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M.A.A.D City

"M.A.A.D City" (stylized "m.A.A.d city") is a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar, from his second studio album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012). The song, which appears as the eighth track on the album, features a guest appearance from fellow Compton native and West Coast rapper MC Eiht. The song was produced by Top Dawg in-house producers THC and Sounwave for the first part of the instrumental, and Terrace Martin for the second part. The song peaked at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"m.A.A.d city"
Song by Kendrick Lamar featuring MC Eiht
from the album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Released October 22, 2012 (2012-10-22)
Recorded 2012
Length 5:50
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City track listing
"good kid"
"m.A.A.d city"
"Swimming Pools (Drank)"



In the song, Lamar tells the story of his upbringing in Compton and its results. The song features MC Eiht of American gangsta rap group Compton's Most Wanted. The song also features additional background vocals from Lamar's Black Hippy cohort Schoolboy Q, doing his signature ad-lib during the refrain. He also explained "M.A.A.D" is an acronym for "My Angels on Angel Dust". It is also known as "My Angry Adolescence Divided."[1]

On "m.A.A.d city", Lamar talks about driving down Rosecrans Avenue in Compton, references smoking the PCP-laced blunt that he smoked in "The Art of Peer Pressure," and talks about being fired from his job for a robbery. Lamar also talks about how he saw his uncle being shot at a local burger stand.[2] The song features the violent climatic change in the Good Kid, M.A.A.D City story.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

The song was met with universal acclaim from music critics, praising the production and both rappers' performances.[4][5] XXL called "m.A.A.d city" the album's "creative and cinematic climax."[6] David Amidon of PopMatters praised the songs production saying, it "feels like Dr. Dre's The Chronic had a love child with Chronic 2001.[7] Andrew Nosnitsky of Spin described MC Eiht's appearance as show stealing.[8] Complex named the song number 25 on their list of the 50 best songs of 2012.[9].

Chart performanceEdit

The week of the October 2012 release of Good Kid m.A.A.d city, "m.A.A.d City" debuted at number 94 on the Billboard Hot 100 due to high downloads. For unknown reasons, the track re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 on the week ending September 8, 2013, at number 98.[10] Following Lamar's performance of the song at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, the song re-entered the chart, reaching a new peak of number 75 on the chart.[11]

Live performancesEdit

On March 31, 2013, Lamar closed the Good Kid m.A.A.d City portion of Black Hippy's set, at Paid Dues 2013 with "m.A.A.d city".[12] During his Good Kid m.A.A.d City World tour on July 12, 2013, Lamar performed "m.A.A.d city" in Birmingham, England while backed by a live band.[13] Lamar also performed "m.A.A.d city" and "Money Trees" alongside Jay Rock, at the BET Experience concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.[14] On September 17, 2013, Lamar performed "m.A.A.d city" on The Arsenio Hall Show, along with Schoolboy Q's single "Collard Greens".[15] On January 28, 2014, Lamar performed "m.A.A.d city" on DJ Skee's SKEE Live.[16] Following that, at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, Lamar performed "m.A.A.d city" again, along with a remix to "Radioactive", in a mash-up with American rock band Imagine Dragons.[17] Then on February 15, 2014, Lamar performed "m.A.A.d city" and "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" on national television, during NBA's All-Star Saturday Night.[18] Lamar has performed "M.A.A.D City" at every show on the Damn tour.[19]

N-Word ControversyEdit

At the 2018 Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama, A fan by the name of Delaney was brought up on stage by Lamar to perform m.A.A.d city and used a racial slur which is used several times in the song. Lamar stopped the performance and asked her to censor the word when she sings the lyrics. This controversy was met by a lot of backlash from fans and social media.


The song was sampled for American singer Cassie's debut mixtape RockaByeBaby (2013), on the song "I Know What You Want".[20] The song was also sampled by Dominican rapper Sensato, for his mixtape La Parte 3 Del 28 (2013), on the song "Back in Business".[21]


Chart (2012) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[22] 75
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[23] 24
US Hot Rap Songs (Billboard)[24] 10


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[25] Gold 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Silver 200,000 
United States (RIAA)[27] 2× Platinum 2,000,000 

^shipments figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Kendrick Lamar, 'good kid, m.A.A.d city': Track-By-Track Review | Billboard
  2. ^ "The Narrative Guide To Kendrick Lamar's 'good kid, m.A.A.d city' | NOISEY". Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  3. ^ Rytlewski, Evan (2012-10-30). "Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City | Music | MusicalWork Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  4. ^ "Kendrick Lamar: good kid, m.A.A.d city | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  5. ^ Dan Jackson. "Review: Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city (Interscope)". Archived from the original on 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  6. ^ "Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city - XXL". 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  7. ^ Amidon, David. "Kendrick Lamar: good kid, m.A.A.d. city". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  8. ^ Nosnitsky, Andrew (2012-10-23). "Kendrick Lamar, 'good kid, m.A.A.d City' Review". Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  9. ^ 25. Kendrick Lamar f/ MC Eiht "m.A.A.d city" — The 50 Best Songs of 2012 | Complex
  10. ^ Paul Grein September 11, 2013 4:32 PM (2013-09-11). "Week Ending Sept. 8, 2013. Songs: Race & The R&B Chart - Yahoo Music". Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ HD VIDEO: Kendrick Lamar Performs “m.A.A.d. City” w/ TDE Crew at Paid Dues 2013 | Pt. 5 | ItsTheDaily
  13. ^ Watch: Kendrick Lamar Performs 'm.A.A.d City' With Full Band In Birmingham | Vibe
  14. ^ Kendrick Lamar Performs "m.A.A.d city" & "Money Trees" At BET Experience Concert - XXL
  15. ^ Watch Kendrick Lamar Perform "m.A.A.d city", "Collard Greens" With Schoolboy Q on "Arsenio Hall" | News | Pitchfork
  16. ^
  17. ^ Llacoma, Janice (January 26, 2014). "Kendrick Lamar & Imagine Dragons "m.A.A.d city" & "Radioactive" (2014 GRAMMY Performance)". HipHopDX. Cheri Media Group. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Masley, Ed (July 13, 2017). "Kendrick Lamar launches DAMN. Tour in Glendale with triumphant one-man show of force". AZ Central. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  20. ^ Cassie's I Know What You Want sample of Kendrick Lamar feat. MC Eiht's m.A.A.d City
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  23. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  24. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  25. ^ "Kendrick Lamar "Maad City"". IFPI Denmark. August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  26. ^ "British single certifications – Kendrick Lamar & MC Eiht – Maad City". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 30, 2017.  Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Enter Maad City in the search field and then press Enter.
  27. ^ "American single certifications – Kendrick Lamar – M.A.A.D. City (feat. MC Eiht)". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 13, 2018.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH