I hate talking about dating, so here are 5 albums that do a perfect job explaining things for me.
Mariah the Scientist
On MASTER, Mariah the Scientist not only reflects on a past relationship, but also analyzes herself and her past lover. She discusses possible reasons for the relationship’s ending, lingering effects that the relationship has on her, and the difficulty that comes with dating again while recovering from a breakup. I personally relate to this album because not only did I experience the struggle of dating again after a breakup, but I had to overcome any remnants of said relationship that affected me in any way. This album verified to me that sometimes it’s hard to let go of relationships, when reflecting you realize that there was a lot of sour that overpowers the sweet. The overall concept of this album is that just the idea of a relationship- or a person can become your master. But it happens, many of us can admit we’ve fallen victim to this same scenario- or at least I will.
On this album, the 3 songs I resonate with the most were:
1. Note to Self
“I’ve always been, s-e-l-f d-e-s-t-r-u-c-t-i-v-e , can’t you tell?
And they talking ’bout love, what is it?
Didn’t know it existed, now they telling me it’s within myself”
Note to Self is the first song off the album, and in my opinion, it’s the most important. While Mariah states she’s unsure of what love is, she learns that she first has to love herself. Her lack of self-love could very much be the reason for her self-destructive behavior. After all, how can you love someone when you’re not even positive if it exists, nor are you positive on how to love yourself?
2. Note to You
In Note to You, Mariah explains how she was betrayed, and wishes to no longer keep in contact with the individual. The song begins with the line “Why you never call me? F-ck it, please don’t ever call me.”, emphasizing one of the album’s themes of the struggle of getting over a person, but also realizing that this person may not be good for you. At first, she questions why this individual never calls her, but then realizes that she doesn’t want them to call her. This theme ends up appearing at the end of the song as she finishes off with the line “But if I’m never coming home to you, why do I still contemplate picking up the phone when I know you used to dub me?”. Again, she acknowledges that the relationship has reached its demise, but still yearns for that person to still want her. Even though before this person realized she wanted to start making music, they saw no value in her and used to reject her. And when she said that, boy did I feel it.
“Every candlelight dinner, date night liquor, late-night visit; reminds me of a killer, reminds me I should kill him.
Every jazz band, holding hands could I have this dance?; reminds me of a bad man. Every home decor and hardware store, reminds me more of blood on your marble floors. Bittersweet defeat…”
Reminders is hands down my favorite song on the album, and is also relatable. In this song, she explains the effects the relationship has on her mentally. In the lyrics cited above that come from the song’s chorus, certain things trigger different memories of her last relationship. While rendezvous of all sort remind her of dating- which reminds her of her past lover, live music and dancing with her partner remind her of a bad man. Even something as simple as just a hardware store reminds her of the stage in the relationship where they progressed to moving in together, as well as the possible disagreements they got into as a couple.
When I listen to this album, I feel as though I am listening to someone who is not only acknowledges their personal issues that may prevented their past relationships from being successful, but also being upfront with themselves and their partners about what they want. At the time of the album’s release, Summer Walker was in a relationship (a relationship she’s still in), so the concept of being in love also peeks through on some tracks as well. The reason I fell in love with this album the first time I heard it is because I felt like I was listening to myself. I also feel that I want to at times want to focus on myself, and even when it comes to dating, I’m not asking for much either. Maybe I am over it- just like the title says.
The songs on this album that stick out to me the most are:
1. Over It
“Am I really that much to handle? Breakin’ these [redacted] down like enamel (Oh)
Yet I’m ready to blow you out like a candle Can I really just blow you out like a candle?”
As the first song and first line of the album- I feel like the quote above let me know from the beginning I would be feeling ATTACKEDDDD by this album. I oftentimes feel like maybe I am the problem sometimes when it comes to dating- which is okay because nobody’s perfect. But when she talks about her ways that could be too aggressive for whoever she’s dealing with. She’s ready to let go of that person, but can she? Saying you’re done with someone and you’re over it (see what I did there?) is easy, but acting on that epiphany is almost always hard.
2. Playing Games
I can’t even pick a specific quote from this song to sum the song and myself up because it’s just THAT relatable. In this song Summer explains how she’s not asking for trips to Paris or the Gucci Store, she just wants acknowledgment and attention. Similar to Destiny’s Child’s Say My Name- which this song contains a sample of, all she’s asking is for the man to literally and metaphorically “say her name” if he really wants her like he claims. When Summer said “All I ever asked was you to pick up the phone when you alone. All I ever asked was you to show me some love, kisses and hugs….Never wanted you to stay too long, just wanted you to show me off” I. FELT. THAT. I am not currently looking for a relationship so the last part of the quote isn’t that relatable, but other than that I felt her 100%. I don’t require anything material as of right now, but all I ask is that if you claim to want me- be there.
This song is very short and sweet so I won’t really go into detail but basically in this song Summer claims she’s refocusing her energy. She’s focusing less on men, and more on herself. And um… same.
The Divine Feminine
I can’t even figure out where to start when it comes to my interpretation of this album, but I’ll start with my reason for including it on this list. I want love to make me feel like this album- and if you’ve ever given this album a listen you’ll know exactly what I mean. In an i-D interview, Mac Miller explains how he played the album for his friend and a girl he was with. As the album progressed, they were drawn closer to each other, as they began listening while standing on opposite sides of the room. “That’s exactly what I want — for people to lose themselves in the emotion, to take that ride. I want people to put on the record and it’s a date in itself. I want people to love to this record and realize they can love to it.”, he explained. As a listener to this album, I feel like I’m getting a birds-eye view of the perfect love story.
