Swimming Pools (Drank) by Kendrick Lamar

(74 votes, average 4.99 out of 5)
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Comments (41)
  • Rem
    avatar
    Another great video RC you've def become one of my must-watch reviewers.

    Sad this doesn't have a higher position on the charts though. But most music with a message is already fighting the tide so, not surprised.
  • nkfencer
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    Good review RC!
  • Furrama
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    Comment.

    DRANK!
  • CyborgPrince
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    This one was short, but gets to the point. Much like the song you reviewed. It's nice that you're coming across some good rap finally like this and B!tch Bad by Lupe Fiasco. I think we're all still reeling from the 2 Chainz song and video.

    When I first saw the title I was skeptical. I'm glad that it turned out not to be another mindless party song...which is probably why it's not in the Top 40. People don't want to hear about the consequences when they're partying.

    See? Hip hop and rap can still be meaningful...occasionally . Well, as long as there's still one tiny glimmer of light, it's never completely dark.
  • ManicWebb
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    This is his biggest single so far? I thought it was "The Recipe." Then again, maybe Cali stations just overplay that song because it's yet another California theme song.
  • PublicEnemy
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    No mention of Shyne? lol

    Well, dont make it sound like the song or album is flopping, I hear this played on the Hip Hop stations in LA all the time, and the album seems to be selling fairly well. And many big named rappers are cosigning him. Snoop, Dre and Game named him the new king of the West (which I personally approve of!)
  • Rue_Ryuzaki2  - What?
    avatar
    I can't believe what I heard? This song played in a rap style I'm not fond off but the artist made it work. & yet it doesnt make the top 40?
    I can see this as a club song I wouldn't be annoyed by. I wonder why oh nevermind because he's not rapping about stupid crap. Speaking of which from 7:17-27 Thank you Rap Critic. I have been happy I haven't heard anything from him recently. & I hope it stays that way.

    Also Macho man's music career had songs of better quality than that clown mentioned at 7:17. Even though it was fun hearing him make music.
  • RedSibot  - My School
    In My PE,Class my classmates were listeing to this song and when I asked "Do you guys know what this song is about" they said "yeah it's about how drinking is cool" and then I walked away laughing because of how stupid that was.
  • Bloodrealm
    Yeah, the whole review that's exactly what I was thinking people would be like, knowing how stupid General Public is these days (why, yes, I HAVE started referring to the general public as a singular entity to cope with all the stupid).
    Then again, it doesn't help that the verses are complete monotone with sudden bursts of unintelligible speed. Actually, that seems to be the case with nearly everything RC approves of and applauds for having lyrics that are deeper than a paper plate. Perhaps that's partly why nothing with halfway thoughtful lyrics gets more popular.
    But what do I know? I watch RC because he's entertaining. At least half the time I'm thinking "my god, this sounds annoying" when RC winds up saying it's good.
  • PublicEnemy
    avatar
    "verses are completely monotone," Im guessing you're a metalhead (or maybe something else) that takes all forms of "rapping" as monotone? I hear nothing wrong with it? Hell, "Monotone" is the last thing I had on my mind hearing this song
  • PlayMp1
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    Please don't throw all metal-heads into the same musically ignorant boat.

    I play jazz, I listen to metal, and I can get behind either smart rap or rap that at least has an old-school, funk-oriented beat WITH REAL FUCKING INSTRUMENTS.

    That's my only problem anymore - electronic instruments are hit and miss as it is (there's mouthpieces you can put on wind instruments to make them electronic and it's actually a cool effect), but electronic drums just piss me off. They sound terrible. Always. It's not like it's difficult to find a drummer :|
  • Dokupenda
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    Well that sure sounds made up.
  • LikaLaruku
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    Please don't drank the swimming pool water.

    The lyrics don't suck, aren't about money, sex, ego, & he's actually singing. My faith in American music just went up a few more points, like it did last episode.

    Speaking of lyrics, I dare you to review a subtitled Korean or Japanese hiphop or rap song. If it's anything like the late 90s, the lyrics still won't make sense in any context, unless it's from the 4th or 5th Highfive of Teenagers album.
  • ChickNTheBox
    avatar
    That hook is stupid!

    DRANK!

    Great review!

    DRANK!

