Last night in Miami, Drake‘s, “Club Paradise” tour, kicked off with co-headliners Kendrick Lamar and ASAP Rocky. A couple hours before the tours first show, Kendrick Lamar released a new song, “Cartoons & Cereal” feat. Gunplay. Needless to say, releasing his newest song before what was probably the most promoted tour date on the tours schedule, a tour featuring two of the hottest and biggest Emcees in the game, was a VERY smart and calculated move on Kendricks part to receive easy social media buzz and promotion.
In 2011, Kendrick Lamar proved himself deserving of being heralded one of hip-hop’s “next up”. “Section. 80″ was, in my opinion, one of the best, and most surprising albums of 2011. The critical and industry acclaim that Kendrick received from that album helped propel him onto the records of numerous hip-hop big names in the form of guest appearances (most notably, Kendrick appeared on, The Game’s, The RED Album, and on, Drake’s, Take Care).
Hit the skip to listen to download CARTOONS & CEREAL FEAT. GUNPLAY and to get my thoughts on the record.
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This song is dark. Sonically, this beat is a problem. And I mean “problem” in the nicest most endearing sense of the word. THC comes through and produces a blacked-out-super-sonic-swagged-out-stink-face-shoulder-bouncing-head-banging-cooking-crack-beat with Heavy 808′s, rapid-fire machine gun high hats, hauntingly airy synthesizer notes, “Simon Says” angry mob yelling and emphatic claps (claps that sound like front side of a hand meeting the back side of a redbone). The doubling of Kendrick’s vocals during the intro conjure up feelings of what it might be like to hear two people prepping for a seance. For the intro, and what eventually turns into the bridge of ,”Cartoons and Cereal”, Kendrick uses the same froggy, alien-esque, flow he used on the Buried Alive Interlude off Drake’s, Marvins Room record. Once the verses start though, we see why Kendrick is one of the best doing it right now. Kendrick confidently glides over this imposing beat with great lyrical dexterity and diversity. Switching from fast to slow, Kendrick navigates his way over the THC beat with ease. The content of his raps center mostly around creatively delivered stereotypes of living in the hood and the pitfalls of committing oneself to the fruitless lifestyle of being a criminal or gang member. I believe the title of the song suggests the combination of cartoons and cereal are a fleeting safe haven for children who may have grown up in similar, disenfranchised neighborhoods to where Kendrick grew up (Compton). Eating your cereal while watching cartoons were moments of innocence that almost all children could relate to. That is until you opened your front door and Jimmy got into his dads car to go to school and Kendrick laced up his J’s and walked through the jungle. Just a thought.
If “Cartoons & Cereal” is any indication of what is to come from Kendrick in 2012, well, I. CANT. WAIT! Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Feel free to comment. Follow me on twitter @justspreadit and let me know what you want to write about! Much love.