Although tracks like “m.A.A.d City” and “Backseat Freestyle” may get more spins from Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, perhaps one of the most powerful cuts on the album is “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst.” Now, in a recent interview with Life + Times’ Decoded series, K. Dot explains the story behind the song.
Kendrick revealed that the first verse of the song is taken directly from his life following the untimely death of a friend in a shooting. While writing the song, Kendrick said he wanted to tell this story from the perspective of his friend’s older brother, who was trapped in a life of crime. Ultimately, Kendrick said that it was this experience that pushed him deeper into his craft as to avoid the dangers of street life.
“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.”
He continued, “The craziest part about that verse – 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.”
Check out the full interview interview below.