    Ah damn it. Now they got me sayin' it. But yeah, dispite the drank hook, I'm actually pleasantly surpised by the thoughtful lyrics and metaphors in this song. Not what I was expecting when I saw the title "Swimming Pools (Drank)"
  • PublicEnemy
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    Awful? C'mon, man, RC just gave you a list of reasons why this is a great song lol XD
  • NiktheBeast
    avatar
    I think the initial chorus needs to do a collab with the ass, ass, ass, ass, ass video. It would be great!

    Ass
    DRANK!
    Ass
    DRANK!
    ASS
    etc, etc.
  • trlkly
    avatar
    A lot of times I feel like you have to know a lot about rap to understand the significance of the lyrics (hence why I watch your videos). But this one is one I could understand and appreciate.

    I'm also usually not much into the music side of rap, but this time I really liked it.
  • Metal_Mayhem  - Yeah...
    avatar
    I have to say the lyrics are great, BUT it sounds horrible imo. These positive reviews are getting pretty boring...
  • SlyDante
    avatar
    I should point this out: After the video was made & before it was posted, just this week "Swimming Pools" jumped from #55 to #32, thus making it a Top 40 hit! I'll drink to that! =P

    Great review, RC! Keep 'em coming!
  • Ankai
    I liked this one. Not only did it problematize the drink drank drunk mentality, it also personalized it. Sure, other characters in the song came off worse, but he didn't let himself off the hook. He kind of hinted that maybe he was also contributing to the problem, and that maybe the song itself is a means to make amends, explain himself, and maybe help himself and others crawl out of it at some point. Even if only a little of what I just said actually counted as a valid interpretation, that little bit makes me prefer this song much more than "Bitch Bad." I might check out the album soon too.

    I actually listened to the extended version and there didn't seem to be much there, just some bit awkwardly tacked on at the end which didn't seem to me to add much.

    Additionally, while I disagreed with you about the Lupe Fiasco song, I do feel that it is worthwhile for you to talk about songs that you do like as well as songs that you dislike. Sure, total reverence might get you in trouble with the parody guidelines, but you can still poke fun at stuff that you genuinely enjoy and appreciate.
  • Dancingstagequeen
    avatar
    If it makes you feel better this song was on the BBC1 playlist (and it still is on the BBC1xtra playlist.) for quite a while so I think it is doing well sales wise over here. Well it's at least in the top 40.

    If you're wondering what that means The BBC radio stations broadcast all over the UK the same shows and if you are on there A playlist they have to play you, during the daytime shows at least, at least once in every show. So that's minimum 7 or 8 times a day to at peak time 11 million people. Here's a link to the BBC1xtra (the rap, R&B and Hip-Hop station) http://www.bbc.co.uk/ 1xtra/playlist/
  • Moon Spirit
    avatar
    Such a shame this song ain't in the charts, but then again, people don't want songs like this unless it's done by a popular artist. But whatever, I believe rap is already losing its fire in the pop charts to electronica already.
  • Donovan
    Thank you Rap Critic for showing me another rap song that is actually good. I don't listen to rap often, but mainly because the majority is crap. Sad that you seem to be the only guy who would put a scope on the good songs, even if they are drowned under the masses of stupidity.
  • sora of the darkness
    Wow... now I feel silly. I've only heard this song on the radio, twice maybe, and was so annoyed by the hook that I completely tuned out the rest of the song. I don't even remember the chorus. Which really sucks 'cause, from what you described, it actually has something there more relevant than the usual club song. And now I will never hear it on the radio again. Thanks lowered expectations.
  • megasamus1  - Great review...
    avatar
    I have to say: I was a bit reluctant to watch this review, as I am not a fan of rap music in general; mostly due to the whole mindless gangbanger idolization thing that is rampant in the genre. I heard one of my roommates listening to this the other day, as well as another friend; and at face value to a non-rap music listener: this song felt flat and, ignoring the lyrics at the time, sounded like it encouraged drinking and droning, soulless sex appeal.

    Listening to it deconstructed just changed all of that.

    While I am still not sure if I "like" this song, it is well constructed and actually means something lyrically, and makes sense as a sort of story. It can be easily misinterpreted though; as my friend thought (and still thinks) that the song was about heavy drinking, in the same way that "Shots" was all about partying, although in a slower tempo and lower key.

