DNA.
Kendrick Lamar Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

I got, I got, I got, I got
Loyalty, got royalty
Inside my DNA
Cocaine quarter piece, got war and peace
Inside my DNA
I got power, poison, pain and joy
Inside my DNA
I got hustle, though, ambition, flow
Inside my DNA

I was born like this, since one like this, immaculate conception
I transform like this, perform like this, was Yeshua's new weapon
I don't contemplate, I meditate, then off your fucking head
This that put-the-kids-to-bed, this that

I got, I got, I got, I got
Realness, I just kill shit
'Cause it's in my DNA
I got millions, I got riches
Buildin' in my DNA
I got dark, I got evil, that rot
Inside my DNA
I got off, I got troublesome heart
Inside my DNA

I just win again, then win again like Wimbledon, I serve
Yeah, that's him again, the sound that engine in is like a bird
You see fireworks and Corvette tire skrrt the boulevard
I know how you work, I know just who you are
See, you's a, you's a, you's a bitch

Your hormones prolly switch
Inside your DNA
Problem is, all that sucker shit
Inside your DNA
Daddy prolly snitched, heritage
Inside your DNA
Backbone don't exist
Born onside a jellyfish, I gauge

See, my pedigree most definitely don't tolerate the front
Shit I've been through prolly offend you
This is Paula's oldest son
I know murder, conviction
Burners, boosters, burglars, ballers, dead, redemption
Scholars, fathers dead with kids
And I wish I was fed forgiveness
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, soldier's DNA
Born inside the beast
My expertise checked out in second grade
When I was nine, on cell, motel, we didn't have nowhere to stay
At twenty-nine, I've done so well, hit cartwheel in my estate
And I'm gon' shine like I'm supposed to antisocial, extrovert
And excellent mean the extra work
And absent-ness what the fuck you heard
And pessimists never struck my nerve
And that's a riff, gonna plead this case
The reason my power's here on earth
Salute the truth, when the prophet say

I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA
(This is why I say that Hip-Hop has done more damage)
(To young African-Americans than racism in recent years)
I live a better, fuck your life
(Five, four, three, two, one) this is my heritage, all I'm inheritin'
Money and power, the makin' of marriages

Tell me somethin'
You mothafuckas can't tell me nothin'
I'd rather die than to listen to you
My DNA not for imitation
Your DNA an abomination
This how it is when you're in the Matrix
Dodgin' bullets, reapin' what you sow
And stackin' up the footage, livin' on the go
And sleepin' in a Villa
Sippin' from a Grammy and walkin' in the buildin'
Diamond in the ceilin', marble on the floors
Beach inside the window, peekin' out the window
Baby in the pool, Godfather goals, only Lord knows

I've been goin' hammer, dodgin' paparazzi, freakin' through the cameras
Eat at Four Daughters, Brock wearin' sandals
Yoga on a Monday, stretchin' to Nirvana
Watchin' all the snakes, curvin' all the fakes
Phone never on, I don't conversate
I don't compromise, I just penetrate
Sex, money, murder, these are the breaks
These are the times, level number nine
Look up in the sky, ten is on the way
Sentence on the way, killings on the way
Motherfucker, I got winners on the way

You ain't shit without a body on your belt
You ain't shit without a ticket on your plate
You ain't sick enough to pull it on yourself
You ain't rich enough to hit the lot and skate
Tell me when destruction gonna be my fate
Gonna be your fate, gonna be our faith
Peace to the world, let it rotate
Sex, money, murder, our DNA

Overall Meaning

In "DNA", Kendrick Lamar reflects on his origins, both personal and cultural. He repeatedly asserts that his DNA contains not just the expected elements of his heritage, but also qualities that make him a formidable force in the world. He raps about how his "realness" is innate, inherited through generations, and discusses how the adversity he encountered growing up shaped him and made him successful. However, Kendrick also critiques the culture of hip-hop and African-American youth, saying that while racism is still an obstacle, hip-hop has done more harm than good to the African-American community in recent years. Through its hard-hitting lyrics and driving beat, "DNA" is a powerful statement of identity and strength.


The song samples a Fox News segment featuring Geraldo Rivera’s scathing analysis of Lamar’s 2015 BET Awards performance. The segment featured Rivera saying, “hip-hop has done more damage to young African-Americans than racism in recent years,” and adding that Lamar’s performance was “not helpful” to the Black Lives Matter movement.


