Though Kendrick Lamar once boasted to have “gone commercial making conscious albums,” it would be unwise to look beyond his mastery of both bars and flow. On “Look Out For Detox,” a presumed Dre reference track from nearly ten-years back, Kendrick Lamar basically poured gallons of gasoline over the Compton Streets and went off with a flamethrower. Taking to a simmering banger laced by Childish Gambino, Kendrick builds himself into an insane fervor, prefacing his tirade with a hilarious shoutout to ScHoolboy Q. Patient in his approach, Kenny allows the tension to build, exuding full control over his lengthy verse’s structure.
The minute the drums land, Kendrick commences his unyielding onslaught, letting fly a constantly evolving verse lined with dope imagery. “I don’t care where ya are, just blink twice and I’m there where you are,” he raps, establishing a supernatural tone. “Like a shadow in the dark, you a paddle in the boat, in an ocean full of sharks bout to come up short.” Inadvertent foreshadowing to “Deep Water” aside, Kendrick’s bars suggest a carnivorous desire to set one hell of a tone; even when he falls offbeat, it comes off as highly strategized. For anyone still doubting Kendrick’s prowess behind the mic, allow “Look Out For Detox” should be all the convincing you need.
Goddammn, y’all cold
Mark of the beast where your Goddamn bar-code
Stuck in the street where it’s dark like Harpo
Black man tell me where your Goddamn heart go
Although I’m in the land of milk and honey
Nobody never gave me shit, when I got my first chain
All the n***s tried to take it from me, I had to fight back and shit