Analyzing a Song of Today

| November 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

Let’s be honest, most songs of today are dismissed as generic 2/3-line choruses repeated several times over the course of the song, with some rap and catchy dubstep music to fill up the space. However, are they really? In a quest to give the songs of today a chance to shine and clean up their name, I went on Genius.com (a website I didn’t even know existed until last week), and looked at a song of today to see if they had any deep hidden meaning that maybe we as the audience are missing.

(P.S. For those of you who were like me and didn’t know what Genius.com was, it’s a dope website that analyzes song lyrics and reveals the hidden messages behind songs including cultural and historical contexts and personal details about the singer’s life.)

“Starboy” – The Wkend

This song actually has a fair amount of intelligent cultural references, double entendres, and messages about today’s society than we give credit for. In a nutshell, “Starboy” is about the hedonistic lifestyle of celebrity and how this lifestyle makes a celebrity more fragile and insecure about him/herself. From the beginning, the band starts off with a mixture of dark sarcasm and searching doubt, which gets the listener to start thinking about what we as a media-obsessed audience and as creators of the cutthroat industry that is showbiz have done and how have we gotten ourselves to this point.

Next, he mentions P1, which alludes to the McLaren P1 he drives just to “hurt” us and make us sting with jealously. P1 also alludes to P1 cocaine, which is supposedly really pure. This refers back to the lead singer’s, Abel’s, well known love for cocaine, something that he has referenced in several songs and also mentions again later on in the song. Lastly, at the end of the stanza, he alludes to the fact that most of the people he dates are “out of our league” as well.

Just from the first stanza itself, one can tell that Abel is criticizing what the showbiz industry has become. It’s a materialistic society in which one’s validity comes from who he/she dates, what cars he/she has, and what condo he/she lives in more than anything else, thus making an artist descend into this madness where they’re constantly aiming to get bigger better things in order to seek the attention and approval of others. Even the title of the song itself alludes to this. “Starboy” is a Jamaican term for someone who seems cool or important, thus also representing his Jamaican background in the song.

Therefore, while the lyrics and tune are extremely catchy, and we think that this song, just like every song, is about girls and drugs and cars, if we were to actually listen we would realize that a lot of songs have a lot more meaning than we give them credit for. While yes, this song is about girls and drugs and cars, it’s also about how the celebrity lifestyle makes an artist greedy for more and insecure about his/her image at all times, and about how we as the public crave to see this hedonistic lifestyle and live it vicariously. Ultimately, the goal is to live life bigger and better than everyone else does, and with this song, Abel questions how we got to that state as an industry and as a mass-consuming society.

Now, as an audience, it’s our turn to listen.

Featured Image Credit: Uploaded by Genius Media Group Inc. On Wikimedia Commons

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Maisha Savani

About the Author ()

Hello, my name is Maisha. As an Indian- American, I'm someone who's too Indian to be an American and too American to be Indian. Therefore, in many ways, I'm someone who never really has a home. However, on another note, I'm someone who will ALWAYS find time for TV, and Hollywood and Bollywood movies. Always. Hence, my posts deal with these ideas- cultures clashing, my family, and my love for television.

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