"DNA" was produced by Mike Will Made-It, who also produced Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles" and Beyonce’s "Formation".


The music video for "DNA" stars actor Don Cheadle, who plays an interrogator trying to break Kendrick Lamar's character.


Kendrick Lamar performed "DNA" at the 2018 Grammys with U2, who collaborated on a remix of the song.


The lyrics of "DNA" were quoted in a 2018 Supreme Court case about whether police need a warrant to search a cell phone's location data.


The song was featured in the trailer for the 2018 film "Black Panther", which Kendrick Lamar curated the soundtrack for.


Rolling Stone named "DNA" the second-best song of 2017, behind only "Bodak Yellow" by Cardi B.


The song has been covered by a variety of artists, including Drea D'Nur and A$AP Ferg.


In "DNA," Kendrick Lamar uses Hebrew wordplay, playing on the name Yeshua (Jesus) and the verb “to save,” yashah. Yashua’s new weapon becomes Lamar’s new weapon.


The music video ends by quoting the famous Fox News segment, with news anchor Geraldo Rivera saying that Kendrick Lamar was “the greatest rapper alive."


Chords: Unknown.


Line by Line Meaning

I got, I got, I got, I got Loyalty, got royalty Inside my DNA
I have an innate inclination to be loyal and a dignified disposition due to my ancestry and upbringing.


Cocaine quarter piece, got war and peace Inside my DNA
As a product of the troubled and uncertain environments I've grown in, I have both a taste for danger and an inclination for peace.


I got power, poison, pain and joy Inside my DNA
Born in a complex world, I carry a mix of attributes: strength, toxicity, hurt, and happiness.


I got hustle, though, ambition, flow Inside my DNA
My DNA is composed of a relentless drive to succeed, an intellectual potential, an unbridled ambition, and an incredible 'goo with the flow' attitude.


I was born like this, since one like this, immaculate conception I transform like this, perform like this, was Yeshua's new weapon I don't contemplate, I meditate, then off your fucking head This that put-the-kids-to-bed, this that
I was born with this energy and have always been this confident, and this comes out in my sensational performances where I seem to be Christ's new weapon. I meditate to stay in my element and generate a powerful effect.


I got, I got, I got, I got Realness, I just kill shit 'Cause it's in my DNA
I am somebody who is genuine and sincere, and my inborn traits involve a capacity to perform remarkably well.


I got millions, I got riches Buildin' in my DNA I got dark, I got evil, that rot Inside my DNA
My full range of human attributes includes hard work, and the capacity to earn wealth, as well as a dark and unforgiving side that I keep under wraps.


I got off, I got troublesome heart Inside my DNA
I have a tendency to vacillate and struggle internally with everything I do since I have a largely difficult and abrasive being.


I just win again, then win again like Wimbledon, I serve Yeah, that's him again, the sound that engine in is like a bird You see fireworks and Corvette tire skrrt the boulevard I know how you work, I know just who you are See, you's a, you's a, you's a bitch
Y'all see me out here winning nonstop like I'm the highest-seeded player at Wimbledon. You'd recognize my engine sound anywhere. Y'all tryna stunt when you're with your group and at home with your parents, but I understand your fake behavior all too well. You're just a weakling.


Your hormones prolly switch Inside your DNA Problem is, all that sucker shit Inside your DNA
There's something off about you and that's probably due to some chemical imbalance in your genetic makeup. The issue is that you wouldn't know how to be authentic if it hit you in the face.


Daddy prolly snitched, heritage Inside your DNA Backbone don't exist Born onside a jellyfish, I gauge
Maybe your father snitched to make it big, and that's why your pedigree is a complete disaster. You have no foundation or motivation- you just float around like a jellyfish.


