Backseat Freestyle

2012 single by Kendrick Lamar

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"Backseat Freestyle"
Single by Kendrick Lamar
from the album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and The Equalizer 2
ReleasedOctober 22, 2012 (2012-10-22)
Kendrick Lamar singles chronology
"Fuckin' Problems"
"Backseat Freestyle"
"Poetic Justice"

"Backseat Freestyle" is a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was released as the third single from his second studio album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012) on October 22, 2012. "Backseat Freestyle" was written by Lamar and Chauncey Hollis, and produced by Chauncey Hollis, under his stage name Hit-Boy. In 2019, it was used in the film Waves.


Hit-Boy originally produced the beat for singer, Ciara, who used it for her song, "Hit Boy". However, after months went by with no response from her, he gave the beat to Kendrick Lamar, and it became "Backseat Freestyle".[1] The song follows the concept of Lamar's album, which is basically a day in the life of a teenaged Kendrick Lamar. The song is preceded by a short skit, at the end of the previous track "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe", in which Lamar's friend tells him "K-Dot, get in the car, nigga, we finna roll out. Nigga, I got a pack of blacks and a beat CD, get your freestyles ready." In October 2013, Lamar said Detroit-based rapper Eminem influenced the song.[2]

Music video

The music video, directed by Kendrick Lamar and Jerome D, was released on January 2, 2013. The video features model Tokyo portraying "Sherane".[3]

Live performances

Lamar has performed "Backseat Freestyle" on The Damn Tour.[4]

Release and reception

"Backseat Freestyle" was released as the third single from Good Kid, M.A.A.D City in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2012.[5] Following its single release, it entered and peaked at number 79 on the UK Singles Chart, dropping off the chart after one week.[6] In the United States, "Backseat Freestyle" peaked at number six on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 singles chart following the release of Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.[7] It also peaked at numbers 29 and 22 respectively on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Rap Songs charts.[8][9] The single charted for one week on the Belgium Ultratop Urban 50 for the region of Flanders at number 50,[10] and peaked at number 81 on the Ultratip chart.[11]

"Backseat Freestyle" has been widely regarded as one of Lamar's best songs. In 2018, Billboard ranked the song number six on their list of the 20 greatest Kendrick Lamar songs,[12] and in 2021, Rolling Stone ranked the song number three on their list of the 50 greatest Kendrick Lamar songs.[13]


Chart (2012–13) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[11] 81
Belgium Urban 50 (Ultratop Flanders)[10] 50
UK Singles (OCC)[6] 79
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[7] 6
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[8] 29
US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard)[9] 22


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[14] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[15] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "- YouTube". YouTube.
  2. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Says 'Backseat Freestyle' Was Influenced by Eminem". 14 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Video: Kendrick Lamar – 'Backseat Freestyle'". Rap-Up. Rap-Up, LLC. January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  4. ^ Masley, Ed (July 13, 2017). "Kendrick Lamar launches DAMN. Tour in Glendale with triumphant one-man show of force". AZ Central. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  5. ^ Lane, Daniel (October 22, 2012). "This week's new releases 22-10-2012". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Billboard Chart Search: Artist=Kendrick Lamar / Title=Backseat Freestyle / Chart=Bubbling Under Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Ultratop 50 Urban – 09/03/2013". (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Kendrick Lamar – Backseat Freestyle" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  12. ^ Alysse, Bianca (February 5, 2018). "Kendrick Lamar's 20 Best Songs: Critic's Picks". Billboard. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  13. ^ "The 50 Greatest Kendrick Lamar Songs". Rolling Stone. November 1, 2021. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  14. ^ "British single certifications – Kendrick Lamar – Backseat Freestyle". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  15. ^ "American single certifications – Kendrick Lamar – Backseat Freestyle". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 13, 2018.

External links

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Backseat Freestyle