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What Is Kendrick Lamar ‘Mother I Sober’ Lyrics Meaning?


Kendrick Lamar – Mother I Sober Lyrics Meaning

The meaning of lyrics for ‘Mother I Sober’ by Kendrick Lamar is about his miserable upbringing and his battle with family trauma. He points out the sexual abuse suffered by his mother. Then, the rapper tells the world how he always felt like he would be sexually abused as well. We can also hear Lamar admitting that he was never worried about substance abuse addiction as much as he was worried about lust addiction.

Poetic Kendrick Lamar has coined sexual abuse as “the generational curse” for childhood trauma in the black community. On top of that, he admits to making mistakes as well since he is only human.

Introduction: Mother I Sober Lyrics

The lyrics of the song ‘Mother I Sober’ by Kendrick Lamar reveal how he felt anguish and hopelessness as he opens up about cheating on his fiancée, Whitney Alford. Then, his self-awareness made him feel guilty about it. This made him compare himself to the abuser of his mother. The song then leads to rooting sexual abuse as a major cause of modern culture. Neither we nor our children feel safe in the society we have created.

Only child, me for seven years, everything for Christmas
Family ties, they accused my cousin, “Did he touch you, Kendrick?”
Never lied, but no one believed me when I said “He didn’t”
Frozen moments, still holdin’ on it, hard to trust myself

Lyrics for ‘Mother I Sober’ by Kendrick Lamar

Mother I Sober Lyrics Meaning

Let’s analyze the meaning of the lyrics behind the song ‘Mother I Sober’ by Kendrick Lamar line by line in detail.

‘Mother I Sober’ by Kendrick Lamar is the 17th track in his new album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. The release date of the song is the 13th of May, 2022.

[Verse 1: Kendrick Lamar]

Despite Kendrick Lamar showing the mask of being emotionally strong in his song ‘N95‘, in ‘Mother I Care’, he admits to being sensitive. He feels everything and energy projected by everybody. “karma must return” means that everyone shall get justice out of his/her actions. This is why the rapper tries to dissolve his ego but as we listen to ‘We Cry Together‘, we know he has failed to do so.

“it was family ties” suggests that, in an incident, Kendrick’s family member was violent towards his mother. He feels like he should have grabbed a weapon but he was only five years old at the time. With what he had experienced, he started to seek a connection with nature. He wouldn’t know what therapy is at the age of five! Even if he did, he wouldn’t have the financial measures to afford it as he was so young.

[Chorus; Interlude; Outro: Beth Gibbons; Sam Dew]

Kendrick Lamar views life as an uncertain and confusing puzzle with no solution in sight. This is why Christianity says life is what you make out of it. People lose the sense of themselves in the fear of how someone can harm them. Thus, Beth Gibbons says she wants to be herself without any fear in ‘Mother I Sober’. In the outro, Sam Dew sings he wants to be loved for being himself.

In the interlude, “the generational curse” means the sexual abuse that black children go through which fosters in the form of childhood trauma. Kendrick Lamar opens up about his childhood trauma and looks to heal himself. This is because he doesn’t want her daughter to suffer a toxic family environment of insecurities, pain, grief, daddy issues, etc. that children with men cheating on their wives grow up with.

[Verse 2: Kendrick Lamar]

In the second verse of ‘Mother I Sober’, Kendrick opens up about the community he feels unsafe in. When he was seven, his cousin was accused of touching him. Even when he said he wasn’t touched, no one believed in him. Since no one believed his words, he grew up finding it difficult to trust himself. Even when he was all alone, he was trying to interpret the meaning of being touched. He was confused about it even when he knows he wasn’t touched at all.

[Verse 3: Kendrick Lamar]

In the third verse, the rapper shows his self-control, confidence and insecurity. He progresses the verse to say he was never high, drunk, out of his mind, dependent, intoxicated, etc. Every emotion he had been through, he was sober the whole time. Despite being sober, Kendrick Lamar feels like he is intoxicated by lust as he cheated on his fiancée Whitney Alford. She suggested that he go to therapy since he could not confront the addiction on his own.

One day he asked his mother why didn’t she believe him when he had said that his cousin didn’t touch him. Then, his mother tells him that she was sexually abused in Chicago. In ‘Mother I Sober’, Kendrick Lamar talks about how black women were raped and how the culture was set for black people to rape each other. Then, he behaves like Jesus as he forgives his cousin and the people who abused his mother.

Conclusion: Mother I Sober Meaning

The meaning of ‘Mother I Sober’ by Kendrick Lamar is he is not scared of any addiction but the addiction to lust. At the end of the song, he metaphorically forgives himself and everyone involved in the toxicity through the aim of clarity, dignity, and positivity. Therefore, he forgives everyone intending to shatter the “generational curse.”

What do you think is the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘Mother I Sober’ by Kendrick Lamar? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter @laviasco.

Read the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘Mother I Sober’ by Kendrick Lamar line by line on Genius in detail.


Laviasco is an entertainment website run by a single person, the Admin himself, Mr. Suraj Marahatta, from research to blogging to website maintenance. Here, I have been providing the meaning of the lyrics of the songs little by little since 2019. My goal is to provide authentic sources for the facts and stay up-to-date.

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