“Swimming Pools (Drank)” by Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar’s song “Swimming Pools” from his album good kid, m.A.A.d city is not only a song, but a poem. A poem about how many people get addicted to drinking alcohol as a use of escaping from one’s problems in the world, but it in fact, destroys the person’s life more, and that he also became a victim of alcohol abuse as well. Kendrick Lamar uses poetic devices to show how the environment that Kendrick Lamar grew up in, influenced his alcohol addiction,

“Now I done grew up ’round some people livin’ their life in bottles / Granddaddy had the golden flask / Backstroke every day in Chicago.”

Kendrick uses metaphors to show the listener how much his grandfather drank, which also correlates to the title of the song as well. Kendrick also uses hyperbole to reinforce the narrative of the type of environment that he grew up in. An environment where people drank so much, it was as if they lived in the bottles of alcohol. Kendrick Lamar uses repetition of the lines,

“Pour up (drank), head shot (drank) / Sit down (drank), stand up (drank) / Pass out (drank), wake up (drank) / Faded (drank), faded (drank)”

to further emphasize how much he is drinking, to the point where he is drinking all the time. Through the use of personification, Kendrick also shows his emotions and mental state,

“All I, all I, all I, all I have in life is my new appetite for failure / And I got Hunger pain that grow insane, tell me do that sound familiar? / If it do then you’re like me, making excuse that your relief / Is in the bottom of the bottle and the greenest indo leaf.”

telling the listener that his pain has a hunger to it that only gets stronger as he drinks, and does other drugs more.

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