When it comes to this album, the songs that I feel the most attached to are:
1. Dang! (Feat. Anderson .Paak)
This song starts with Anderson .Paak on the chorus singing the lines “I can’t keep on losin’ you over complications. Gone too soon, wait!” Ironically, the chorus was initially written about losing a loved one to death, but in this song’s context it’s coming from the dating angle. This song is about wanting someone back after messing up, and boy do I know how that feels. Another line from this song that stuck with me comes from the first verse where Mac says “I know I ain’t a saint, if it ain’t too late, well
(I can’t keep on losin’ you). Don’t run away so fast. Know my heart like gold, but it break like glass…”. I also pride myself in being a kind-hearted person and many times that can lead to sensitivity. So yes, even though I do make mistakes just like everyone else, I try to at least keep the purest of intentions.
Coincidentally, Stay follows Dang! on the album’s tracklist. Quality time is a love language of mine, and while I’m not big on material things (similar to what I mentioned when talking about Summer Walker’s Over It), just being in someone’s presence is very important to me. If I had to pick a quote from this song to appreciate, It would be “Imma go crazy, girl, you save me, meditate me, give me peace of mind“. Because wow. Just imagine someone being there for you and simply taking the time to stay with you giving you peace of mind.
Parked Car Convos
In an interview with DJ Booth discussing Parked Car Convos, Kaash Paige explains “In a parked car conversation, you talk about everything… stuff with your friends, stuff with your boo. It’s either deep and intimate, or real goofy. When I made my EP, it was just stuff I was talking about on the daily: females, smoking gas, traveling the world, hanging out. The EP was describing my everyday life in the car, with somebody, just being real.” I relate to this album because while dating is one of the main themes of this album, I remember when I was the same age as Kaash Paige when she released this project- an 18-year-old just trying to figure things out. On this album, Kaash just puts all her thoughts out there, when it comes to friends, the city she grew up in, and of course- love.
The most relatable songs on this album are:
First of all, when I heard Kaash Paige start this song off by saying “I’m always in my feelings” I knew it would be something. While I do feel like the overall album is relatable to me, I feel like this song just describes dating culture as a whole. I’m not sure if this is just prevalent in my age group, but when having discussions about dating with friends, we talk about how many of us are mostly interested in just exploring our options and not really looking for commitment. In this song, Kaash acknowledges her flaws and even admits to her cheating nature. She even acknowledges the fact that her partner is more emotionally affected by her behavior than her, but chooses to stay. The song lyric “I’m just bad for the soul, and you know I’m not sh-t, ‘Cause I’m selfish and it is what it is” catches the essence of the song perfectly.
“Ask her what her sign is, and she say, “Dollar signs,” (oh, yeah)
I’m really tryna make you mine but I don’t have the time for that”
The title WMT stands for “waste my time”, and on this track, Kaash discusses how she feels her beginning to thrive is causing more people to be “attracted” to her. Although she may have strong feelings for someone she can’t pursue them because well, her career is thriving. I’m no Kaash Paige, but I can definitely understand wanting to be interested in someone or wanting to exclusively date, but also focusing on bettering your life and/or focusing on your future.
I couldn’t create this post without bringing up this album. Most people who are close to me know and understand how close I hold this album to my heart because it did and still does help me put relationships into perspective. CTRL is an album about love, self-worth, and then some. While tackling these topics, SZA is doing exactly what the album title says and is taking control of these situations and her life. I admire the work SZA has done on this album because this isn’t just her singing words, she revealed that she’s singing about real-life experiences. While I won’t go into complete detail about this album, I’ll just say I HIGHLY recommend any 20-something-year-old women give this album a listen.
While it’s borderline impossible to pick the most relevant songs on this album without having to do track-by-track review, here are the two songs I feel stick out the most to me for right now:
1. Love Galore (feat. Travis Scott)
“I dust off these [redacted], I do it for fun.
Don’t take it personal. Personally, I’m surprised you called me after the things I said”
Just like SZA admits on this songs, I too- be wildinnnn. And just like she explains in her Genius interview where she discusses this song, I too- do not argue. So when I DO reach the point where I’m willing to argue, it’s definitely over. With that being said, moving on is very easy, because I’ll say it for the last time (at least in this post) I’m not looking for a relationship anyway. Another important line in this song is “Why you bother me when you know you don’t want me?” because what.is.the.point. While according to the woman herself, this song is essentially about being played but also getting over it and taking control (I did it again, see?) of the situation. Because like she said- why bother if you already know what you want and don’t want? Bye.
2. 20 Something
“God bless these twenty-somethings”
In this song, SZA puts all her cards on the table, which makes it the perfect ending for the album. Not only does she say that she wishes she had someone who she had a previous fall out with still here with her, but she also hopes that she can keep her friends and her sanity. I know I’m not the only 20-something year old who feels like they have absolutely no idea what’s going on right now. Like SZA I’m also “praying these twenty-somethings don’t kill me” (figuratively of course). Regardless, I’m very hopeful in my 20’s and I know things will fall into place. Like the famous quote says- tough times don’t last- tough people do.