Kendrick Lamars Positive Influence Through His Song Swimming Pools

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Jacob Standage Daniel Hogan English 99 5 November 2012 Swimming Pools by Kendrick Lamar Many people listen and like music just for the rhythm or the flow, but not many people realize what kind of a message some of these artists are trying to send to society through their lyrics. Kendrick Lamar or “K-dot”, the lyrical genius of today’s rap culture, is one of my all-time favorite artists in hip-hop and is one of the rappers that send these messages to their audience.
Recently, one of K-dot’s popular new singles “swimming pools” got released rapidly throughout the world. This single impacted society positively inspiring teenagers and anyone else with a family member that has drinking problems to get through it and to never give up by relating himself in that same situation, and it also impacted older high school and college students by hazing the negative effects of alcohol and also by stating the false feelings alcohol portrays.
Some of Kendrick Lamar’s lyrics can have positive effects for teenagers growing up with, or living with, parents and family that are irresponsible drinkers by inspiring the teens to push through it and not to give up when times could get bad. He is very successful at this because he can relate to anyone in this situation. I think that the name of “swimming pools” serves as a metaphor for how some people’s lives are so engulfed by alcohol that it’s like their constantly swimming in it.

Kendrick himself in one of his lyrics states “now I done grew up round some people livin their life in bottles, granddaddy had the golden flask, backstroke every day in Chicago”. In stating “granddaddy had the golden flask” this is not to say that his grandpa is a classy drinker, but rather that he may be an enthusiastic drinker and with having enough time to pour liquor from a bottle into a flask, his granddaddy probably has a drinking problem. In other words, Kendrick is explaining that his grandpa is one of those people that are engulfed in alcohol, relating to anyone else with this problem.
Equally, “backstroke every day in Chicago”, explains how his grandpa is doing a backstroke in this swimming pool of liquor meaning that he is drinking every day and probably has a problem. Also, when he states “now I done grew up with some people living their life in bottles” he can be referring to his grandpa and everyone else around him being a bad influence. These two lyrics can inspire other teenagers in this situation to get through it and to inform them that they’re not the only ones dealing with these kinds of problems, also just not to give up when times get hard.
Other than creating a positive impact on teenagers with alcoholic parents, Kendrick also sends a positive message to high school and college students by portraying how they may act, drinking at a party or anywhere else, by his own experiences. For example, “I was in the dark room, loud tunes, looking to make a vow soon, that imma get fucked up, fillin up my cup, I see the crowd move, changing by the minute, and the record on repeat”. Kendrick, by this lyric, puts the setting probably at a house party meaning he is probably targeting more of high school and college students.
In this lyric, Kendrick is justifying that he is at a party and he is pretty much making a promise to himself that he is going to get irresponsibly drunk (just like college and high school students do when they’re at parties). Then, right after that lyric Kendrick finishes up with “took a sip and another sip, then somebody said to me, (hook) why are you only babysitting two or three shots? Imma show you how to turn it up a notch, first you get a pool full of liquor then you dive in it”.
In other words, Kendrick is saying that he was sipping shots relatively moderately and then someone at the party sees him not slamming them down, so that person peer pressures him into taking more shots and not stopping until he is completely drunk. This is not to say that getting drunk is a good thing, but rather to inform high school and college students that getting peer pressured into drinking carelessly happens and precautions should be made. Getting peer pressured at parties happens because of the alcohol induced lifestyle reflecting itself onto others simply because it’s the cool thing to do.
Kendrick also makes note of the false feelings alcohol can portray in his lyrics. In his second verse, this is proved by, “I think that im feelin the vibe, I see the love in her eyes”. Basically Kendrick is mocking the feeling of alcohol. He is probably one more shot away from death, but he is still “feelin the vibe”. He is telling his audience the false feelings alcohol gives people when they consume large amounts. In addition, he states “I see the love in her eyes” meaning this is another false feeling that alcohol may give people generally because when people are drunk , they are more attracted to women.
These fake feelings can get anyone that consumes too much alcohol into danger simply because they think that they are ok but in reality no one is “ok” after consuming massive amounts of alcohol. This fake feeling can make people push themselves way past their limits and put their life at risk. In short, Kendrick is informing people that may not know what it’s like to be this drunk and encouraging them not to do so, affecting society positively. Believe it or not, the single “swimming pools” by Kendrick Lamar has a positive impact on society.
People may disagree because of the negative context of the song, but if someone really looks into his lyrics, they might find themselves extremely surprised of what Kendrick is actually portraying. He inspires teens that have parents with drinking problems, portrays the negative effects of alcohol, and also the false feelings alcohol gives drinkers. By doing this, he helps society become aware of the problems of drinking and also is a kind of inspiration to the teens and other people that abuse the use of alcohol. Works Cited Kendrick Lamar. “Swimming Pools (drank). ” Good Kid m. A. A. d City. Interscope, 2012. CD.

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