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Compton California native and 25 Year Old, Kendrick Lamar, an up and coming American hip-hop recording artist will be releasing his first major studio album “good kid, m.A.A.d city” on October 22, 2012. His new single, Swimming Pools (Drank) has officially received video treatment and garnered much attention. The reminiscent, alcohol fueled track dropped on July 31, 2012 in the form of a digital download and can be seen below in its official music video format. Kendrick raps about the highs and lows of alcohol consumption while particularly pointing out how people in his age group seem to bent on typically drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

“Chorus

Why you babysittin’ only 2 or 3 shots?
I’ma show you how to turn it up a notch
First you get a swimming pool full of liquor, then you dive in it
Pool full of liquor, then you dive in it
I wave a few bottles, then I watch em all flock
All the girls wanna play Baywatch
I got a swimming pool full of liquor and they dive in it
Pool full of liquor I’ma dive in it”

The hook of the Swimming Pools basically points out the flaw in his audience’s general mindset about alcohol. He delivers a very subtle, veiled message to his fan base critiquing how nobody seems to be casual drink anymore and that the people who fill the clubs and parties across America are typically bent on drinking to get wasted.

“[Hook]
Pour up, drank, head shot, drank
Sit down, drank, stand up, drank
Pass out, drank, wake up, drank
Faded, drank, faded, drank”

Kendrick raps alone throughout the video. While describing his feelings and relationship towards drinking, the music video gives off an eerie dimension-bending feeling. The video starts off with the hook playing while a flailing Kendrick falls through the sky until he stops in mid-air while bottles continue to break by connecting with the ceiling.

On the popular, communal critique rap lyric website, Rapgenious.com, users can comment and explain their favorite rap songs. The nice thing about Rap Genius is that even the artists themselves can go online and comment. In this case, Kendrick actually explains his goals with the song

“This song is about me reminising about my years a kid witnessing a housing that indulged adults in alcohol. So much alcohol that it could fill a swimming pool.Eventually that me reminising became a reality when i became an adult”

“Verse 1

Now I done grew up
Round some people living their life in bottles
Granddaddy had the golden flask
Back stroke every day in Chicago
Some people like the way it feels
Some people wanna kill their sorrows
Some people wanna fit in with the popular
That was my problem
I was in the dark room
Loud tunes, looking to make a vow soon
That I’ma get f***** up, fillin’ up my cup
I see the crowd mood
Changing by the minute and the record on repeat
Took a sip, then another sip, then somebody said to me:”

Kendrick explains his personal history with alcohol and lists the different reasons he believes people may drink. When Kendrick explains that he drank because he wanted to fit in on verse 1, he raps, “that was my problem, I was in the dark room, loud tunes, looking to make a vow soon.” Was this vow, a literal vow to possibly leave with a love interest? Or possibly a vow to stop drinking after his difficult, alcohol fueled night? When he raps, “I see the crowd mood, changing by the minute and the record on repeat,” is he possibly stating that “the record on repeat” isn’t a record at all but the continual party and drink til’ your drunk attitude that seems to echo in the club scenes of the video?

Kendrick additionally explains one of his references to swimming. See below.

back stroke. playing on the word swimming pool. him drowning in a pool of liquor in Chicago

This music video adds another dimension to Kendrick’s introspective songs on alcohol consumption in youths. While some bloggers may be concerned his audience (hip-hop listeners) may miss the message, the video adds potency to his veiled argument by depicting a confused and “faded” Kendrick crashing and splashing into the metaphorical pool of liquor that surrounds his party life.

[Verse 2]
Okay, now open your mind up and listen to me, Kendrick
I’m your conscience, if you do not hear me
Then you will be history, Kendrick
I know that you’re nauseous right now
And I’m hopin’ to lead you to victory, Kendrick
If I take another one down
I’ma drown in some poison abusin’ my limit
I think that I’m feelin’ the vibe
I see the love in her eyes, I see the feelin’
The freedom is granted as soon as the damage of vodka arrive
This how you capitalize
This is parental advice
Then apparently, I’m over influenced by what you are doin’
I thought I was doin’ the most then someone said to me

Kendrick’s conscious argues with him in verse two. Kendrick employs metaphors and thinly veiled statements about love, freedom, and his future if he continues to binge drink. He ultimately even notes the second verse as “parental

[Bridge]
I ride, you ride, bang
One chopper, one hundred shots, bang
Hop out. Do you; bang?
Two chopper, two hundred shots, bang
I ride, you ride, bang
One chopper, one hundred shots, bang
Hop out, do you, bang
Two chopper, two hundred shots, bang

The bridge before the final repetition of the chorus and hook makes references to  “riding,” which could be construed as a metaphor relating “I ride, you ride” to “you drink, I drink.” Kendrick’s usage of gun terminology stems from his chaotic childhood community in which has described in the past as crime-stricken.

Kendrick’s potent message on the dangers of binge drinking not only entertains but also changes the landscape of what can be traditionally expected out of commercially successful  hip-hop artist. If you support music with a message, make sure to go out and buy Kendrick’s upcoming release next week.

Thanks for stopping by Philosophical Swag! Stay tuned for more content all the time!

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