A.D.H.D (Kendrick Lamar song)

song by Kendrick Lamar

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Song by Kendrick Lamar
from the album Section.80
ReleasedJuly 11, 2011 (2011-07-11)
LabelTop Dawg
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Mark Spears
Music video
"A.D.H.D" on YouTube

"A.D.H.D" is a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar from his debut studio album, Section.80 (2011). The song was produced by frequent collaborator and Top Dawg in-house producer Sounwave, of Digi+Phonics.

Background and theme

The song's name is refers to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It addresses the high drug and medication tolerance of people born during the 1980s,[2] who are referred to as "crack babies" in the song due to the crack epidemic that was notable during that period. Gabrielle Domanski of the Canadian music magazine exclaim! called it a "lethargic, drug-infused track."[3]

Critical reception

"A.D.H.D" received critical acclaim from music critics upon release. In his review, Pitchfork's Jordan Sargent wrote "There's the Based God's paranoia, Drake's singing/rapping fluidity, the soothing synthscapes of Wiz's mixtapes, and, of course, an obsession with drugs." He noted its simplicity, but added that "Lamar's individuality and skill as a rapper shine through" the song.[4] Complex named "A.D.H.D" the 13th best song of 2011. The magazine wrote that "it captures the mood of today's lonely, drugged-out youth who seem more interested in Bay Area Kush and Purple Label tags than anything else."[5] The song was also featured in Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack station in Radio Los Santos. The song was nominated to the 2013 Spike Video Game Awards for Best Song in a Game.[6]

In his 2012 review of Lamar's second album, Dan Jackson of cmj.com called "A.D.H.D" Lamar's best song prior to the release of Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.[7] In 2013, San Antonio Current wrote that "A.D.H.D", and the album's lead single "HiiiPoWeR", were hits that put Lamar into the national spotlight in 2011.[8] In 2014, NPR writer Eric Ducker called "A.D.H.D" one of Lamar's three best songs.[1] In 2018, Billboard ranked the song number eight on their list of the 20 greatest Kendrick Lamar songs,[9] and in 2021, Rolling Stone ranked the song number six on their list of the 50 greatest Kendrick Lamar songs.[10]

Music video

The music video for the song was released on August 24, 2011. It shows Lamar with his friends "cruising through a bodega and an empty office, and it gets over on pure kids-having-fun atmosphere."[11] He said about the music video: "I wanted the video to illustrate the emotion he paints with words, while avoiding gratuitous shots of any substance. Despite the song's title and content, the focus isn't the drugs, but rather, that basic human experience of apathetic youth. That simple mood of emptiness which we choose to either address or self-medicate."[12] The video was directed by Vashtie Kola (Va$htie), who wrote: Inspired by "A.D.H.D."s dark beat and melancholy lyrics which explore a generation in conflict, we find Kendrick Lamar in a video that illustrates the songs universal and age-old theme of apathetic youth. Shot in New York City during the sweltering July Summer heat, "A.D.H.D" is the third video to be released from Kendrick Lamar's debut album Section.80. As of August 2021, the video has 77 million views on YouTube.[13]

Live performances

Lamar performed the song live on October 23, 2011 at CMJ[14] and on November 11 at a Sneaker Pimps event,[15] both in New York City. Lamar performed the song again on July 20, 2014 at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. exclaim! writer Stephen Carlick wrote that it was "a perfect reminder that Kendrick Lamar was Kendrick Lamar before he became a Good Kid, and that the man who would be king is now firmly seated in the throne."[16]


Chart (2012) Peak
US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles (Billboard)[17] 8


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold 500,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b Ducker, Eric (July 23, 2014). "A Rational Conversation: The Sound Of TDE's Success". NPR. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  2. ^ Velez, Brian (May 11, 2012). "Lavernapalooza raps up semester". Campus Times. University of La Verne. Archived from the original on December 10, 2014. Retrieved December 5, 2014. He then performed “A.D.H.D.,” a song about the generation born in the 1980s and its fascination with legal and illegal drugs.
  3. ^ Domanski, Gabrielle (August 25, 2011). "Kendrick Lamar "A.D.H.D." (video)". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on December 5, 2014. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  4. ^ Sargent, Jordan (July 14, 2011). "Kendrick Lamar "A.D.H.D."". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  5. ^ "The 25 Best Songs of 2011". Complex. December 30, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  6. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (December 7, 2013). "Spike VGX 2013 Award winners: Grand Theft Auto 5 wins Game of the Year". VG24/7. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  7. ^ Jackson, Dan (October 31, 2012). "Review: Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d. (Interscope, 2012)". cmj.com. Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2014. ...his best pre-GKMC track was called “A.D.H.D."...
  8. ^ Courtney, James (June 11, 2013). "Kendrick Lamar Brings His Talented Friends to Our Neck of the Woods". San Antonio Current. Retrieved December 5, 2014.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ Alysse, Bianca (February 5, 2018). "Kendrick Lamar's 20 Best Songs: Critic's Picks". Billboard. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  10. ^ "The 50 Greatest Kendrick Lamar Songs". Rolling Stone. November 1, 2021. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  11. ^ Breihan, Tom (August 24, 2011). "Kendrick Lamar – "A.D.H.D." Video". Stereogum. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  12. ^ "Life + Times Video Premiere: Kendrick Lamar's "A.D.H.D."". Life + Times. August 24, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  13. ^ Top Dawg Entertainment (August 24, 2011). "Kendrick Lamar - A.D.H.D (Official Video)". Retrieved June 13, 2020 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ "Kendrick Lamar: "A.D.H.D." & "Ronald Reagan Era" (Live At CMJ) (Video)". prefixmag.com. October 24, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  15. ^ "Kendrick Lamar: "ADHD" F. ASAP Rocky (Live In NYC) (Video)". prefixmag.com. November 12, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  16. ^ Carlick, Stephen (July 21, 2014). "Kendrick Lamar Green Stage, Union Park, Chicago IL, July 20". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on September 2, 2014. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  17. ^ "Kendrick Lamar – Chart History: Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  18. ^ "British single certifications – Kendrick Lamar – A.D.H.D". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  19. ^ "American single certifications – Kendrick Lamar – A.D.H.D". Recording Industry Association of America.
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