Breakout hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar recently spoke to Life + Times’ Decoded about the first verse of his song “Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst.”

Lamar noted, “That’s one of my favorite verses on the album. It’s an obvious true story. It hits home, as far as the past members of tragic situations that happened in my life. That one particular situation is my homeboy getting smoked while I’m right there, and I’m being the last one right there just seeing him take his last. [The verse is] his brother being irrevocable, a street cat, and him just thanking me for being right there, and wishing that he could’ve found a passion in something – maybe music, maybe sports – but [it’s] him recognizing the fact and truth that he was already in too deep.”

Lamar continued, “The craziest part about that verse – and in real life – [is] him saying, ‘If something happens to me before your album drops, just make sure you mention and tell this story in a positive light,’ and that’s exactly what I did and he definitely passed, too. That’s why that’s one of the final songs on the album – out of 12 songs, that’s closer to the bottom because when the reality check really hit, a lot people know Kendrick Lamar for who I am today, but for me to think [of] what I had to do to come from a dark space, and that was the turning point right there.”

Check out the complete interview below: