“Changes” by XXXTENTACION is a heart-wrenching ballad filled with raw emotion and undiluted angst. The track dissects the complexities of a relationship spiraling downwards, painting a somber picture of emotional turmoil stirred by a lover’s unsettling metamorphosis.
The song’s hook and chorus are entirely repetitive, mirroring the cyclical nature of toxic relationships. Every line of the chorus, “Mmm, baby I don’t understand this / You’re changing, I can’t stand it / My heart can’t take this damage / And the way I feel, can’t stand it,” underlines a sense of confusion, resentment, and agony. The repetition serves as a desperate echoing plea, a yearning for understanding why this change is happening.
While the hook focuses on the physical toll of love gone south, underlining the heart’s ‘damage,’ the chorus shifts gears towards the mental impact, surrendering to a feeling one ‘can’t stand.’ This clever coupling of physical and emotional distress creates a layered narrative that further amplifies the song’s poignancy.
There’s no disparity between the artist singing the song and the story in the lyrics – XXXTENTACION bears his soul in his performance, making the listener feel his profound despair. His mournful vocals echo an undeniable pain resonating with anyone who’s ever been blindsided by a sudden shift in a loved one’s behavior.
The song’s midpoint brings a slight switch-up with the line “Girl, you’re making it hard for me”, repeated three times for impact. It signifies a certain confrontation, a moment where the artist finally expresses his sorrow openly to his lover. There’s vulnerability in this confession, as well as a plea for empathy, further expanding the emotional depth of the track.
As the song moves past the midpoint, XXXTENTACION reprises the initial chorus. It signifies a return to the beginning, showing how these feelings of hurt and confusion, once admitted, do not dissipate but rather reoccur, reinforcing the cyclical theme of the lyrics.
Throughout, the song maintains a minimalistic approach, allowing the raw, poignant lyrics to shine. With no distinct verses, it’s as if X’s pain is so all-consuming that he can’t encapsulate it within traditional song structure. Every line is a hook, a cry out to the universe, futilely trying to make sense of a world tipped upside down.
Despite the piercing theme, “Changes” is as raw as the hip-hop genre allows, exhibiting the expressive power inherent in simplicity. Insight into the human condition, the fragility of love and the heavy toll that emotional pain takes, all wrapped in a rhythmically entrancing melody – it’s a testament to XXXTENTACION’s ability to connect on a deeply emotional level with his listeners.
Historically, this track resonates even more when considered within the broader narrative of XXXTENTACION’s tragically short career. Released just months before his tragic murder, “Changes” stands as a testimony to the depth and vulnerability that the rapper was willing to express in his music, a poignant epitome of the emotional realness that endeared him to a global demographic of listeners.
In summary, “Changes” by XXXTENTACION is an emotional powerhouse of a track that leaves a lingering impact. Behind its minimalist melody lies a multilayered narrative of heartbreak and despair, artfully wrapped in a cyclical structure reflecting the continuous nature of emotional torment. This track stands tall as a testament to XXXTENTACION’s artistic depth, emotional vulnerability, and his innate ability to capture universal feelings of heartbreak and confusion.