Monday, December 17, 2018

Cartoons and Cereal

Throughout Hip-Hop history, Poetry has always been intertwined with experiences and lyrical metaphors to help express and convey an emotion, thus expanding and bring together communities between people through, childhood experiences, love, and mental health. Kendrick Lamar is considerably a more recent hip-hop icon that conveys his poetry with his experiences of drugs, love, hate, loneliness and his childhood home. In his song "Cartoons and Cereal" released in 2012, he emphasizes the parallels of addiction and youth. He focused on the power of idolizing cartoons and being youthful with the power of addiction, when growing up you are exposed to new things. These "adult things" that he was exposed to while growing up; he wasn't shielded by them by parental figures.

I wanna hit line drives…
Wanna lose weight and keep eating...
For you...
Hey, whats up doc
As the song continues, we learn Kendrick grew up around his best friends, his A1 that he went way back with- especially to the reference to sandboxes having a double meaning because its literal and figurative because sandboxes are a symbol of youth and innocent “the Good ‘ol days”, back when life was good and all about fun. And, he continues to say because of their background, being youth his 'brother' was holding a handgun due to gang affiliations and his 'sister' giving birth, due to the systematic oppression of young Black women because used and having their innocence taken away due to lack of information on abstinence and education, it shows the poverty of their neighborhood and their "Worlds"

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-I wonder what's that worth
The ideology of Black boys not having no worth in our society, as just being gang affiliated and targets for police brutality- to be a black Boy to Kendrick means their life doesn’t hold much value because they barely make it to adulthood anyway. So,what’s the real value to Black lives?
I-I wonder if you ever knew that you was a role model to me first
The next day I-I woke up in the morning, seen you on the news
Looked in the mirror, then realized that I-I-I had something to prove
Image result for cartoon and cereal
This is shown that, Black boys,look up to Black men peep how they were taught to continuous feed into the cycle of seeing themselves on TV in a negative light, Kendrick says to he will be different by proving that he is different, all of this while growing up while exposed to these factors that will shape his perspectives on his value of his life and others around him
You told me "Don't be like me, just finish watching cartoons"
Which is funny now cause all I see is Wile E. Coyote's in the room
The coyotes symbolize the future obstacles of gangs, and vivid imagination as being a child seeing ‘villains’ try to conquer and win against the innocent and heroes, Kendrick tries to be the hero and still remain good and focused on trying to grow up while being prematurely exposed explicitly by teen pregnancy and gang violence and being targeted because he is a Black male in Compton. I'd argue his song is poetry because it lays a foundation of a experiences that Kendrick feels and convey to make people feel some way about his story through things all humans go through; coming of age.

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