Stepping into the melancholic narratives bricked into the hip-hop landscape, Post Malone’s “Better Now” reveals an emotional recounting of a splintered love, a dislocated heart, feeling the aftermath of a broken relationship. The track hinges on the universal feeling of post-heartbreak rebuttal, nostalgia, and acceptance, showcasing Post’s penchant for twisting everyday emotions into compelling songcraft.
Let’s kick things off with the chorus, which recurs several times and acts as the thematic backbone of the track. “You prolly think that you are better now, better now / You only say that ’cause I’m not around, not around,” Post sings, throwing light on the age-old flip of “it’s not you, it’s me.” He’s playing with the idea that his ex is only saying they’re better off because he’s no longer in the picture. But Post flips the script when he reciprocates the sentiment: “I only say that ’cause you’re not around.” This back-and-forth becomes the song’s delicate emotional seesaw.
Next, Post delves into the depth of his past relationship in the first verse, expressing disbelief at its end. The line “Everything came second to the Benzo,” references his prioritization of success and wealth bringing about the fallout. The mention of not speaking to friends and knowing all his uncles and aunts echoes the close-knit relationship they once had.
Post then uses a symbolic image of 20 candles being blown out. This could allude to younger times, celebration, innocence, and the vulnerability of opening their eyes to the future, a future they were looking forward to sharing. The mention of a picture once beside the bed, now discarded in a dresser, encapsulates the essence of their relationship that was once cherished, now neglected.
In referencing Jonas Brothers with “And I’m rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ / With my brothers like it’s Jonas, Jonas,” Post tries to distract himself from the pain of heartbreak by hanging out with his crew and living the fast life, the hip-hop way.
The second verse carries on the narrative of heartbreak. A situation that many people can relate to – seeing an ex with another person. While he acts cool, saying the new dude seems “pretty cool,” he exposes his emotional turmoil when he admits he’s “broken” over her. A testament of his matured perspective, he knows life goes on, but candidly questions what it’s going to take for him to truly move on.
“Better Now” asserts a recurring motif of retrospection, with lyrics such as “I keep on looking back on better days,” which harkens back to the chorus. Even as his life has changed dramatically – symbolized through the “foreign” cars and “bigger chain” – he finds himself habituated to revisiting the aspects of life before fame, before breakdowns.
The outro of the song holds a desperate promise, “I promise, I swear to you, I’ll be okay / You’re only the love of my life.” It’s as if he’s trying to reassure himself of his post-relationship stability while ironically commenting on the significant role she played in his life. It’s gut-wrenching, raw, and real.
In conclusion, “Better Now” is an unfiltered exploration of Post Malone’s intricate relationship dynamics, a ride along the rugged terrains of fame, and the emotional sacrifices that come with it. From its expressive chorus, introspective verses to a hit-home outro, the track mirrors the vulnerability common in Post’s discography, solidifying his prominent status in the hip-hop scene as a reputable storyteller. It’s a song that leaves a bitter taste, the kind that Post has such a knack for, steeped in sentiment and dripping with a melancholy relatable to anyone who has tasted the sting of lost love. And that, my friends, is the power of hip-hop.