"Goddamn I feel amazing, damn I'm in the matrix/
My mind is living on cloud 9 and this nine is never on vacation/
Start up that Maserati and VROOM VROOM I'm racing/
Poppin pills in the lobby and I pray they don't find her naked/
And I pray you niggas is hating, shooters go after Judas/
Jesus Christ if I live life on my knees, ain't no need to do this/
Park it in front of Lueders, next to that Church's Chicken/
All you pussies is losers, all my niggas is winners"


Very few rappers can internalize a conceptual space quite like Kendrick Lamar, and his lyrical offering on “Backseat Freestyle” takes this rationale one step further. Describing it as a cognitive window into the mind of a reckless teen, the Compton MC opens up the record firing on all cylinders without any regard for repercussions (“My mind is living on cloud nine and this nine is never on vacation”). He may gain more praise for his introspective narratives, but an aggressively animated Kendrick sits just fine with us too. —Edwin Ortiz