds from the 11-time Grammy nominee vaulted his song to No. 1 on the Trending 140 the night of its debut, eventually spending more than five hours in the chart’s top 10. Kendrick discussed his Grammy haul while on Fallon, and the host informed audiences that the Compton rapper’s sum falls just one short of Michael Jackson’s record 12 nods from the 1984 ceremony.
Lamar isn’t the only rapper dropping surprise tracks though. Kanye West also entered the unannounced release-game this week, offering fans a new track, “Real Friends,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign and a preview of a song titled “No More Friends in LA,” which features Lamar. West issued the new material on SoundCloud and his website on Jan. 8.
The one-two punch allowed Yeezy to lock up the top two positions on the Trending 140 immediately after the songs dropped. Along with “Facts,” released on New Year’s Eve, both “Friends” cuts may feature on his upcoming LP, Swish. ‘Ye took to Twitter the same day to tweet “SWISH February 11 16,” a possible release date for his anticipated seventh solo album.
WATCH PREVIOUS EPISODES: Jan. 6: Kanye West, Taylor Swift & Rachel Platten | Dec. 31: The Weeknd, Adele & the Year in Review | Dec. 16: Jingle Ball, the Weeknd & Miley Cyrus | Dec. 9: Grammy Nominations, Coldplay & Little Mix | Dec. 4: Who Is Fancy, Adele, Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole
Plus, Zayn Malik stirred up the Twitter universe with his cover feature in Billboard, which revealed three more solo song titles from the former One Direction member. “She,” “Wrong” and “It’s You,” the cuts in question, each leapt into the top 10 of the Trending 140 on Jan. 7 when the news broke. Meanwhile, a previously named cut, “Befour” returned to No. 1 on the strength of the interview.
Following his departure from 1D last March, Malik looks ready to reboot in 2016. On New Year’s Day, the singer tweeted “Z106,” suggesting his first solo material would hit shelves this year. The U.K. lad also celebrated his 23rd birthday on Jan. 12.
Meanwhile, the passing of rock icon David Bowie on Jan. 10 fueled his ascent to the top of the Twitter charts. As news of the British legend’s passing spread, two of his most recent cuts, “Blackstar” and “Lazarus,” each climbed to No. 1, passing several hours as the most shared and discussed songs on Twitter. Both singles are showcased on Bowie’s Blackstar album, which was released Jan. 8 on the singer’s 69th birthday. Bowie died two days later in New York after an 18-month long battle with cancer.
Tributes poured in from musicians and celebrities worldwide, highlighting Bowie as an innovative inspiration in music, style and culture. Madonna, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Nile Rodgers, Lorde and Justin Bieber are just a few of the countless stars who paused to remember the fallen superstar.
"Dreamlike" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
"Deep Space" by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)