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Meaning of ‘Controlla’ by ‘Drake’

Released: 2016

In “Controlla” by Drake, the vibe is all about that intoxicating mix of romance, desire, and a touch of possessiveness, wrapped in a Caribbean beat that gets under your skin. Drake is talking about a connection so strong, he’s willing to go to any lengths for his girl, signaling an all-in dedication to whatever she needs or wants. It’s a dialogue of love, framed by the dancehall influence that Drake has famously woven into his sound.

The song kicks off with Drake acknowledging a shift in his feelings as his significant other arrives, suggesting he’s been eagerly awaiting this moment. The lines “Right, my yiy just changed / You just buzzed the front gate” symbolize a transformation in his emotional state triggered by her presence. When he says “I think I’d lie for you / I think I’d die for you”, Drake is expressing a level of commitment and passion that’s intense—echoing the depth of iconic R&B group Jodeci’s song, “Cry For You”, to emphasize the seriousness of his feelings.

The chorus, “Like controlla, controlla”, utilizes the term ‘controlla’—slang for someone who’s in control—a nod to the dancehall culture that heavily influences this track. It’s as if he’s saying their dynamic is a dance, with each of them taking turns leading, hinting at a balance of power in the relationship. Meanwhile, his lines about not being on a “waste ting” speak to his focus and seriousness about their relationship, contrasting with others who might only be after his wealth.

There’s a switch-up when the song delves into patois, reflecting the authenticity and influence of Caribbean culture in this track. “Gyal a tear off mi garments / And a bawl fi come inna mi apartment, woi” are lines that paint a vivid picture of desire and longing, further emphasizing the physical and emotional intensity Drake feels. And when Beenie Man jumps in with his part, it’s not just a shoutout to the Jamaican dancehall giant but also a blend of cultures and sounds that enrich the song, bringing a real summer vibe to it.

Overall, “Controlla” is Drake laying bare his feelings against a catchy, dancehall-inspired backdrop. It’s about love, desire, and commitment, but also about cultural fusion, showcasing Drake’s ability to blend different influences into his music, making it resonate on multiple levels.

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