See, my pedigree most definitely don't tolerate the front Shit I've been through prolly offend you This is Paula's oldest son I know murder, conviction Burners, boosters, burglars, ballers, dead, redemption Scholars, fathers dead with kids And I wish I was fed forgiveness Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, soldier's DNA Born inside the beast My expertise checked out in second grade When I was nine, on cell, motel, we didn't have nowhere to stay At twenty-nine, I've done so well, hit cartwheel in my estate And I'm gon' shine like I'm supposed to antisocial, extrovert And excellent mean the extra work And absent-ness what the fuck you heard And pessimists never struck my nerve And that's a riff, gonna plead this case The reason my power's here on earth Salute the truth, when the prophet say I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA
My roots don't take kindly to those who pretend, and I've been through things that would disturb the average mind. My mom is an influential figure commonly referred to, but I know the realities of murder, sentencing, drug running, robbery, balling, and redemption. I've seen deaths impacting fathers and scholars, and I wish I could be forgiven. I have the DNA of a solider who was born in trouble, but that has led to an exceptional level of expertise. My early life was incredibly tough, motel life with no stability. But at twenty-nine, I'm doing great, dazzling on my lavish property, and I will continue to do exceptional things, irrespective of my social etiquette, because I strive to achieve excellence. Absence has never been an issue for me, and those who are pessimistic do not affect me. With that being said, the reason I hold so much power on earth is because I embody deep loyalty and respect.


(This is why I say that Hip-Hop has done more damage) (To young African-Americans than racism in recent years) I live a better, fuck your life
Hip hop has had a greater negative effect on the younger generation of African Americans than racism. I refuse to listen to people who do not contribute to my growth and purpose, as I have a superior lifestyle.


(Five, four, three, two, one) this is my heritage, all I'm inheritin' Money and power, the makin' of marriages
All that I've inherited is money and influence, which are what build unions between people.


Tell me somethin' You mothafuckas can't tell me nothin' I'd rather die than to listen to you My DNA not for imitation Your DNA an abomination This how it is when you're in the Matrix Dodgin' bullets, reapin' what you sow And stackin' up the footage, livin' on the go And sleepin' in a Villa Sippin' from a Grammy and walkin' in the buildin' Diamond in the ceilin', marble on the floors Beach inside the window, peekin' out the window Baby in the pool, Godfather goals, only Lord knows
You guys have nothing useful to tell me that I can't teach myself. I wouldn't care if I died because of it, but I refuse to conform. My genetic makeup is not something that could be easily replicated, which is not the case with yours. This is the world that we live in, so I'm on the lookout for danger and reaping what I sow, always recording every step of the way. I'm everywhere and always on the go to get where I need to be. I'm relaxing in a villa, holding a Grammy and strolling in the building, with a diamond chandelier hanging from the ceiling, marble blocks for floor- nothing is beyond my grasp, and I've got a beach view. Godfathering is all I think about, only the lord knows what I will do next.


I've been goin' hammer, dodgin' paparazzi, freakin' through the cameras Eat at Four Daughters, Brock wearin' sandals Yoga on a Monday, stretchin' to Nirvana Watchin' all the snakes, curvin' all the fakes Phone never on, I don't conversate I don't compromise, I just penetrate Sex, money, murder, these are the breaks These are the times, level number nine Look up in the sky, ten is on the way Sentence on the way, killings on the way Motherfucker, I got winners on the way
I've always been intense, on the move, and avoiding paparazzi while trying to have more fun than anyone else. I do yoga on Mondays, watchful of who pretends and who is real while dodging calls that disturb my flow. I'm not compromising, only laser focused on my personal endeavors, and I've known this from the get-go. My priorities are sex, money, and the game, with no room for errors. There's no elevating past level nine, and since ten provides a sense of perfection that no human can reach, there's always killing at the end of the tunnel. There is nothing to worry about since I've only got winners around me.


You ain't shit without a body on your belt You ain't shit without a ticket on your plate You ain't sick enough to pull it on yourself You ain't rich enough to hit the lot and skate Tell me when destruction gonna be my fate Gonna be your fate, gonna be our faith Peace to the world, let it rotate Sex, money, murder, our DNA
You've got nothing if you haven't committed violent crimes, or earned your fortune, if the risk didn't come from you. you can't just casually take risks like me because you aren't strong enough, of course. None of us are exempted from destruction, for better or worse. Despite this prediction, I wish peace on earth as the world keeps on turning, and sex, money, and murder are in our DNA.




Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Kendrick Lamar, Michael Len Williams

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@jaechell8401

The 23 things inside Kendrick Lamar's DNA
1. Loyalty
2. Royalty
3. Concaine quarter piece
4. War
5. Peace
6. Power
7. Poison
8. Pain
9. Joy
10. Hustle
11. Ambition
12. Flow
13. Realness
14. Killing shit
15. Millions
16. Riches
17. Dark
18. Evil
19. Rot
20. Troublesome heart
21. Real N*gga
22. Dripping gold
23. Power shows



@Pride317

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I got, I got, I got, I got—
Loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA
Cocaine quarter piece, got war and peace inside my DNA
I got power, poison, pain, and joy inside my DNA
I got hustle, though, ambition flow inside my DNA
I was born like this, since one like this, immaculate conception
I transform like this, perform like this, was Yeshua new weapon
I don't contemplate, I meditate, then off your fucking head
This that put-the-kids-to-bed
This that I got, I got, I got, I got—
Realness, I just kill shit ’cause it's in my DNA
I got millions, I got riches building in my DNA
I got dark, I got evil that rot inside my DNA
I got off, I got troublesome heart inside my DNA
I just win again, then win again like Wimbledon, I serve
Yeah, that’s him again, the sound that engine in is like a bird
You see fireworks and Corvette tire skrrt the boulevard
I know how you work, I know just who you are
See, you's a, you's a, you's a—
Bitch, your hormones prolly switch inside your DNA
Problem is, all that sucker shit inside your DNA
Daddy prolly snitched, heritage inside your DNA
Backbone don't exist, born outside a jellyfish, I gauge
See, my pedigree most definitely don't tolerate the front
Shit I've been through prolly offend you, this is Paula's oldest son
I know murder, conviction
Burners, boosters, burglars, ballers, dead, redemption
Scholars, fathers dead with kids and
I wish I was fed forgiveness
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, soldier’s DNA (I’m a soldier's DNA)
Born inside the beast, my expertise checked out in second grade
When I was 9, on cell, motel, we didn’t have nowhere to stay
At 29, I've done so well, hit cartwheel in my estate
And I'm gon' shine like I’m supposed to, antisocial extrovert
And excellent mean the extra work
And absentness what the fuck you heard
And pessimists never struck my nerve
And Nazareth gonna plead his case
The reason my power's here on earth
Salute the truth, when the prophet say

[Bridge: Kendrick Lamar & Geraldo Rivera]
I-I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA
This is why I say that hip hop has done more damage
To young African Americans than racism in recent years
I-I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA
I live a better life, I'm rolling several dice, fuck your life
I-I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA
I live a be-, fuck your life
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
This is my heritage, all I'm inheriting
Money and power, the mecca of marriages

[Verse 2]
Tell me something
You motherfuckers can't tell me nothing
I'd rather die than to listen to you
My DNA not for imitation
Your DNA an abomination
This how it is when you in the Matrix
Dodging bullets, reaping what you sow
And stacking up the footage, living on the go
And sleeping in a villa
Sipping from a Grammy, walking in the building
Diamond in the ceiling, marble on the floors
Beach inside the window, peeking out the window
Baby in the pool, godfather goals
Only Lord knows I've been going hammer
Dodging paparazzi, freaking through the cameras
Eat at Four Daughters, Brock wearing sandals
Yoga on a Monday, stretching to Nirvana
Watching all the snakes, curving all the fakes
Phone never on, I don't conversate
I don't compromise, I just penetrate
Sex, money, murder—these are the breaks
These are the times, level number 9
Look up in the sky, 10 is on the way
Sentence on the way, killings on the way
Motherfucker, I got winners on the way
You ain't shit without a body on your belt
You ain't shit without a ticket on your plate
You ain't sick enough to pull it on yourself
You ain't rich enough to hit the lot and skate
Tell me when destruction gonna be my fate
Gonna be your fate, gonna be our faith
Peace to the world, let it rotate
Sex, money, murder—our DNA



All comments from YouTube:

@Azerrz

All hail King Kendrick!

@jonpg6351

Azerrz where's the kendrick lamar impersonation vid??

@geterdone372

lol azerrz on here

@mixingitgood246

Azerrz the true Kendrick fan I know,and who sounds just like him

@jaymarzreaction4688

Azerrz Joyner Lucas DNA remix way better

@litgamer8586

Azerrz u are funny

144 More Replies...

@greatembian_

After 5 years this song is still a masterpiece.

@DrewNice57

I was listening to it today lol

@junioriceman

I phone hackers R RED LAKE POLICE CAM ON CAM WIPH COPS,,1/23/23 lmfao OMG plastic surgery

@xcygeez4327

I was thinking same

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