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Meaning of ‘Stars’ by ‘JID’ feat. Yasiin Bey

Released: 2022 • Features: Yasiin Bey

“Stars” by JID feat. Yasiin Bey is a stage-by-stage tour of the artist’s struggles, dreams, and the realities of fame, exploring the tensions between artistic integrity, survival instinct, and the trappings of stardom. Anchored by Yasiin Bey’s profound social critique, JID vividly captures the struggle to climb the success ladder while still maintaining one’s authenticity and commitment to artistry.

The song opens with JID seeking validation and support from a significant other while he’s on the grind to make it big. A line that stands out, “Don’t be tryna play me, I’m an artist, baby, I’m an artist,” demonstrates JID’s inner need to be taken seriously in his pursuit of music and his raw vulnerability about his craft. He drops the names of designer brands “Dolce and Gabbana” indicating his desire to provide finer things once he achieves success.

He continues to detail his ambition as he says, “I been tryna make it at my hardest, makin’ it a promise,” which signifies his unwavering commitment to his dream. The line, “I just gotta make it to the stars, a spaceship or a rocket” embellishes his aspiration to reach for the “stars,” a metaphor for achieving peak fame and success.

However, midway through the track, JID begins to unveil the perils of fame and success. In verse two, “You don’t even believe in Jesus wearin’ Christian Dior” points out the hypocrisy of pursuing materialistic trappings like designer clothes, while neglecting spiritual beliefs. The mention of “P-O-W-E-R” going to the head alludes to the intoxication of fame and how it can lead to self-destruction.

JID also mentions aspiring to be like iconic hip-hop figures such as Jay-Z, Kanye, Wayne, and Andre 3K, which speaks to the influence and admiration he has for these artists. The Beyoncé and song reference “Can you pay my telephone bills?” is a nod to Destiny’s Child and the struggles artists face in their early pursuit of their career.

The last verse is a socially charged commentary by Yasiin Bey, which provides a scathing critique on consumerism, power structures, and the dichotomy between real and fake in the industry. His line “The palace as the prison, retail religion, Red carpet constriction, freedom as the fiction” underscores the trappings of fame, the confining nature of success, and how consumerism is often viewed as the new religion.

Overall, “Stars” offers a candid perspective on the journey to stardom, balancing dreams and the harsh realities of fame. From ambition, sacrifice, the grind to the top, to the disillusionment settling in once you reach the “Stars,” every bar in this song is laced with deep introspection, self-reflection, and sharp social critique.

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