Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst

Album: Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012)
  • This is one of the deepest, most personal tracks on Good Kid, M.A.A.d City. "Just life, in general, is the meaning behind it," Lamar explained to The Boombox. "It's a certain situation that I had to go through; I had to bump my head a few times to know what I had to do to get back right."

    "It's probably one of the deepest songs on [the album] that I've written," he added. "It's real short though, probably only a minute or two. When people listen to the album a few more times, and go back and forth, they really understand the setting and the actual position that it has in the album and why it's in that track listing."
  • This 12 minute track in which Kendrick raps about the ins and outs of the harsh reality that his life has been is split into three parts. "'Sing About Me' is definitely a true song," Kendrick told MTV News.

    The first section is from the perspective of Lamar's late homie, Dave, who when he was alive made the young rapper promise that he'll dedicated a song to his brother and himself. "First verse is speaking from my partner talkin' to me, speakin' on a story of how I was there when his brother passed," he explained.

    The second part is from the perspective of the real-life sister of prostitute Keisha, whom Lamar rapped about on the tragic 2011 Section.80 track, "Keisha's Song (Her Pain)." Lamar tells us how Keisha's sister chastised him for revealing intimate and embarrassing details of her late sibling. " 'Keisha's Song' is a real song too, and what I didn't understand was the fact that she had a younger sister," he told MTV News. "I met her sister and she went at me about her sister Keisha, basically saying she didn't want her to put her business out there and if your album do come out, don't mention me, don't sing about me."

    On the second half of the song ("I'm Dying of Thirst") Kendrick raps from his own perspective about opting out of this hazardous life. "And you're right your brother was a brother to me. And your sister's situation was the one that pulled me. In a direction to speak on something that's realer than the TV screen," he spits.
  • So why did Lamar combine the tracks "Sing About Me" and "I'm Dying of Thirst" into one song? He explained on Power 106's Big Boy's Neighborhood, that the events described on each track occurred on the same day. Because of that, he brought the songs together to symbolize a shift in perspective on the Good Kid, M.A.A.D City record. "That's a real turning point of the album," he said. "Before I became this person with a mature aspect on life, it was a dark place I came from, a place of negativity, a place of being unruly. 'Dying of Thirst' is actually a specific story about one of my homeboys passing away before my eyes. It really turned everything around full circle. So when you go to a track like 'Dying of Thirst,' and that same day we was getting a spoken word from an elderly lady telling us about God and getting some type of prosperity out of that... I really based them two tracks together because that was a situation that happened that exact same time. So when I say 'Dying of Thirst,' she's really talking about getting hit with holy water or saving yourself."
  • Speaking with Life + Times, Lamar explained that he wanted recount the story in the first verse of his late friend's older brother, who was trapped in a life of crime. "That's one of my favorite verses on the album," he explained. "It's an obvious true story. It hits home, as far as the past members of tragic situations that happened in my life. That one particular situation is my homeboy getting smoked while I'm right there, and I'm being the last one right there just seeing him take his last. [The verse is] his brother being irrevocable, a street cat, and him just thanking me for being right there, and wishing that he could've found a passion in something - maybe music, maybe sports - but [it's] him recognizing the fact and truth that he was already in too deep."
    "The craziest part about that verse," he continued, "and in real life [is] him saying, 'If something happens to me before your album drops, just make sure you mention and tell this story in a positive light,' and that's exactly what I did and he definitely passed, too. That's why that's one of the final songs on the album - out of 12 songs, that's closer to the bottom because when the reality check really hit, a lot people know Kendrick Lamar for who I am today, but for me to think [of] what I had to do to come from a dark space, and that was the turning point right there."
  • The video was directed by Darren Romanelli, who also helmed Wilco's Popeye-starring animated clip for "Dawned on Me." The visual finds Lamar reflecting on his life as he rolls slowly through the streets of Compton whilst graffiti artist Eddie Peake creates a mural using lyrics from the song.
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