"Swimming Pools (Drank)"
Single by Kendrick Lamar
from the album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
B-side "Remixes" (12")
Released July 31, 2012 (2012-07-31)
Recorded 2012
Genre Hip hop
  • 4:07 (single version)
  • 5:13 (extended version)
Producer(s) T-Minus
Kendrick Lamar singles chronology
"The Recipe"
"Swimming Pools (Drank)"
"Fuckin' Problems"
Music video
"Swimming Pools (Drank)" on YouTube
Music sample
A sample of the song, the line before the chorus says Kendrick takes a few sips then a very inebriated man says he needs to "Get a swimming pool full of liquor and dive in it".

"Swimming Pools (Drank)" is a song by American hip hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar. It was released on July 31, 2012 as the lead single (second overall) from his major-label debut studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city (2012), by Top Dawg, Aftermath and Interscope. The song was written by Lamar and Tyler "T-Minus" Williams, the latter of whom also produced the song. The song, mixed by Dr. Dre and Top Dawg's engineer Derek "MixedbyAli" Ali, propelled Lamar to mainstream popularity. The song peaked at number 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100, in its thirteenth week of charting, after gradually climbing up the chart. It debuted on the Hot 100 at number 100 and progressed from number 55 and 32 to its peak. "Swimming Pools (Drank)" also serves as Lamar's first entry on the UK Singles Chart, where it debuted at number 63.

A music video was released to accompany the song in August 2012. It was featured in the 2014 re-release of the game Grand Theft Auto V on the radio station "Radio Los Santos" and a Season 10 episode of Grey's Anatomy which aired in 2013. On January 26, 2013, Lamar performed the song on Saturday Night Live, as well as his third single "Poetic Justice".[1] The music video was nominated for Best Male Video and Best Hip-Hop Video at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The song was later nominated for Best Rap Performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. The song was also featured in Saints Row IV.



The single is an introspective regarding Lamar's family and social life, alcoholism, and the peer pressure which accompanies it amongst his friends. In the first verse, he remembers his grandfather's drinking and resulting death,[2] and the reasons that led Lamar himself to drinking.[3] The desire from the perspective of his peers, is the social pressure pressed upon him to "get a swimming pool full of liquor" and then "dive in it". At the second verse, Lamar, now drunk, is conversing with his own subconscious, which is attempting to warn him of "drown[ing] in some poison". By the final verse of the song, Lamar is accepting his fate that he believes he will "probably sleep and never ever wake up".

The extended album version of the track features an interlude and a skit that expands on the concept story of the album. Now drunk and eager to impress his peers, he thinks once more of the album's love interest, Sherane, before detailing a shoot-out between Lamar's friends and their gang rivals, in which his friend's brother is shot and killed. "Swimming Pools (Drank)" is the album's lead single and the follow-up to Lamar's debut single "The Recipe".

Critical receptionEdit

The song garnered acclaim from music critics upon its release. Rolling Stone ranked the song the 34th best of 2012.[4] XXL named it one of the top five hip hop songs of 2012.[5]

Commercial performanceEdit

In its first week of release the song debuted at number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained within the chart for another week, but two weeks later re-entered the Hot 100 and climbed up each week, progressing from the top 90 to number 81, 71 and 61. In its tenth week, "Swimming Pools (Drank)" climbed up to number 55 and the following week entered the top 40 of the Hot 100 at number 32, moving up to 25 and peaking at number 17. On the UK Singles Chart the song entered at number 63, remaining in the top 100 for one week. The song is Lamar's second highest-charting solo single on the Billboard Hot 100 behind HUMBLE. which debuted and peaked at number two (though his features on "Fuckin' Problems" and "Bad Blood" reached the top 10 in the United States) and on the UK Singles Chart.[6]

Music videoEdit

The music video, directed by Jerome D, premiered August 3, 2012 on 106 & Park. A review by the magazine Rolling Stone shared a summary of the video stating: "In his new video for 'Swimming Pools (Drank),' Kendrick Lamar defies gravity, floating and tumbling in suspended space as liquor bottles fly upwards and smash into the ceiling. The rapper gets introspective on a woozy beat, considering the highs and lows of alcohol consumption and the sense of confidence it bestows upon the drinker. Lamar spends most of the video rapping alone, but color-filtered shots of a booze-soaked rager poke through the more contemplative scenes."

