The mystery of pgLang deepens. True to its name—short for “program language”—the company founded by Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free has moved at its own rhythms and pace since being officially founded back in March 2020, with a code only easily decipherable to those on the inside. With Kendrick at the helm and artists like his cousin Baby Keem in tow, music is obviously a big directive, but what else? The possibilities and interests seem endless. Lately they’ve been offering a few clues about what they’re up to, namely in the form of a mood board that invites close scrutiny, upon which guesses about their ambitions and maneuvers might be derived.
After a handful of shorts last week mostly in support of their new collaboration with Converse, today brings a new piece of the pgLang puzzle in their partnership with the tech company Light for a new minimalist phone. So what makes this cooler than the adamantium iPhone or whatever Apple’s dropped recently? The draw here is that as far as modern phones go, it isn’t very smart. As the press release puts it: “The Light Phone II is a premium, minimal phone designed to be used as little as possible. Built with the essential utility of our modern smartphones without the distractions, the Light Phone II is ‘just a phone.’” According to the FAQ on Light’s Web site, the core model Light Phone II supports phone calls and text messaging (no images allowed) and comes with an alarm. And that’s it—users can add a handful of additional features, but the phone “will never have social media, internet browsing, email, news, or ads.”
Rappers and other entertainers reducing distractions and pursuing otherwise outdated—some might say, nostalgic—modes of living is more common than it might seem. I once heard that Jay-Z still favors beepers and flip-phones, harkening back to his rubberband days. Seth Rogen likes to jam scripts out on a laptop with no Wi-Fi connection. And so on. If not checking Instagram and Twitter every 90 seconds is a key to creating flows as unique as Kendrick’s or visuals as fresh as Dave’s, then maybe it’s worth a try? But, also: it’s just a really cool looking phone. And who knows—maybe new Kendrick might get beamed to it one day before all the streaming services, and you’ll be wishing you had a Light Phone while a lucky few get to enjoy his latest opus ahead of schedule.
The pgLang Light Phone II drops Nov 2.