"How Much a Dollar Cost" as written by Ronald Isley, R. Mckinney, Josef Leimberg, James Fauntleroy, Terrace Martin and Kendrick Lamar Duckworth....
How much a dollar really cost?
The question is detrimental, paralyzin' my thoughts
Parasites in my stomach keep me with a gut feeling, y'all
Gotta see how I’m chillin' once I park this luxury car
Hopping out feeling big as Mutombo
Twenty on pump six dirty Marcellus called me Dumbo
Twenty years ago, can't forget
Now I can lend 'em a ear or two how to stack these residuals
Tenfold, the liberal concept of what men'll do
Twenty on six, he didn't hear me
Indigenous African only spoke Zulu
My American tongue was slurry
Walked out the gas station
A homeless man with a silly tan complexion
Asked me for ten grand
Stressin' about dry land
Deep water, powder blue skies that crack open
A piece of crack that he wanted, I knew he was smokin'
He begged and pleaded
Asked me to feed him twice, I didn't believe it
Told him, beat it
Contributin' money just for his pipe, I couldn't see it
He said, my son, temptation is one thing that I've defeated
Listen to me, I want a single bill from you
Nothin' less, nothin' more
I told him I ain't have it and closed my door
Tell me how much a dollar cost

It's more to feed your mind
Water, sun and love, the one you love
All you need, the air you breathe

He's starin' at me in disbelief
My temper is buildin', he's starin' at me, I grab my key
He's starin' at me, I started the car and tried to leave
And somethin' told me to keep it in park until I could see
A reason why he was mad at a stranger like I was supposed to save him
Like I'm the reason he's homeless and askin' me for a favor
He's starin' at me, his eyes followed me with no laser
He's starin' at me, I notice that his stare is contagious
'Cause now I'm starin' back at him, feelin' some type of disrespect
If I could throw a bat at him, it'd be aimin' at his neck
I never understood someone beggin' for goods
Askin' for handouts, takin' it if they could
And this particular person just had it down pat
Starin' at me for the longest until he finally asked
Have you ever opened to Exodus 14?
A humble man is all that we ever need
Tell me how much a dollar cost

It's more to feed your mind
Water, sun and love, the one you love
All you need, the air you breathe

Guilt trippin' and feelin' resentment
I never met a transient that demanded attention
They got me frustrated, indecisive and power trippin'
Sour emotions got me lookin' at the universe different
I should distance myself, I should keep it relentless
My selfishness is what got me here, who the fuck I'm kiddin'?
So I'ma tell you like I told the last bum, crumbs and pennies
I need all of mines, and I recognize this type of panhandlin' all the time
I got better judgement, I know when nigga's hustlin'
Keep in mind, when I was strugglin', I did compromise
Now I comprehend, I smell grandpa's old medicine
Reekin' from your skin, moonshine and gin
Nigga your babblin', your words ain't flatterin', I'm imaginin'
Denzel be lookin' at O'Neal
'Cause now I'm in sad thrills, your gimmick is mediocre, the jig is up
I seen you from a mile away losin' focus
And I'm insensitive, and I lack empathy
You looked at me and said, your potential is bittersweet
I looked at him and said, every nickel is mines to keep
He looked at me and said, know the truth, it'll set you free
You're lookin' at the Messiah, the son of Jehova, the higher power
The choir that spoke the word, the Holy Spirit, the nerve
Of Nazareth, and I'll tell you just how much a dollar cost
The price of having a spot in Heaven, embrace your loss, I am God

I wash my hands, I said my grace, what more do you want from me?
Tears of a clown, guess I'm not all what is meant to be
Shades of grey will never change if I condone
Turn this page, help me change, so right my wrongs

Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher

"How Much a Dollar Cost" as written by Kendrick Duckworth James Edward Fauntleroy Ii

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, THE ROYALTY NETWORK INC., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, MISSING LINK MUSIC

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How Much a Dollar Cost song meanings
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    General CommentAnalysis

    In the first verse we see Kendrick is pondering on this idea of “how much a dollar cost.” He says “”The question is detrimental, paralyzin' my thoughts
    Parasites in my stomach keep me with a gut feeling.” Kendrick is referring parasites to his sins and stomach to his soul. His sins are feeding off of his soul and he can feel it. He tells us this story of him running into a homeless man at a gas station. This homeless man asks for a ten rand, which is South African currency. Ten Rand is worth about 1 dollar. But Kendrick does not trust this man fearing that he will spend the money on drugs. The homeless man then goes to say “My son, temptation is one thing that I've defeated. Listen to me, I want a single bill from you. Nothin' less, nothin' more.” Here we can compare the homeless man to Jesus after he says “temptation is one thing that I’ve defeated.” Kendrick still refuses to give this man a dollar ending the verse with how much a dollar cost. Now we can understand the question a little more. See a dollar has a different value to every one. To Kendrick a dollar is nothing but to this homeless man a dollar is substantially more.

    In verse 2 we mostly see Kendrick continue his story about the homeless man. The homeless man is just staring at Kendrick as he is getting ready to leave. Kendrick becomes angry at this homeless man because he doesn’t understand how he can beg for goods. But then the homeless man says “have you ever opened up Exodus 14? A humble man is all we ever need.” Exodus 14 tells the story of Moses leading his fellow Israelites through the red sea. See Moses was an unlikely, humble leader to these scared and confused Israelites. This is why he says “a humble man is we ever need.” All it takes is one humble man to lead a group of people into righteousness. This verse is again ended by the question “How much a dollar cost” but this time it is coming from the homeless man. He is asking Kendrick if his greediness or selfishness for this dollar is worth him getting denied to righteousness or Heaven.

    In the third and final verse of the song, Kendrick finishes his story with this homeless man. Kendrick realizes that he is in the wrong. But he refuses to admit it so he starts to come up with reasons why the old man does not deserve the dollar. He says “I need all of mines, and I recognize this type of panhandlin' all the time
    I got better judgement, I know when n***** hustlin'.” Kendrick is saying that him being selfish is the reason why he is rich so why should he give the man a dollar. They then get into an argument. “You looked at me and said, "Your potential is bittersweet" I looked at him and said, "Every nickel is mines to keep."” The homeless man is saying that kendricks potential is spoiled by his greed. And then the homeless man reveals himself to be God. He also answers kendricks question “How much a dollar really cost?” which is his spot in Heaven. You see in Matthew 19:24, Jesus says “ And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Kendricks greed is the reason he loses his spot in Heaven.

    In the hook we hear James Fauntleroy say, “It's more to feed your mind. Water, sun and love, the one you love. All you need, the air you breathe” We can infer that this is God sharing his wisdom. He is saying that all you need are the things God gave everyone. Everything else is just a distraction.
    jessemcpon May 22, 2015   Link

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