In 2012, Kendrick Lamar was years away from locking down hip-hop's first Pulitzer Prize. Yet the foundations were always there, evidenced within Section 80's intellectual musings and conceptual throughlines. It might have been easy for Kendrick to slide down the path of say, Lupe Fiasco, who ultimately came to find comfort within the complexities of his own worldbuilding. Yet Kenny was cut from a different cloth, a Compton cloth. Like many West Coast icons, "women, weed, and weather" made for integral elements of his DNA, and such things needed to be celebrated. Enter "The Recipe," a pre-Good Kid single that heralded his partnership with Dr. Dre for the world to see.
Slick to a fault, the Scoop Deville-produced banger exudes pure California, with both parties taking to the instrumental with poised confidence. Kendrick sets the tone with an aqueous flow, navigating the beat with his creative approach to structure on full display; speaking of Lupe, there's even a subtle homage to "Go Go Gadget Flow," as K. Dot borrows one of Lupe's dexterous flows from The Cool's introductory track. As for Dre, we already know what the Good Doctor is about, and any track can serve to benefit from his presence. "The Recipe" is no different, and to this day, it remains an integral cornerstone of any summertime soundtrack.
M n***a said he wanna fly out to get him some
Three W's only for a three-day run, bitch
Take them mothafuckin' panties off, you ain't no nun, shit
I be living in the sky every time I ride by them hoes
Ribbon in the sky on the radio 'cause Stevie know I control
Let it breathe, I control, California living 'til I am old