    It makes me upset that a song this relevant and interesting is just being boiled down to "Party Rap" by my friends and the general public. This song deserves more than that.
  • BigManOXXL
    My first ever Rap Critic video, and wow i have missed a number of great videos. I hope you do more videos, as this review is amazing. I don't know if you take requests, but can you do Based God next.
  • Paper_Banjokami
    When you gon' review Mercy by GOOD Music?
  • True Believer
    I keep seeing people say something to the effect of "I don't listen to rap because the majority of it is crap." Uhm, how can you admit to general ignorance of a musical genre and in the same sentence make a qualitative assessment of "the majority" of it? Have you listened to the majority of rap? Or anything that isn't played on the top 40 stations? There's a great wide world of rap out there; nerdcore, horrorcore (though no one who does anything-core will admit it), trap, indie, there's Def Jux, Strange Music, and just . . .

    There's alot. And you don't have to care about it but don't act you like you know. Or at least qualify it with "popular rap" and avoid my rants entirely.
  • trlkly
    avatar
    If you want to convince, why not recommend?

    BTW, when someone says "the majority of something is", they usually mean "the majority of what I've listened to is."
  • 3WhiteFox3
    I have to agree here, I too would have said that I didn't like the majority of rap. Then I listened to some good rappers, finding that while far from my favorite genre, it does have it's good stuff. (The problem of course being that like everything else, the majority of the stuff that you hear probably is crap unless you know about or look for the good stuff.) If you have some good rap to recommend then I for one would be really glad to hear it.

    That's my opinion anyway.
  • True Believer
    Well there are some good charting rappers here and there (though not so much recently) provided you know what to look for and listen with a critical ear.

    Outkast is probably a bit obvious but they're my all-time favorite hit rap act and their double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is a classic.

    Kanye is, well, Kanye but his production is lush and the man knows how to build an album.

    There's Common and The Roots if you dig the socially conscious thing. Kid Cudi, N.E.R.D. etc.

    On the indie side if you like creative production and complex, clever lyricism, indie label Def Jux is something you'll wanna look into; particularly Aesop Rock, El-P, and Del tha Funkee Homosapien (whose cadence reminds me alot of Masta Artisan.) Basically if you're into this kind of thing: youtu.be/ZEBGCOCxLgA

    There's MF Doom, pretty much the king of the underground and (along with Def Jux) one of the primary reasons the indie scene's as vibrant as it is. He basically made it ok for rappers to be funny and self deprecating without being considered a joke. Vaudeville Villain is probably his opus. The Mouse and the Mask (with Danger Mouse) is my favorite collaboration but many would say Madvillain (with Madlib.)

    Then there's everyone's favorite buzz act of 2011, Odd Future who, if nothing else, gave us Earl Sweatshirt whose rhyme schemes are impressive for any age and is totally gonna stop talking about rape, now.

    Action Bronson, XV, Joey Bada$$, G-Eazy, the Constellations, Childish Gambino, and of course Kendrick Lamar. All great acts, depending on where your preferences lie. And I won't even go into producers.

    Anyway that's enough. Sorry to ramble. I do hope someone perhaps gets something out of this.
  • magjournal  - Great review!
    "good kid, m.A.A.d city" is a brilliant album. And actually, this song has an extended version which is a little over 5 minutes long.
  • iDEMANDWeekendAtBernies3
    avatar
    wait a sec....holy shit..... I just realized something.....are you the ONLY black person on this entire site????????? WTF is that?
  • iDEMANDWeekendAtBernies3  - I totally misunderstood this song initially.
    avatar
    Wow, what an intelligent analysis of this song. I happen to be a recovering alcohic but still love ths song...now that I really get the message I like it so much more, thank you.
  • rocketmanbryan  - I...think I see what you did thar
    "Let's see why expectations for this talented rarity from the west coast get completely dashed out" ....are you by chance a fellow brony?
  • Sophist
    avatar
    "On the indie side if you like creative production and complex, clever lyricism, indie label Def Jux is something you'll wanna look into; particularly Aesop Rock, El-P..."

    Both Aes and El-P put out albums in the not-too-distant past. If the Rap Critic would do a review of something off of Cancer 4 Cure or Skelethon, that would be awesome. Aes in particular has his share of "what did he just say?" moments (in a good way, usually), and the video for "The Full Retard" would probably be good for a bit of commentary.
  • Homme
    avatar
    I dont get why him and Todd arent way higher on this sides charts.

    Fresh and good stuff, not tired shit. Keep it up.
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