Kendrick Lamar’s Backseat Freestyle

Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore LP good kid, m.A.A.d. city is likely hours away from a leak, but so far we haven’t heard much since his “Swimming Pools” single dropped back in July. Lamar’s follow up to 2011’s acclaimed Section.80 will officially drop October 22nd (monday), but yesterday listeners were graced with a Hit-Boy helmed banger that will likely lead to even higher anticipation in the hip-hop world. “Backseat Freestyle” feels like a total manifestation of all of Kendrick’s talents.

The hooks come off a bit corny at first, but it’s pretty easy to tell that it’s all in good humor — If anything they give us time to catch up and process all the wordplay that’s on display here. And goodness, what a beat! Hit-Boy typically sets things on fire but here his snare echoes in a way that evokes memories of some early Mobb Deep production. By the end of it all Lamar’s voice gets harsh, his cadence picks up, and it starts to feel like he’s almost flowing too hard. Almost. Kendrick Lamar is a diverse rapper with a lot to say, and when you pair him with a beat like this you can’t help but feel that this year he won’t be touched. This is still only the beginning.

— Daniel

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