Cynicism is understood, as I would also love a revisit of the experimental side of U2 a la Passengers and Million Dollar Hotel, but artists mix it up with other artists and U2 has a long history of doing just that.
Taking into consideration their history, is it only pandering because they are in the later years of their career? Were all the older artists U2 worked with pandering by appearing with U2? Just seems like there's a natural symbiosis in the art and music worlds that benefits everyone involved.
And hypothetically, what if the Lamar track had been presented as new Passengers material?
Some artists Bono, Edge, Adam, Larry and/or U2 have collaborated with (partial list):
Frank Sinatra, Alicia Keys, Gavin Friday, Clannad, Tina Turner, Keith Richards & Ron Wood, The Corrs, Jay-Z & Rhianna, Jools Holland, Sinead O'Connor, Wyclef Jean, Zucchero Fornaciari, Michael Hutchence, Herbert Gronemeyer, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Andrea Bocelli, Mick Jagger, B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Luciano Pavarotti, Lykke Li, T-Bone Burnett, Green Day, Daniel Lanois, The Call, Ecco Homo, Neville Brothers, Carl Perkins, Marianne Faithfull, Lone Justice, Dave Stewart, Mocean Worker, Tom Jones, Johnny Hallyday, Robbie Robertson, Jah Wobble, Nancy Sinatra, Common Ground, Brian Eno, Holi, Howie B., The Million Dollar Hotel Band...