Kendrick Lamar 'N95' lyrics meaning explained

13 May 2022, 13:42 | Updated: 16 May 2022, 10:37

Here's a breakdown of the lyrics to 'N95' from Kendrick Lamar's new album 'Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers'

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Kendrick Lamar has finally released his long-awaited fifth studio album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, and fans everywhere are going nuts.

One of the songs that has been blowing up on the internet is track 2 from the project called 'N95'. The title of the song alludes to N95 respirators and face masks.

Kendrick Lamar new album 'Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers': features, tracklist & more

In the song, Lamar can be heard criticising COVID-19 pandemic saying, "You're back outside, yet they still lied" as well as countless other criticisms.

To celebrate the release of his new album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, here's a breakdown of the meanings to the lyrics of track 2 'N95'.

Kendrick Lamar performs on the Coachella Stage during day 3 (Weekend 2) of the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 23, 2017 in Indio, California
Kendrick Lamar performs on the Coachella Stage during day 3 (Weekend 2) of the Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 23, 2017 in Indio, California. Picture: Getty

"Take off the weird-a** jewelry, I'ma take ten steps, then I'm taking off top five"

In this line "I'ma take ten steps", Kendrick is making a reference to the Big Steppers, which is a collective that is featured on his album. When he says "I'm taking off top five", he is calling back to an old verse on the song 'family ties' where he says:

"Smokin' on your top five tonight, tonight, Yeah, I’m smokin' on your, what’s his name, tonight, tonight"

"I've got problems and pools I can swim in my faith"

Here; K. Dot is talking about swimming pools of liquor before immediately following it up with a song about holy water and religion. This also makes reference to his hit single 'Swimming Pools'.

"Homies attracting the feds when I'm bracking, look at my reaction, my pupils on skates (Hold up, hold up)"

"In this line, the Compton rapper is talking about being caught by the police caught selling drugs. When he says "homies attracting the feds when I'm bracking", he's referring to sell crack.

Kendrick Lamar performs during halftime in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 13 2022 in Inglewood, CA
Kendrick Lamar performs during halftime in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 13 2022 in Inglewood, CA. Picture: Getty

What are the full lyrics to Kendrick Lamar's 'N95'?

[Intro]
Hello, new world, all the boys and girls
I got some true stories to tell
You're back outside, but they still lied
Woah-oh-oh-oh (Yeah)

[Verse 1]
Take off the foo-foo, take off the clout chase, take off the Wi-Fi
Take off the money phone, take off the car loan, take off the flex and the white loss
Take off the weird-a** jewelry, I'ma take ten steps, then I'm taking off top five
Take off them fabricate streams and them microwave memes, it's a real world outside (Take that s**t off)
Take off your idols, take off the runway, I take off to Cairo (Take that s**t off)
Take off to Saint-Tropez, five-day stay, take a quarter mill', hell, if I know (Take that s**t off)
Take off the front flag, take off perception, take off the cop with the eye patch (Take that s**t off)
Take off the unloyal, take off the unsure, take off decisions I lack (Take it off)
Take off the fake deep, take off the fake woke, take off the I'm broke, I care (Take it off)
Take off the gossip, take off the new logic, that if I'm rich, I'm rare (Take it off)
Take off the Chanel, take off the Dolce, take off the Birkin bag
(Take it off)
Take all that designer bulls**t off and what do you have?
(B***h)

[Chorus]
Huh, huh, uh, you ugly as f**k (You out of pocket)
Huh, two ATMs (Hah, hah, hah, hah)
You steppin' or what? (You out of pocket, huh)
Who you think they talkin' 'bout?
Talkin' 'bout us (You out of pocket—shoot, shoot, shoot)
Who you think they copy off?
Copy off us (Get back in pocket)

[Verse 2]
The world in a panic, the women is stranded, the men on a run
The prophets abandoned, the Lord take advantage, the market is crashin', the industry wants
N****s and b*****s to sleep in a box while they makin' a mockery followin' us
This ain't Monopoly, watchin' for love, this ain't monogamy, y'all gettin' f***ed
Jumping on what the hell is that? I gotta relax when I feel (Huh, facts)
All of my descendants, they come in my sleep and say I am too real (Huh, facts)
I'm done with the sensitive taking it personal, done with the black and the white, the wrong and the right
You hoping for change and clericals, I know the feelings that came with burial cries (B***h)

[Chorus]
Huh, huh, uh, you ugly as f**k (You out of pocket)
Huh, two ATMs (Hah, hah, hah, hah)
You steppin' or what? (You out of pocket, huh)
Who you think they talkin' 'bout?
Talkin' 'bout us (You out of pocket—shoot, shoot, shoot)
Who you think they copy off?
Copy off us (Get back in pocket)

[Bridge]
Serving up a look, dancing in the drought
Hello to the big stepper, never losing count
Venting in the safe house, venting in the safe house

[Verse 3]
Can I vent all my truth? I got nothing to lose
I've got problems and pools I can swim in my faith
Camera's moving whenever I'm moving, the family suing whatever I make
Murder is stacking, the president acting, the government taxing my funds in the bank
Homies attracting the feds when I'm bracking, look at my reaction, my pupils on skates (Hold up, hold up)
Let's think about this for a second (Let's go)
Tell me what you would do for aesthetic (Let's go)
Would you sell your soul on credit? (Let's go)
Would you sell your bro for leverage? (Let's go)
Where the hypocrites at?
What community feel they the only ones relevant? (Woah)
Where the hypocrites at?
What community field, they the only ones relevant (Woah)

[Bridge]
(Huh, uh, huh)
You outta pocket, yeah, you outta pocket (This s**t hard)
You entertain the mediocre, need to stop it (This s**t hard)
You entertainin' old friends when they toxic (This s**t hard)
What's your life like? Bulls**t and gossip (This s**t hard)

[Outro]
What the f**k is cancel culture, dog?
Say what I want about you n****s, I'm like Oprah, dog
I treat you crackers like I'm Jigga, watch, I own it all
Oh, you worried 'bout a critic? That ain't protocol
(B***h)

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