m.A.A.d city

Album: Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012)
Charted: 75
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Kendrick Lamar enlisted his fellow Compton rapper MC Eiht to spit some rhymes on this track. Eiht explained to Dubcnn how the song came together: "I've been hearing about Kendrick for a minute as one of the youngsters coming up from Compton. I had been hearing about him through the grapevine, and it just so happened that we had some people in common – he knew some of my relatives. He was in the studio with some of my folks and I guess they mentioned that they knew and he asked them to holler at me."

    "They gave him my number," he continued, "and about two weeks later, he hit me up and asked me to get on the album. Once we got in the studio, he already had a clear idea in mind about what he wanted the song to be. We vibed in the studio for a while and it was all good."
  • When asked by Dubcnn about the content of the cut, Eiht replied: "What he wanted from me was that authentic, West Coast Compton flavor, some of that old school Eiht/CMW type of flavor. I keep it old school West Coast for real and Kendrick sprinkled it with some of his lyrical viciousness. It came out hot!"
  • Regarding the meaning of the 'AA' acronym in the song's title, Lamar explained to Los Angeles Leakers. "It's two meanings. The first one is, 'my angry adolescence divided,' and the basic standout meaning is 'my angel's on angel dust.' That's the reason I don't smoke," Lamar added in respect of the second meaning, "It was me getting my hands on the wrong thing at the wrong time, being oblivious to it."

    Lamar references the experience when he mistakenly smoking weed mixed with an additional substance when he spits on the song: "Cocaine laced in marijuana, and they wonder why I rarely smoke now. Imagine if your first blunt had you foaming at the mouth. I live inside the belly of the rough, Compton, U.S.A. made me an angel on angel dust."
  • Lamar joined Imagine Dragons at the Grammy Awards in 2014 to perform a smoky, percussive mashup of this song with "Radioactive." Good Kid, M.A.A.D City was nominated for Album Of The Year, but lost to Random Access Memories by Daft Punk.
  • If I told you I killed a nigga at 16, would you believe me?
    Or see me to be innocent Kendrick you seen in the street
    With a basketball and some Now and Laters to eat?

    Lamar told GQ Australia the above lines were inspired by real-life experiences, although he declined to be specific. "I'll put it this way: I've seen my own blood shed, and I've been the cause of other people shedding their blood as well," he said. "There was a split second when I felt what my homeboys were feeling - like I don't give a f--k anymore - and that's when I knew something else had to happen."
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Intentionally AtrociousSong Writing

A selection of songs made to be terrible - some clearly achieved that goal.

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & TearsSongwriter Interviews

The longtime BS&T frontman tells the "Spinning Wheel" story, including the line he got from Joni Mitchell.

Dave EdmundsSongwriter Interviews

A renowned guitarist and rock revivalist, Dave took "I Hear You Knocking" to the top of the UK charts and was the first to record Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk."

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.

Penny Ford of Snap!Songwriter Interviews

The original voice of Snap!, this story is filled with angry drag queens, video impersonators and Chaka Khan.

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."