Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Little Bit

During my pretty down period this past winter my Drake (the Canadian rapper) intake went pretty up. Drake's monotone, Xanax in song form, type of music fit my mood a lot back then. In the process I listened to a few songs that struck me as interesting.

One such Drake song I wanted to talk about was his remix of Little Bit. Little Bit was originally a track by Swedish folk/indie singer Lykke Li. Drake sampled/remixed it for his 2009 mixtape, So Far Gone (not to be mistaken with his EP of the same name, although every song on the EP is on the mixtape).

The Original

The original version is about the narrator developing feelings for somebody and them being absolutely terrified of it because they're unsure of how the other person feels. Throw in the fear of getting hurt (presumably again) and the fear of making a big commitment for good measure. Worst of all, those feelings just keep getting stronger. Go listen to it. It's cute and fun.

The Remix

So for this Drake remix I view it as being kind of a duet. The parts of Lykke Li still left in are meant to represent the girl Drake is talking to in this song. Lyrics courtesy of Genius.

Hands down, I'm too proud for love
But with eyes shut, it's you I'm thinkin' of
But how we move from A to B, it can't be up to me

First let's look at the first verse in the song. The first two bars are Lykke Li's and Drake takes over and adds in his own lines.

I personally interpret Lykke Li's parts as her telling Drake that she's too proud to say she wants to be in a relationship. But in spite of that he's always on her mind. Drake then comes in saying that if they want to move into the next stage of their relationship, he can't be the one to initiate that move.

Cause you don't know, who I was before you
And basically to see a change in me
I'd be losing, so I just ignore you, yeah
Oh, but you're on my mind
(My mind, my mind, my mind, my mind)
Oh, but maybe in time (in time, in time, in time)

I'll tell you I'm—

Reason being that he himself realizes that he's a bit different from his usual/old self when he's with her. He feels like he's losing a part of himself in the process and instead of confronting/accepting that change he prefers to push her away and keep what he knows intact. Although try as he might, she still remains on her mind. Always. To the point where he actually starts thinking that might one day be able to say...

A little bit, a little bit
A little bit in love with you
I guess that I'm a little bit, a little bit

A little bit in love with you

...that he loves her, if only for a little bit.
Looking at this chorus as a listener in 2018 is interesting because the most famous lyric in one of Drake's newer songs God's Plain goes like this...

Well it's not quite "a little bit" but close enough I guess :P. Hidden within several layers of early Drake songs are hints of the troubled relationship-haver that we'd all come to know/expect from Drake in the years since the So Far Gone mixtape dropped. Later in this song we'll see more.

I know you told me break their hearts
But it's you I wanna take apart
And I will never ever be the first, to say it

But still I, they know I—

Verse two starts with Drake reaffirming that he's incapable of making the first move even though it's obvious for all to see.

I would do it, push a button
Pull a trigger, climb a mountain
Jump off a cliff, cause you're my baby
I love you, love you, a little bit
I would do it, you would say it
You would mean it, we could do it

It was you and I and only I—

But then she admits that she has feelings for him. Feelings that are strong enough to climb mountains and jump off of cliffs. But it's evident that she has trouble telling him her feelings to in spite of that. I just think all of the things that troubled her in the original song are just as true here too.

I think I'm a little bit, little bit
A little bit in love with you
But only if you're a little bit

Little bit in love with me

This chorus is performed by Lykke Li this time and in the context of the original it's about how she thinks she loves the guy but she's not sure if he loves her back. Leading to her being terrified of potentially being hurt by him. I think that works just as well here since it'd make total sense for the girl in this relationship with Drake to be confused. He does have strong feelings but he's too stubborn to communicate properly. That's one of the tidbits about the Drake presented to us in his music that we'll see over and over in years to come BTW. The common theme in the failed relationships he talks about in his songs is that both he and his partner suck at communicating with each other.

I hope they never find out
What they already know, know, know
As soon as it's official
We'll have to let it go, go, go
So we don't confirm the fling

Keep avoiding all the questions

And here we have the third verse performed by Drake.
The first part of the verse is about him being afraid of people finding out about his relationship with her. I suppose that could potentially mean they're having an affair but personally I choose to believe that the couple aren't adulterers and instead they're both just really terrified of people finding out they like eachother. Because once that happens he'll have to deal with questions and comments from friends and family like "so have you asked her out?" or "you two would be really cute together". So his solution is to just say nothing ever happened.

