Skip to main content

Kendrick Lamar's “Swimming Pools (Drank)” Beat Was Originally a Demo for Trey Songz

"He went back and he came up with everything, the whole ‘Po' up, drank’—all those ideas."
Kendrick Lamar "Swimming Pools (Drank)" Single

Kendrick Lamar's "Swimming Pools (Drank)" was the first single off his major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, his first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 (the song would peak at No. 17) and the first RIAA certification (Gold) of his esteemed career. 

And none of that would have happened if Trey Songz decided to hold onto the T-Minus-produced beat.

"A lot of people don’t know this but that record started off as a demo for Trey Songz," T-Minus revealed to DJBooth writer Andy James for Beat Break. "It's such a long story, but I had made a beat for Trey Songz and it ended up getting placed on another record. So they wanted a replacement beat. I put together a new beat that might fit what they were looking for and I sent it to them. They were reluctant. They were like, ‘Nah, this is not exactly what we’re looking for.’ I said, ‘Alright. Cool!’"

Scroll to Continue

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

5-Albums-Header--11-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Selections include BIG30, Baby Tate, Kenny Mason, Show Dem Camp, and EKKSTACY.

am-world-top10-sept-16x9@2x

10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now

Our latest selections include Jay Fizzle, Goldenboy Countup, Sampa The Great, Philly Goats, and Pretty V.

Header--23-

How EKKSTACY Beat Writer’s Block to Make His Best Album

Pop anti-hero EKKSTACY finds his aggressive voice on his new album, 'misery.' He breaks down his journey through writer's block for Audiomack World.

According to the Canadian hitmaker, sometime after the release of Section.80 and before TDE announced Kendrick's signing to Interscope, longtime A&R executive Manny Smith invited T-Minus to a studio session with Lamar.  

"I played him a couple tracks. ‘Swimming Pools’ was one of them and he took it," T-Minus said. "He went back and he came up with everything, the whole ‘Po' up, drank’—all those ideas."

As for the breakdown at the end, that was a late addition: "They just asked me to do a switch up so I thought it would be dope to take it another direction. A lot of people hardly ever hear that version because the single version is usually the one that’s out." 

The backstory behind the "Swimming Pools (Drank)" beat is the latest in a long line of Beat Break production origin reveals, including Travis Scott's "Drugs You Should Try It" originally being created for Big Sean, Bobby Shmurda's "Hot N*gga" originally being created for Meek Mill, and Future's "Codeine Crazy" originally being created for Nicki Minaj.

You can read our full-length Beat Break interview with T-Minus here

Related

Header--23-

How EKKSTACY Beat Writer’s Block to Make His Best Album

Pop anti-hero EKKSTACY finds his aggressive voice on his new album, 'misery.' He breaks down his journey through writer's block for Audiomack World.

Best-of-the-Week-Header--12-

5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Press play on new releases from GloRilla, Black Sherif, Protoje, Bella Shmurda, and Armani Caesar — available for stream on Audiomack.

Header--22-

Exploring Young Jonn’s Reinvention

Producer-turned-singer Young Jonn made a career of hits for African artists, now he's taking center stage. He breaks down his career journey for Audiomack.

5-Albums-Header--10-

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

BigWalkDog, CKay, D-Block Europe, Nailah Blackman, and Muni Long all released new albums you need to hear.

Best-of-the-Week-Header--11-

5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Press play on new tunes from Wizkid, G Herbo, Ayra Starr, Kaash Paige, and Ayoni.

Header--21-

yvngxchris Went From Recording on Earbuds to Viral Star

Rapper yvngxchris started off making songs on iPhone earbuds. Now, he's signed and constantly going viral.