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Meaning of ‘Stay’ by ‘Rihanna’ feat. Mikky Ekko

Released: 2012

“Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko dives deep into the messy complexities of a relationship teetering on the edge. It’s about intense emotions, the desperate need for connection, and the struggle to decide whether to hold on or let go.

In the first verse, Rihanna kicks off with “All along it was a fever, a cold sweat, hot-headed believer.” She’s comparing her emotions to a fever—intense and consuming. When she sings *”I threw my hands in the air,”* it signals a moment of surrender and desperation. The guy responds cryptically, asking her to come closer, adding to the uncertainty and emotional roundabout.

As we dive into the pre-chorus, *”Round and around, and around, and around we go,”* Rihanna captures the repetitive, cyclical nature of their relationship. The line *”Not really sure how to feel about it”* points to the ambivalence and emotional confusion. She’s caught in the whirlwind of his actions, reflected in *”Something in the way you move makes me feel like I can’t live without you,”* showing the powerful, almost debilitating effect he has on her.

The chorus serves as a desperate plea: *”I want you to stay.”* It’s straightforward yet loaded with longing. Rihanna conveys that despite the turmoil, she deeply desires the relationship to continue.

Mikky Ekko’s verse brings another layer: *”It’s not much of a life you’re living. It’s not just something you take, it’s given.”* He’s highlighting the emptiness of living without true love and mutual effort. This verse again stresses the cyclical and indecisive nature of their relationship, reflecting both pain and persistence.

Ekko’s contribution in *”Ooh, the reason I hold on, ’cause I need this hole gone,”* reveals his emotional reliance on her to fill a void. When he sings *”Funny you’re the broken one but I’m the only one who needed saving,”* he’s flipping the script, showing both have their own struggles but each feels reliant on the other for salvation.

Returning to the pre-chorus and chorus, Rihanna continues to depict the emotional turmoil and dependency. *”Something in the way you move makes me feel like I can’t live without you,”* marks the conflict between wanting freedom and needing the relationship. The repetition of *”I want you to stay”* emphasizes just how deeply she’s entrenched in this emotional battle.

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