Kendrick Lamar’s weirdest tune: Cartoon and Cereal


With an alien flow, unnerving production, and stream-of-consciousness lyrics that ping pong from Looney Tunes to Fourier, this song owes as much to out-there jazz and experimental music as it does to Kendrick Lamar‘s more traditional hip-hop tunes.

Listen to Cartoon and Cereal right here:

The unhinged psychedelia of the video works like sample-based music, taking in slices of cartoons from Fritz The Cat to Rocko’s Modern Life, Fat Albert to Space Jam, and what appears to be Alice’s White Rabbit spitting a mean verse. It’s an existential fever dream, spiraling through cartoon history as a metaphor for… something. Is it the battle between ambition and comfort? The difficulty of finding one’s own voice in a chaotic world? There are tantalizing hints throughout the lyrics, and the video juxtaposes oddly perfect clips with particular bars, nodding toward a literal translation. Still, the song resists a simple translation.

However, there’s a bit of foreshadowing at play. As we see Tupac flash on a static-laden TV, the following lyrics rise up in pitch-shifted cartoon voice:

I woke up in the morning
Seeing you on the news
Look up in the mirror
Realized I had something to prove
You told me “Don’t be like Me
Just finish watching cartoons”
Which is funny cause now all I see is
Wile E. Coyotes in the room

This is followed by the repeated motif of conflating and I run it with the word ironic.

It’s 8am on a Thursday and I haven’t had coffee yet, so maybe I’ll edit later. I just had to share this impossibly trippy song and video.

One thought on “Kendrick Lamar’s weirdest tune: Cartoon and Cereal

  1. Pingback: Kendrick Lamar’s arresting new video: Alright | Optimistic Underground

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