Cartoons & Cereal
“Now I was raised in a sandbox next to you and her You was holding the handgun, she was giving birth To a baby boy to be just like you, I wonder what that’s worth I-I wonder if you ever knew you were a role model to me first …You told me, ’Don’t be like me, just finish watching cartoons’ Which is funny because all I see is Wile E. Coyotes in the room (ironic)?” The bridge is the foundation of the entire song. It has a way of notifying the listener of the adventure they are about to embark on and that this song is far from the conventional hip-hop and rap music that is often blasted on the local radio airwaves. The listener is teleported back to Kendrick’s childhood to the playground, particularly in the sandbox. The sandbox is a representation of creative freedom; an individual can create anything he or she desires. Although it can provide freedom, the sandbox is also the dirtiest place on the playground; it can come with all types of germs and other undesirable objects. Kendrick Lamar mentions his father “…holding the handgun, [while] she was giving birth…” where “she” is being referred to as his mother, this line is an idiom for taking life and giving life. Some teens are forced into parenthood and cannot handle the responsibilities. Fathers leave and mothers neglect, nevertheless a child will find security and guidance wherever it seems to appear. In the next couple of lines, Kendrick states: “I-I wonder if you ever knew you were a role model to me at first”, most young black men do not have a positive male figure in their lives, so they are forced to look for the next thing. Whether it is their mother or the local dope boy, it will be found and it cannot be said whether it is positive or negative. As an adult, Kendrick is faced with the reality that not everyone may have his personal wellbeing in favor and all he sees “…is Wile E. Coyotes in the room…” He had to be the Roadrunner; be smart and cunning when faced with...
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