Unto you: Shared Experiences Through Art

“Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” lyrics

In “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst,” Kendrick Lamar explores themes of identity, loss, and redemption through his own experiences and observations. The song’s title refers to Lamar’s desire to be remembered and have his story told through music, even after his death.

Throughout the song, Lamar grapples with the complexities of his identity and how it has been shaped by his positive and negative experiences. He reflects on his poverty, violence, and addiction; and how they have impacted his sense of self.

At the same time, Lamar also speaks to the broader disenfranchisement and injustice he sees in the world around him. He speaks about the struggles of marginalized communities and the ways in which they are often overlooked or mistreated by society.

The lyrics are deeply emotional and introspective, and Lamar’s delivery is raw and powerful. Through his music, he confronts his own struggles and encourages others to do the same, offering hope and redemption.

I woke up this morning and figured I’d call you
In case I’m not here tomorrow
I’m hopin’ that I can borrow
A peace of mind, I’m behind on what’s really important
My mind is really distorted
I find nothing but trouble in my life
I’m fortunate you believe in a dream

Kendricks’s reference to death and dreams shows the hopelessness and misanthropic inner monologue he developed in his childhood. Hope is all he has, as he hopes for a better life. The line “I’m fortunate you believe in a dream” may reference Martin Luther King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, which described his hopes for a future free of racial segregation. Mym find

My plan’s rather vindictive
Everybody’s a victim in my eyes
When I ride it’s a murderous rhythm
And outside became pitch black
A demon glued to my back, whispering “Get ’em!”

As he said before, his “mind is really distorted,” so now that Dave has been shot, his brother wants revenge.

Dave is a friend of Lamar’s who was killed in a drive-by shooting. Dave’s death is a central theme in the song, as Lamar reflects on the loss of his friend and the impact it had on him and those around him.

Lamar uses Dave’s story to explore more prominent themes of identity, mortality, and social injustice. He reflects on how Dave’s death has affected him personally and how it reflects the larger issues of violence and inequality in society. Dave’s story becomes a way for Lamar to explore these broader themes and challenge listeners to think about the impact of these issues on their own lives.

This Piru shit been in me forever
So forever I’ma push it, wherever, whenever
And I love you ’cause you love my brother like you did
Just promise me you’ll tell this story when you make it big
And if I die before your album drop, I hope— [Gunshots]

The term “Piru shit” refers to the Pirus, a street gang based in Compton, California. The Pirus are known for their involvement in drug trafficking and other illegal activities, and the term “Piru shit” is often used to refer to the gang’s activities and culture.

Lamar references the Pirus and “Piru shit” in the song as part of a larger exploration of identity, mortality, and social injustice. He reflects on how the culture of gangs and violence, such as the Pirus, has affected him and those around him and how it reflects larger issues of inequality and injustice in society.

Kendrick also expresses his love for someone else, likely a friend or family member, who has a close relationship with the speaker’s brother. They ask this person to tell their story and share their experiences if they ever become successful or “make it big.”

The reference to the gunshots and the speaker’s hope that they don’t die before Kendrick’s album is released is likely a reference to the violence and danger associated with gang culture and life on the streets. It suggests that the speaker is aware of the risks they face and hopes to see the other person succeed before meeting an untimely demise.

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