Q explained at a February 2014 listening session for Oxymoron why he felt this gangsta track was necessary for the record. "I needed to get that one out the way on my album," he said. "I needed something that the gang bangers could identify with. Not so much my core fans, more so the gang members."
Pharrell Williams supplied the hard beats for the gangsta cut, which also features Q's Top Dawg label-mate Jay Rock.
"Cruise" climbed from 6-5 on the Hot 100 in its 34th week. In doing so it set a record for the slowest ascent to the Top 5 in the chart's history, which was beaten by Imagine Dragon's "Radioactive" 42-week clamber to #4 three weeks later.