Kendrick Lamar - "Backseat Freestyle" Video

Released in advance of his Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City album, Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle” felt like an out-of-nowhere burst of snarling rap virtuosity, an uncharacteristically vengeful vent session for the usually thoughtful rapper. On the album, it took on new resonance: There, it was a teenage Kendrick impressing his friends by tough-talking in the back of the ride. And now, with the song’s video, directors JeromeD, Dave Free, and Kendrick himself imagine it as a combination between the two, filming Kendrick skulking through Compton and Paris and including cameos from album characters like Kendrick’s dad and Sherrane (introduced by lascivious, lingering, vaguely NSFW jiggle shot). It’s all visceral smash-cuts, and weirdly enough, it’s the first video from rap’s best album of 2012. Watch it below.

Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City is out now on TDE/Interscope. I wonder if it’s possible to walk past the Eiffel Tower at night lately without stumbling into a rap video shoot.

Comments (26)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • Why are you the way that you are? What happened to you in high school?

    • if you actually understood the context of this song when placed into the track-listing of the album you would understand that the ignorance is the point of the song. It takes place from a 17 year old Kendrick’s perspective as he is freestyling with his homies in the backseat of a car…..hence…..the title. So their really isn’t supposed to be any profound lyricism you cyncial fart face.

    • So you deliberately pick the simplest part of a song where Kendrick is acting as a teenager freestyling? That Bob Dylan’s a shitty lyricist, “… How does it feel? How does it feel?….” what kind of simplistic crap is that? You truly are a god amongst men for teaching us how wrong we are about appreciating music that offends your incredible musical sensibilities.

      OK guys, from now on we’re only allowed to like what copy_paster_cat tells us to. After all, you can’t spell crap without rap amirite LOOOLZZZZZ.

    • lol. Dude lambastes the song and criticizes the lyrics when that is in fact the intended point and genius of the song in the greater context of the album. Fail, beyaaaatch.

    • Johnny Cash sung about snorting cocaine and killing women, the only real difference is he only swore in between songs. I could plenty more examples of this sort of stuff all over music history, objectification of women is not something new, it’s been something that people have fought for a long time, and that’s been around much longer than that.

      Second, if you want the lyrics to make linear sense, go read a fucking book because that doesn’t happen anywhere in the music world, with a few exceptions (the mountain goats?). However, the lyrics here are actually part of a story, he’s basically playing his younger self expressing the full range of his id, going of about the cars and women and money that he would like to have. If you’ve ever been an adolescent you’d understand those impulsive desires, he’s basically talking about rap’s version of the American Dream.

      And about the spin-off site, this is not fucking Billboard. Stereogum is inherently about niche genres, just look at how many people whined about Taylor Swift in the Top Albums, or the post where Tom lamented that he won’t be able to cover much Nicki Minaj anymore after she became a judge on American Idol. Is. It that you want a site with the explicit con

      • Damn, I pressed the the submit button too early. Continuing:

        Is it that you want a site with explicit content left off in a different area? Does Videogum have all the violent movies in a separate R-ratedgum? If they don’t, then the same method applies here: if you’re too young to be listening to this music, it’s your parents job to deal with that.

        In conclusion, shut up and deal with it, because nothing you can do will change the way this site runs and most of us are enjoying it perfectly fine as it is right now.

    • Oh no are you going to become a Stereogum “character” now like Rubber Johnny? This is just like season 3 of Jersey Shore once the cast realized they were famous and it wasn’t fun anymore :(

    • I strongly disagree with your opinions, but I’m more dumbfounded by your description of hip hop/rap as a niche genre. That’s just fucking silly.

    • What did rap do to you? Were you dropped as a child, maybe onto a stack of 2 Live Crew albums?

    • You are the best c_p_c. I love a lot of hip-hop and I have really tried to like this album but I think I’m just over the “check out my dick” / ignorance being the point style of rap that has been the norm for so long now. It is tired to me. I’m glad the album is doing well and there must be some validity to what he is doing because a lot of people seem to love the guy but it does nothing for me. The commenters here are funny that way, the consensus seems to be that if you are being offensive in the style of say, Death Grips and pissing off a major label then you are burned at the stake but if you are offensive because “ignorance is the point” you are hailed as the greatest rap artist of the year.

      p.s. I got beat up in high school by a bunch of hicks.

      • Ignorance is not “the point” of this song, as you say. I think Tom summarized it fairly well when he said “Released in advance of his Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City album, Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Backseat Freestyle’ felt like an out-of-nowhere burst of snarling rap virtuosity, an uncharacteristically vengeful vent session for the usually thoughtful rapper. On the album, it took on new resonance: There, it was a teenage Kendrick impressing his friends by tough-talking in the back of the ride.”

        Lamar is voicing the part of a character in this song, as he does throughout the album. Those characters’ voices come together to form something of a narrative story. How he pulls that off so well is why the album is impressive.

      • I think Death Grips are pretty sweet too, for what it’s worth.

    • this song couldn’t have gone further over your head.

      catch up, homie.

  2. Pretty sure there’s already a video out for “swimming pool”.

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