Maybe cause I'm a dreamer and sleep is the cousin of death

from Kendrick Lamar – Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Kendrick wonders if his aspirations are the cause of his fixation with death. He also creates a metaphor playing off the connection sleep, dreaming and death have with one another.

A reference to the 1994 Nas track “NY State of Mind.” Kendrick is playing with danger “being a dreamer” (metaphorically sleeping), since, like Nas said, “sleep is the cousin of death”

The lines about Kendrick the dreamer being halfway between life and death reveal something interesting. There’s 5 people on this track — two are dead before the song (Dave’s brother and Keisha’s sister) two are alive at least during the song (though Dave gets shot at the end of his verse) and the fifth, Kendrick, is halfway between life and death.

Next level conceptual shit.

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