Track listingEdit

Digital single
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Swimming Pools (Drank)" T-Minus 4:07
good kid, m.A.A.d city
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
9. "Swimming Pools (Drank)" (Extended Version)
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Nikhil Seetharam
  • Tyler Williams
T-Minus 5:13
17. "Swimming Pools (Drank)" (Main Version)
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Nikhil Seetharam
  • Tyler Williams
T-Minus 4:07
19. "Swimming Pools (Drank)" (Black Hippy Remix) T-Minus 5:14


The official remix featuring his Black Hippy cohorts – Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q – was included as a bonus track on the Target Deluxe edition of good kid, m.A.A.d city.[7] On 14 March 2013 producer Dev Hynes uploaded a reinterpreted rendition of the track by English R&B group, Mutya Keisha Siobhan to his official SoundCloud page. The track, entitled 'Lay Down in Swimming Pools', features an interpolation of the original Lamar song. Hynes later commented saying "Just finished recording new music with Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan, And the girls felt like having a bit of fun at the end of the last session – enjoy!!"[8]

Charts and certificationsEdit

Release historyEdit

Country Date Format Label
  United States July 31, 2012[28] Digital download
  United Kingdom September 30, 2012


  1. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Performs On Saturday Night Live (Video)". 2DopeBoyz. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Lamar, Kendrick (3 October 2012). "My Favorite Things, Part II". RapGenius. Retrieved 14 January 2013. ...playing on the word swimming pool. him drowning in a pool of liquor in Chicago 
  3. ^ Lamar, Kendrick (5 August 2012). "My Favorite Things, Part II". RapGenius. Retrieved 14 January 2013. This song is about me reminiscing about my years a kid witnessing a housing that indulged adults in alcohol. So much alcohol that it could fill a swimming pool. 
  4. ^ "Kendrick Lamar, 'Swimming Pools (Drank)'". Rolling Stone. 
  5. ^ "XXL Lists The Best Hip-Hop Songs And Albums Of The Last 40 Years – XXL Issue 152". XXL Mag. 
  6. ^ "Kendrick Lamar - Swimming Pools (Drank) on acharts.us". acharts.us. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  7. ^ HipHopDX (20 December 2012). "The Most Important Freestyles Of 2012". HipHopDX. 
  8. ^ Lewis Corner. "Mutya Keisha Siobhan release Kendrick Lamar cover - listen". Digital Spy. 
  9. ^ http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/23790/20130219-1428/Issue1197.pdf
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)" (in French). Ultratip.
  12. ^ "Kendrick Lamar – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Kendrick Lamar.
  13. ^ "Lescharts.com – Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)" (in French). Les classement single.
  14. ^ "Archive Chart: 2013-03-30" UK Singles Chart.
  15. ^ "Archive Chart: 2012-10-13" UK R&B Chart.
  16. ^ "Kendrick Lamar – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Kendrick Lamar.
  17. ^ "Kendrick Lamar – Chart history" Billboard Adult R&B Songs for Kendrick Lamar.
  18. ^ "Kendrick Lamar – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Kendrick Lamar.
  19. ^ "Kendrick Lamar – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rap Songs for Kendrick Lamar.
  20. ^ "Kendrick Lamar – Chart history" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Kendrick Lamar.
  21. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - November 05, 2015". http://www.riaa.com.  External link in |work= (help)
  22. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - 2012 Year End Charts". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  23. ^ "Rap Songs - 2012 Year End Charts". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  24. ^ "80-61 Hottest 100 - 2012 triple j". abc.net.au. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 
  25. ^ "Best of 2013 - Hot 100 Songs". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  26. ^ "2013 Year End Charts — R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  27. ^ "2013 Year End Charts — Rap Songs". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 13, 2013. 
  28. ^ iTunes.com. Retrieved July 31, 2012.

External linksEdit