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Meaning of ‘DO BETTER’ by ‘Ab-Soul’ feat. Zacari

Released: 2022 • Features: Zacari

“DO BETTER” by Ab-Soul featuring Zacari is a deep exploration of self-reflection and self-improvement, drenched in metaphysical imagery and anchored in real-world struggles. This lyrical odyssey paints a picture of an artist grappling with his life choices, yearning for spiritual alignment, wrestling with survivor’s guilt, and ultimately seeking to elevate himself above his circumstances and past shortcomings.

The track sets its tone with an eerie yet catchy chorus, “They will always haunt my dreams / The green twins with your eyes,” where Ab-Soul is seemingly haunted by past memories or relationships that keep creeping back, longing for personal growth and mental tranquility. As he repeatedly insists, “Gotta do better,” we get a sense of desperation and urgency, a testament to his aspiration for self-improvement.

Moving into the verses, Ab-Soul gives us a tour de force of introspection, battling his inner demons, and offering an insight into the toll that fame and societal pressures can take on an individual. The classic hip hop trope of self-empowerment is front and center here: “There’s nothin’ they can do that I can’t do better / Better yet, there’s nothin’ I can do that I can’t do better”. But it’s also infused with a spiritual element as he seeks to align with his chakras, and aims to “do what God would do,” painting a picture of a man striving towards spiritual and personal transformation.

However, it’s not all philosophical enlightenment and grand aspirations. Ab-Soul also frankly documents the downsides of his journey. We witness his struggle when he says, “Deep rest, can’t even get out of bed / Too blessed to be so stressed,” bringing realness to the often-misunderstood glamor of fame.

The track also touches on his past life with lines like “My homie still on the block, gettin’ it off the curb” and his survivor’s guilt, showing how he’s juggling his new life with the ghosts of his past. The haunting refrain of ‘green twins with your eyes’ might be a metaphor for the two lives he’s lived – the streetwise hustler and the successful rapper – and how he can’t escape their gaze, no matter how high he climbs.

Zacari’s verse adds a further layer of depth to the song, with the airy and ethereal lines “I’m dyin’, but I’m gone with the wind.” These words could be interpreted as the transience of life and the inevitability of change, encapsulating the essence of his struggles and aspirations – he’s constantly evolving, just like the wind itself.

Ultimately, “DO BETTER” serves as Ab-Soul’s mission statement of self-improvement, a brutally honest admission of his shortcomings, and a poignant exploration of his journey towards harmony and balance. It’s an affirmation that no matter the trials and tribulations, he, like all of us, can strive to do better, to be better.

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