Lyrical Analysis: “Falling Back” by Drake

The lyrics can be found here.  Here is the song:

As “Falling Back” ends, Drake repeats the phrase “Falling Back on…” 23 times. What is so intriguing about this is how it provides an experience of over-abundance-and-indulgence, 23-times in-a-row. It is novel to experience anything that many times in succession, but a melody makes the experience immediately-accessible. As a singer/songwriter, if Drake is trying to create empathy for the anxiety of not making the right decision when he has so many options, a practical way to create this empathy is to experience what is heard for the second-half of the song.

This is a metaphoric and ideological repetition, 23 times. Drake also features 23 brides in the music video, so regardless intention, it is almost as if each line represents a different betrayal or relationship. It is easy to hear this, as with each repeated phrase, the song also builds in vulnerability and emotion; the literal words and meaning become abstract — it’s more about the overall sound.

In the metaphor (and literal reality) of having too many potential true loves and not wanting to choose the wrong one, there is a real fear and hurt communicated, particularly with Drake’s use of falsetto. With the first-half of “Falling Back” about self-reflection and introspection, it is easy for the cathartic journey of this song to inspire deep emotional truth: even tears.

The Prescience Of The Present

The path time has taken is ultimately the path existence has chosen as its own-way forward: the “choices” of its own unfolding time-line. As it is the one and only way forward, it is sacred and fact — this is the path time has taken.

This path is made from a seemingly-infinite amount of moving parts and mechanisms; all making their own choices (whether consciously or instinctual).

As human beings with conscious awareness, our minds easily question which direction our dreams, desires and internal truths take us. Irregardless the vast nature of existence and the passage of time throughout, each individual and every individual choice play impacting roles in time’s overall procession.

Time becomes a concrete formation of a series of directional choices. While the future is unknown, the past is cast in stone. This process occurs during the present and one’s present is a omnidirectional-sphere of choice and possibility. However, in the present, we are always in the midst of a cemented decision becoming the past in real-time.

Aforementioned and common knowledge: the future is a question. However, the choices, instincts and feelings which lead to whatever the future manifests into — these are very possible to embrace and align with.

For us day-to-day, this translates into an appreciation for the true quality of every moment. This appreciation creates a vision for the true scope of our present reality. Now, with lucidity, we are tuned into what is really around us and the true range of futures which exist in every instance.

Upon this achievement, one transcends passenger-like behavior to become the creator and curator of their vision: in the process, they become truly aligned with the present moment (which is far grander than the individual). When the future happens, one processes it as a continuation of their ever-present vibration rather than any sort of obstruction; Waves become something to ride rather than flee. Part of this is because there is an obtained-understanding for why the path of time forms how it does, regardless direction.

It is quite a contrast when obtaining an embraced empathy of the present moment ultimately tunes one into the frequency of existence: feeling those feelings which drive the macro-collective-future; feeling a sense of direction for WHY the present is headed rather than WHERE the present is headed. Whether on a path in the woods or through the window of the present-moment, a sense-of-direction allows the same prescience.

Even beyond technical feats of conscious awareness, the most beautiful and lovely aspect of all-this is how time is a truth. The past is etched in stone and our futures arrive in the form of a very-real present moment. Embracing this present to-a-point of embracing every possibility the future may bring is filled with genuine love and harmony. In aligning with the truth of the present moment, we are aligning with truth as a concept. We are becoming one-with that which is real and in-front-of-us: this epiphany in-truth is an alignment to a higher power.

Lyrical Analysis: “Accordion” by Madvillain (Doom + Madlib)

The lyrics can be found here.  Here is the official music video:

Daniel Dumile channels various traits of his personality into several characters.  One character, Viktor Vaughn, embraces a youthful, ambitious side of Dumile.  Another, King Geedorah, represents a colossal alien who commentates on humanity from an objective view-point.  On 2004’s Madvillainy LP, Dumile teamed with Madlib to create a character known to many as “Madvillain” (also referred to as “The Villain”/”Villain” on the recording), and it is in this character why so many have flocked to Dumile’s provocative flow.

In the opening statement of Madvillainy, “Accordion”, we have a chance to meet Madvillain — or at least, we hear a testament to his greatness.  What differentiates Dumile’s braggadocio from his contemporaries is in the nature of said testimony.  The opening narration, “Living off borrowed time the clock tick faster” is entirely detached from the rest of the verse.  The line vaguely contemplates upon the notion of time before sparking inspiration from an observer of said narration.  This is the masked man who tells the tales of the legendary Madvillain — MF DOOM.

Think of MF DOOM, in the context of “Accordion”, as a street poet or preacher upon a soapbox, dazzling the audience with hyperbole-ridden tales of a legend (Madvillain) whom is not even physically present (and indeed, artistically, Dumile literally hides “Madvillain” behind MF DOOM’s mask).  The very next line which follows the opening narration is spoken matter-of-factly, responding to the omniscient narration, as if one was reading a newspaper and remarking indifferently: “that’ll be the hour they knock the sick blaster“.

This line, as soon seen, starts a stream-of-consciousness description of Madvillain as a character.  The reason why this lyricism inspires such originality and thought within the listener is because Daniel Dumile is not the one boasting about Madvillain (at least, directly).  Instead, what Dumile does is create a third-person narrative, using what amounts to a street preacher (MF DOOM) to describe a main character (Madvillain) which personifies certain elements of a real personality (Daniel Dumile).

While “Accordion” is riddled with interpretive poetry, arguably four of the strongest lines are found in the following verse:

Keep your glory gold and glitter
For half, half of his n***** will take him out the picture
The other half is rich and it don’t mean s***-a
Villain a mixture of both with a twist of liquor

In these four lines, Dumile, as MF DOOM, describes Madvillain as someone who is unaffected by promises of monetary gain and illusionary, ‘glittering’ successes.  In the second and third lines, we learn of his rationality for this mindset.  While these lines strike hard just for the discussed content, the final line pulls together the reason why the audience is so captivated by “Accordion”.  “Villain a mixture of both…” is self-loathing and self-inspiring all at once, admitting that Madvillain, as a character (and thus, part of Daniel Dumile), embraces both extremes — “with a twist of liquor”.

While “MF DOOM” is telling of the “Madvillain” character/legend, the fourth line (“Villain a mixture…“) carries the same sort of off-handedness which follows up “Living off borrowed time…” — the opening line of the song.  This alludes a light-hearted glimpse into the actual character of “MF DOOM” (the street-corner poet/preacher), indirectly suggesting the characters within the world of “Madvillainy” see themselves as Madvillain.  Therefore, they view him in a heroic light, and not with the same villainous bent as most of the populous.

See Genius’ entry on “Accordion” for a line-by-line interpretation.