Swimming Pools
Kendrick Lamar Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Pour up, drank, head shot, drank
Sit down, drank, stand up, drank
Pass out, drank, wake up, drank
Faded, drank, faded, drank

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 fucked up, fillin' up my cup I see the crowd move
Changing by the minute and the record on repeat
Took a sip, then another sip, then somebody said to me

Nigga why you babysittin' only two or three 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

Pour up, drank, head shot, drank
Sit down, drank, stand up, drank
Pass out, drank, wake up, drank
Faded, drank, faded, drank

Okay, now open your mind up and listen me, Kendrick
I am 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'mma 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 arrived
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

Nigga why you babysittin' only two or three shots?
I'mma 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'mma dive in it

Pour up, drank, head shot, drank
Sit down, drank, stand up, drank
Pass out, drank, wake up, drank
Faded, drank, faded, drank

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

Nigga why you babysittin' only two or three shots?
I'mma 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'mma dive in it

Pour up, drank, head shot, drank
Sit down, drank, stand up, drank




Pass out, drank, wake up, drank
Faded, drank, faded, drank

Overall Meaning

In "Swimming Pools," Kendrick Lamar explores the dark side of alcohol addiction, delving into the way alcohol use can lead to excess and dangerous behavior. Throughout the song, Kendrick paints a vivid picture of the party scene, with lines like "Pour up, drank, head shot, drank," and "I got a swimming pool full of liquor and they dive in it," before using his own voice to interrupt the narrative with more introspective commentary on his addiction.


From the onset, Kendrick acknowledges how being around those who drink excessively, particularly close family members, can normalize the behavior and contribute to alcoholism. He then takes the listener into the mind of someone grappling with alcohol addiction, detailing the way it can lead to a loss of self-awareness, and destructive tendencies towards oneself and others. Throughout the song, the repetition of "Pour up, drank, head shot, drank" and "faded, drank, faded, drank" emphasizes that cycle of alcohol use as well as his desire to numb himself with alcohol.


One of the most brilliant aspects of this song is how it switches perspective midway through. Kendrick takes on the voice of his conscience, warning him of the dangers of his alcohol addiction, urging him to break free from the cycle. This change in perspective emphasizes that Kendrick is not only commenting on the society of alcohol consumption but he is also exploring his own addiction and the difficulty of breaking out of that cycle.


Line by Line Meaning

Pour up, drank, head shot, drank
The singer is drinking heavily and taking head shots of alcohol.


Sit down, drank, stand up, drank
The singer continues to drink while frequently sitting down and standing up.


Pass out, drank, wake up, drank
The singer drinks so much that they pass out, then wake up and continue drinking.


Faded, drank, faded, drank
The artist is getting increasingly drunk and feeling the effects of the alcohol.


Now I done grew up 'round some people living their life in bottles
The artist has witnessed people around him living their lives fully immersed in alcohol.


Granddaddy had the golden flask back stroke every day in Chicago
The singer mentions his grandfather who had a flask with him at all times, even when swimming.


Some people like the way it feels
Some people enjoy drinking because it makes them feel good.


Some people wanna kill their sorrows
Some people drink to numb the pain of their troubles.


Some people wanna fit in with the popular that was my problem
The artist drank to try to fit in with the popular crowd but realized it was causing problems for him.


I was in the dark room loud tunes, looking to make a vow soon
The artist was in a dark room listening to loud music, contemplating making a resolution to change his drinking habits.


That I'ma get fucked up, fillin' up my cup I see the crowd move
Despite his resolution, the singer decides to keep drinking and partying with the crowd.


Changing by the minute and the record on repeat
The party is changing constantly and the music is on repeat.


Took a sip, then another sip, then somebody said to me
The singer takes a few sips of his drink before being interrupted by someone.


Nigga why you babysittin' only two or three shots?
Someone questions why the singer is only drinking a small amount.


I'ma show you how to turn it up a notch
The singer promises to show the person how to drink more heavily.


