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untitled-unpublished: How Did We Get Here?

March 24, 2022

It's not often that your best idea is born out of laziness and convenience. Perhaps that even disqualifies it from being your best idea. I choose to be an optimist, though. And with that, welcome to untitled-unpublished. While this is not a new platform, it's definitely grown up since the last time you've seen it. At the time this will be published, the site is still under construction. Shout-out to the homie Payton for all the work he's putting in to make this vision possible, along with all the ideas he contributed to the site design. As I went through the process of developing this idea, I re-evaluated every aspect to make sure it aligned with what I wanted it to represent. And then I thought about the name of the platform, about how I came up with it, about what it meant, for which I have never properly explained.

There's two versions of this story. The most realistic version calls on the sentiment I shared to begin this post: I was not feeling particularly inspired or creative when I created my first website, so I kept it simple. I was operating on a free trial through Wix.com, using a free template to create the layout for the entire website. I had never thought about what to call this platform. It was untitled. All of my writing is done by myself with little editing and no supervision. I am unpublished. Untitled-unpublished. Cool, I'll leave it at that.

Now for the more creative, impromptu meaning of untitled-unpublished. Having been over two years since I pieced together a website with nothing more than an internet connection and spontaneous motivation, I've had plenty of time to give this ad-libbed title some significance. I have much to thank Kendrick Lamar for. For one, he makes great music, which is really cool and I really appreciate. He also holds one of my core memories of music discovery. If there is one advantage to having a parent who works at a high school is that they occasionally bring home the recommendations of the students at the school. Two I remember: Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" (regretful) and Kendrick's "Swimming Pools" (respectable). I spent the next summer listening to the good kid, mAAd city CD in my Volvo. Fast forward, Kendrick releases untitled unmastered, a collection of songs that were left over from his To Pimp A Butterfly recordings. They were mostly experiments, taking some ideas that showed up on Butterfly too far and some not far enough. Really, there was no pressure on him with the release of untitled. He had two critically acclaimed albums under his belt, major co-signs by hip-hop legends, and seemed entirely self-assured. Chart position wasn't a concern. Singles were pointless. Missteps were acceptable.

I hope that untitled-unpublished allows me the same privileges. The blessing of being unpublished: I don't feel pressure to write to meet deadlines or hit an article quota. I only write about what I like. I can experiment with ideas and speak freely. Consequentially, some of my thoughts may be underdeveloped or too abstract. It's part of a process, one that I'm continuously developing. I'm not sure the end game with this project. I just hope that whatever comes after it is DAMN.-good.

Article written by Kieran Kohorst

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