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Meaning of ‘Doorman’ by ‘slowthai’ feat. Mura Masa

Released: 2019

Features: Mura Masa

“Doorman” by slowthai, featuring Mura Masa, is a dramatic exploration of the British punk and grime scene viewed through the eyes of a working class youth desperately trying to navigate the chaos. The lyrics consist of a series of fragmented images and scenarios, evoking the stark divide between the rich and the poor, the constant fog of substance abuse, and the disillusionment of being an outsider within a culture of excess.

The first few lines introduce a woman, “She’s a 10 plus 10, not enough,” suggesting she’s out of his league. The “mixed messages” and “wires crossed,” speak to a dysfunctional relationship – she’s a sophisticated upper-class girl with “minted” parents living in Mayfair, while he’s a blue-collar lad juggling a nicotine addiction. The lines “Blocked me on your private finsta / your godmother should come play with us” broadens this class and culture conflict, and shows the disconnect between their two worlds. “Finsta” is a private, secondary Instagram account usually reserved for close friends.

The chorus, “Doorman, let me in the door,” personifies the struggle for acceptance and the need to belong. It implies slowthai’s desire to gain access to a world currently off-limits to him. This disparity is underscored by the follow-up lines “Spent all my money, you ain’t getting no more wages / Sure Sir, Sir, are you sure? / In short, I’m not a mop you can drag ‘cross the floor.” Here, slowthai is illuminating the precarious nature of his socio-economic status, asserting his dignity and challenging the underestimation of people from his background.

The lyrics “Beer goggles on, pull the wool, now I’m blind” and “You smooth like felt, soft to the touch / You were repellent, smell your scent from up above” evoke the intoxicating allure of this high-class environment and the girl he’s infatuated with, but simultaneously underline the repulsion and alienation he feels being part of it. He is warning himself not to be fooled by the superficial charm.

“Cubicle lines, catch a cold, Jack Frost” introduces the theme of drug use, likely a reference to cocaine – a luxury item often associated with wealthier circles. The repeated lines “Nicotine, can’t quit it” symbolize slowthai’s personal struggles with addiction, which are all too common in his socio-economic sphere.

Overall, slowthai’s “Doorman” is a raw, gritty take on class struggle, addiction, and the desire to belong, underscored by an underlying despair and disillusionment inherent in a world divided by social class.

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