You could teach me many things

I'm just scared to learn a lesson

This part of the verse is my favorite because it finally gets at the real root of Drake's problems. The part before about him afraid of losing himself just makes Drake seem like a stubborn dick. But here we see that beneath that, he's terrified of getting hurt too. He's insecure because he's scared to death of the relationship going badly and teaching him a painful lesson in romance. So he'd rather play it cool and say he just won't make the first move. Even if that's also painful to him in another way.

The pressure's on, both hearts beat like a metronome
Both in sync like a Justin song

Feels so right but it's just, so wrong

More pressure and stress piles up on Drake. He's so close to making a move and confessing, but something is still holding him back. By this point both the girl and guy are equally nervous and yet they feel glimpses of being happy together. The song just keeps building from here.

I wonder where my world 'bout

When n***** that I know tryna take my girl out

It finally starts to reach a boiling point when Drake finds that his friends are making moves on the girl while he just stands pat.

And her friends say I ain't the one to go for

She just jealous cause you always get approached more

But what really puts Drake over the edge (at least from the way this song is structured) is how he's aware that the girl's friends all say that he's not the one she should interested in.

Oh, well—tell her fall back
Caught up in some more shit, tell her call back
Tell her get a man that ain't cheatin on her ass

Wit a girl that I know, yeah tell her all, that, that

I get the feeling that this is where Drake snaps because he just unloads on the girl's friend(s?) and tells his crush to flat out ignore them before mocking the friend's own failing relationship (and inadvertently saying they have no right to butt into other people's relationships).

And as for you, I think I know you're the one

The closest I've come, I'm probably—

By the end Drake finally comes clean and says that he thinks he knows that the girl is the one. The one he can say he loves.

A little bit, a little bit
A little bit in love with you
I guess that I'm a little bit, a little bit

A little bit in love with you

A little bit.

The end.

Woof, on one hand I really like the way Drake reworked the song in a way to work as a duet and have the guy's perspective. Drake breaks out of his shell and is express his feelings at the end after a surge of emotions. Character development in a song. I love it (concept wise)!

Drake circa 2009

On the other hand, the way Drake acts like a dick to the girl's friend(s) strikes me as a sign that this relationship won't end too well for them. From my own experience, having a girlfriend with best friends who talk shit about you will not turn out too well. That said, I'll admit that I've been the type of dick Drake presents himself to be here. The one who doesn't want their significant other's friends to butt in when they're in no position to talk because those friends don't have the best relationships either. The fact that I knew where he was coming from kind of made me realize that I need to really reflect on where I've gone wrong too. But I'll be 100% honest and say that yes, I've been there before. It's not a fun place to be.

All the same, the way Drake acts there is a pretty telling sign that he probably isn't the best guy for the girl. It took him all of the stress in the world for him to finally break and be honest about his feelings for once. His own friends made moves on his crush and yet thing that pushed him over the top was her friends calling him a bad love interest. Bad habits die hard, so I'm going to assume that both the guy and girl will continue to both send and receive mixed messages when they start going out. So then when things start to go bad, they'll continue to get worse until the two eventually break up. Likely hurting both in the process. A part of me also wants to think that this is the same girl Drake drunk dials to talk shit about her new boyfriend.

Drake circa 2018

So yeah, this remix is a fun(?) little expansion of the original to me. It builds upon the premise of a girl being scarred of making the first move to both the girl and guy being afraid of making the first move, to then showing that this has the makings of a doomed relationship from the start.

It struck a chord with me at the end and hit closer to home than most Drake songs do, I'll have to really reflect and ponder what that says about me.

So yeah. It was fun to look back on 2009 Drake. I really miss when he used to rap like he does here. With energy and a fast paced flow that contrasts awkwardly with his monotone voice. This song is all about Drake being frustrated but really unsure about anything, that works well with the tension between the energy fueling Drake and his low tone and varying deliveries.

As a song I like it. One of my favorite Drake tracks since this is him when he actually tries lol.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care.

Ha, get it? Take Care.


  1. That was more than I thought I'd ever look at the lyrics to any Drake song. As a guy who is surrounded by 150+ middle school students who love his music... I'll listen to it. I actually have Moment for Life (w/ Nikki Minaj) on my main Spotify playlists.

    1. 2,000+ words about Drake is something I never thought I'd do, but here I am lol. He's pretty inconsistent because for some songs he does put in the effort to make them good in various ways (both overt and subtle). His more popular songs are the ones that don't so... :P.

    2. Unfortunately... I pretty much only know the popular songs.