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Meaning of ‘Murder on My Mind’ by ‘YNW Melly’

Released: 2018

“Murder on My Mind” by YNW Melly dives deep into the psyche of a young man entangled in a violent lifestyle, struggling with the repercussions of his actions and the reality of his environment. It’s a raw look at the inner turmoil that comes with living a life on the edge, underscored by a haunting melodic hook that sticks with you long after the song ends.

The song kicks off with Melly caught up in the mundane—trying to catch a moment to himself in the studio, only to be reminded of the harsh realities of his life. The lyrics, “I ain’t get to roll no weed, I ain’t get to roll no Swishers. I was locked up on Christmas, ain’t get to see my niggas,” convey a sense of isolation and deprivation, illustrating how even simple freedoms are stripped away in jail. The reference to “Swishers” is a nod to a popular brand of cigars often used to roll marijuana, hinting at his longing for escape.

The chorus, heavy with mentions of firearms like “AK-47’s, MAC-11, Glocks, and .9s,” symbolizes the tools of the trade in a life consumed by violence and retaliation. “I got murder on my mind” reveals Melly’s constant battle with thoughts of killing, which he sees as a necessary evil to survive within his environment.

There’s a turning point in the story when Melly describes an accidental shooting that leads to an unexpected death. The imagery of “Yellow tape around his body, it’s a fucking homicide” paints a vivid picture of the crime scene. This is followed by a confession-like verse where the victim, in his final moments, reaches out to Melly, who chillingly tells him, “It’s too late, my friend, it’s time to say goodbye.” This interaction showcases the harsh reality of gun violence and the permanence of death, shaking the listener with the raw emotion and guilt carried by the perpetrator.

Throughout the song, Melly alternates between flaunting his tough exterior and revealing his vulnerability, especially when he mentions using drugs like Molly and promethazine to cope with his morning ritual of waking up with “murder on my mind.” This cycle of violence, regret, and substance use highlights the complexities of Melly’s life and the difficult emotions he navigates daily.

In the closing lines, Melly reaffirms his identity in the world he’s encapsulated in, “Young Nigga World, bitch,” signifying a sense of belonging to a larger group that shares his struggles and lifestyle. It’s both a declaration of solidarity and a grim reminder of the cycle that continues to ensnare young lives in communities ravaged by violence and loss.

“Murder on My Mind” is not just a portrayal of YNW Melly’s personal demons and experiences; it’s a mirror to the tragic realities faced by many young people caught in the crossfire of their circumstances. The song manages to weave a tale of regret, violence, and the search for redemption in a world that often seems devoid of it.

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