You told me "Don't be like me, just finish watching cartoons"
Which is funny now cause all I see is Wile E. Coyotes in the room
This can be interpreted in many ways. His dad was living a criminal life and warned him not to follow in his footsteps and watch cartoons and preserve his innocence instead. Ironically he was watching Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, a show where Wile E. Coyote uses many types of weapons just to try to kill the Road Runner. He’s essentially avoiding real violence with armed weapons by watching cartoons with the same thing. There’s more irony and contradiction because Wile E. is always chasing/following the Roadrunner
All the other rappers in the game are Wile E. Coyotes and he is the Road Runner. In the hook he essentially says “I run it” like the Road Runner and all the other rappers will never catch him. Him “running” also refers to him not getting caught in the violence in his environment, whether the cartoon world (like the Road Runner, who always escapes through wit and bending the rules) or the real one.
Of course, in this analogy, Kendrick is forgetting Coyote’s supergenius IQ
In an interview with SPIN Magazine, Lamar retells how this actually happened to him when he was 16 years old and how it changed his life:
My father said, ‘I don’t want you to be like me.’ I said, ‘What you mean you don’t want me to be like you?’ I couldn’t really grasp the concept.“ … "He said, ‘Things I have done, mistakes I’ve made, I never want you to make those mistakes. You can wind up out on the corner.’ He knew by the company I keep what I was gettin' into. Out of respect, I really just gathered myself together. .
There’s also wordplay on Wil.E. Coyote’s name (“wily coyotes”). Now he’s got bloodthirsty murderers in his room.
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