First you get a swimming pool full of liquor, then you dive in it
The artist suggests filling a swimming pool with alcohol and jumping in.


Pool full of liquor, then you dive in it
Reinforces the above suggestion.


I wave a few bottles, then I watch 'em all flock
The singer flaunts his success with women and draws their attention by waving bottles of alcohol.


All the girls wanna play Baywatch
Girls are attracted to the singer like they are to the lifeguards in the TV show Baywatch.


I got a swimming pool full of liquor and they dive in it
The artist has a swimming pool filled with alcohol and the girls are jumping in it.


Okay, now open your mind up and listen me, Kendrick
The artist speaks to himself (Kendrick Lamar) and tells him to pay attention.


I am your conscience, if you do not hear me then you will be history, Kendrick
The artist imagines himself as Kendrick's conscience and warns him that not listening could be dangerous.


I know that you're nauseous right now and I'm hopin' to lead you to victory, Kendrick
The singer acknowledges that Kendrick is sick from drinking too much but hopes to lead him to a better outcome.


If I take another one down I'mma drown in some poison abusin' my limit
The artist acknowledges his own limit and warns Kendrick about the dangers of taking another drink.


I think that I'm feelin' the vibe
The singer is feeling the energy of the party.


I see the love in her eyes
The singer sees affection in someone's eyes and is drawn to them.


I see the feelin' the freedom is granted as soon as the damage of vodka arrived
The singer feels a sense of freedom as soon as he starts drinking vodka.


This how you capitalize
The artist sees the potential to take advantage of the situation.


This is parental advice then apparently
The artist admits that his advice sounds like something a parent would say but believes it to be true.


I'm over influenced by what you are doin'
The singer acknowledges that Kendrick's behavior is influencing his own.


I thought I was doin' the most then someone said to me
The singer thought he was already drunk enough but was encouraged to drink more.


I ride, you ride, bang
The artist and someone else ride together while firing a gun (metaphorically).


One chopper, one hundred shots, bang
One gun and one hundred shots are fired.


Hop out, do you, bang?
The artist encourages someone to hop out of their vehicle and continue the aggressive behavior.


Two chopper, two hundred shots, bang
Two guns and two hundred shots are fired.




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Tyler Williams, Kendrick Lamar, Nikhil Shanker Seetharam

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

@redwax584

It's been 6 years now that I lost the love of my life because of my alcoholic and drug habits at this period of my life.

I was into deep struggle and depression, stopped working (I was a pharmaceutical engineer, irony), did some psychiatric hospital... lost all my confidence and didn't know who I was, lost friends, disappointed my parents...

Today I'm sober and I'm so proud of me, even if I have ofc regrets about this situation, but I handled it, as I could.

This song is just the song of my life.

When I started to listen to this song I was beginning the worst, and today I'm listening to it and ending the cycle.

It's not about yesterday, not about tomorrow, it's NOW !

Even if you're 6 feet deep, remember, you can do it. So stay blessed. And be aware of your environment.
The solution won't come from nowhere, but from yourself.

Thank you Kendrick.



All comments from YouTube:

@dandyjacoby

Ironic how this songs message is about Kendrick's demons pushing him to drink.

Yet this song is constantly played at parties.

@BrainchildDnB

Where better to remind people about the dangers of alcoholism?

@arantxawilliams8592

I would probably get so depressed and leave that party lol

@heathlewis7911

Kinda like "hey Ya" or "Wicked Game" at weddings

@Nsixtyfourlink

People are stupid and only hear the hook.

@xylotix2836

What’s ur point

90 More Replies...

@kitsontuli2713

Kendrick : Writes a song about the damaging effects of alcohol
Everyone in the club: 🥃🥃🥃🥂🍻🍻🍻🍺🍾🍾🍾🍷

@chrisoo22233

Looool for real i've heard this at way to many partys

@CameronThatcher

I'll drink to that

@kitsontuli2713

@@chrisoo22233 Wayy too many clubs and parties😂🤷🏽‍♀️

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