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Meaning of the song ‘all of me’ by ’21 Savage’

Released: 2024

“All of Me” by 21 Savage is a soul-searching introspection of his experiences navigating through the grit of street life while also surveying the landscape of fame and wealth that his music career has ushered him into. The recurring themes throughout the song revolve around trust issues, the weight of past memories, violence, and the constant struggle of authenticity versus survival amidst threats and jealous onlookers.

The opening lines of the song are a conscious play on words, where 21 Savage illustrates his faith in his dreams and aspirations while also introducing a shooter, a reference to a hired gun or enforcer, who’s “pescatarian”; commonly a diet that includes seafood but refrains from other meats. In this case, it’s a metaphor for someone who may not incite violence but won’t hesitate to engage if “beef” or conflict arises.

Lines like “I stand on business, dot my I’s and cross my T’s” show Savage’s disciplined approach to his hustle, making sure nothing escapes his notice. However, this vigilance doesn’t spare him from painful history reminiscences, as he refers to “lil’ pictures” and “memories in my head” as remnants of his lost comrades (G’s or homeboys).

A poignant message is communicated when Savage asks listeners to “Put your phone light in the air if you done lost a nigga”, transforming a ubiquitous concert tradition into a tribute to those who have lost their lives in violence. The notion that he has “kept it solid” without having to “cross a nigga” underlines his code of ethics – he’s remained loyal, honest, and genuine, without resorting to betrayal to achieve success.

The Glocks “with extensions like a sew-in”, and cars “with BBL’s and body kits” are metaphorical trophies of his achieved wealth and power, but they are also symbols of the violence and status symbols prevalent in Savage’s life and community. Lines like “Claim you a killer, but you still ain’t got a body yet” and “How you that nigga when you can’t go where you grew up at?” emphasize Savage’s skepticism towards those who claim status without having proven themselves or maintain authenticity.

The chorus, which repeats throughout the song, oscillates between his previous challenges and his current status – between the beef and conflicts, the tributes to lost friends, the financial bag he’s secured, and the bitter taste of betrayal. These cyclical elements create a narrative arc that tells a broader story of Savage’s life, struggles, accomplishments, and vexations.

In the final segment, Savage discloses the harsh reality of social media era mentality, where people “Kill you for some clout and they’ll do anything for motion”, signifying the desolation people will go to for fame and recognition. He also warns against letting a woman come between friends, metaphorically expressed in the lines “We can’t let no bitch say that she the one who broke us”.

Overall, “All of Me” by 21 Savage is an exploration into his complex life experiences and his reaction to them, displaying raw vulnerability balanced with fierce determination and an unwavering adherence to his street-acquired principles.

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