Everybody loves using curse words. I know for a fact that everyone felt a small, little twinge of rebellion when they said “shit” or “damn” or even “fuck” (Sorry, Mom) for the first time. At least, that’s what it felt like for me when I said my first curse word (hell).
It’s now become a bad habit when I’m angry, but I’ve gotten better at reigning it in, especially when it comes to my road-rage. I don’t curse out other drivers who almost run me off the road anymore. Instead, I sing-song, “I hope you get a ticket!” That’s at least nicer than calling them mean names.
Anyway, what I’m trying to get at here is that sometimes curse words, or explicit language isn’t needed. Most times when it’s used in writing it’s used to make a specific point or to shock readers to understand the specific point because of the explicit language.
But in Gnash’s “I Hate You, I Love You,” the radio edit of the song is so much better because of the editing out of his uses of the words “fuck” and “fucking” and “shit” and etcetera (Triple sorry, Mom). You want to know why I think this (of course you do, you’re here reading this)? Because the actual lyrics with the explicit language throws off the flow of the music.
Now, the explicit language only occurs in the verses, so we’ll only be looking at the lyrics of verse 2 and 3 because that’s where most of the editing takes place.
Let’s take a look at the lyrics. Explicit version words will be highlighted in red or blue or whatever color I choose. You’ll see.
I miss you when I can’t sleep
Or right after coffee
Or right when I can’t eat
I miss you in my front seat
Still got sand in my sweaters
From nights we don’t remember
Do you miss me like I miss you?
Messed/Fucked around and got attached to you
Friends can break your heart too,
And I’m always tired but never of you
If I pulled a you on you, you wouldn’t like that shit
I put this reel out, but you wouldn’t bite that shit
I type a text but then I never mind that shit
I got these feelings but you never mind that shit
Oh oh, keep it on the low
You’re still in love with me but your friends don’t know
If you wanted me you would just say so
And if I were you, I would never let me go
Okay. So. The first instance is where Gnash is singing, “Fucked around and got attached to you,” which the radio edits to “Messed around.” I think either way here is fine because essentially they both mean the same thing, but also it doesn’t mess up the groove.
Second instance he’s singing, “If I pulled a you on you, you wouldn’t like that shit…bite that shit…mind that shit,” and I get it, I do, but since Gnash is essentially rapping here, the radio edit cutting out the “shit” in each line is smart not just for keeping it clean on the air, but because it doesn’t let the words blur together and make it feel like there’s no space to breathe in these lyrics. I don’t know much about rapping so I have no authority when saying this, but I think it’s clear that everyone can hear how the shit just blends the lines together. When you listen to the music and lyrics of the explicit version, the “shit” runs into the next line every single time, and I’m just wondering how Gnash is even breathing here. Seriously. How are you breathing, bro?
But basically, the use of “shit” in these lines is honestly not needed. He honestly just sounds like a middle schooler who recently started cursing and is trying to find any excuse to use this “adult” language. Trust me, I was that middle schooler. Even if my “adult” word was “hell”.
Moving on to verse 3!
I don’t mean no harm
I just miss you on my arm
Wedding bells were just alarms
Caution tape around my heart
You ever wonder what we could have been?
You said you wouldn’t and you fucking did
Lie to me, lie with me, get your fucking fix
Now all my drinks and all my feelings are all fucking mixed
Always missing people that I shouldn’t be missing
Sometimes you gotta burn some bridges just to create some distance
I know that I control my thoughts and I should stop reminiscing
But I learned from my dad that it’s good to have feelings
When love and trust are gone
I guess this is moving on
Everyone I do right does me wrong
So every lonely night I sing this song
Now, Gnash sounds like he’s escalated from learning and using the word “shit” to “fucking” (Sorry, Mom), and he’s super excited to use it as often as possible.
BUT. Gnash doesn’t need it! Go listen to radio edit of the song. Here.
It sounds so much cleaner without the explicit words, and I’d even argue it sounds like Gnash can breathe. Because the words aren’t getting squished together with not enough music. Because that’s what it sounds like with the use of “fucking” (Sorry, Mom), like Gnash has too much to say but is running out of time, or music, to say his piece.
Okay. That’s basically all I had to say this week. Every time I hear this song, I constantly think of this, and I’m glad it’s finally off my chest. Other than that, I really like this song.
Also, when this song was being played more last semester, the person on the radio said this song completely and accurately represents their relationship to donuts. WHICH IS SO TRUE.
So here, have a picture of a donut, and sing this song next time you hear this song:
Excuse me while I go find the nearest donut store.
Peace, music nerds!