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Meaning of the song ‘Close Friends’ by ‘Lil Baby’

Released: 2018

Right out the gate, “Close Friends” by Lil Baby paints a tale of love and regret, capturing the emotional complexities of a failed romantic relationship. The lyrics flow with tales of transition, from close friends to lovers, laced with nostalgic yearning for the past, disappointment in the present, and potent admissions of guilt for past wrongs.

The track opens with the phrase “We started off as close friends,” a recurring theme that sets an intimate tone. Their friendship, marked by shared secrets and lavish gifts like diamond rings, unexpectedly morphed into a romantic relationship. The transition seems beautiful on the surface, but it’s clear Lil Baby feels a pang of remorse as he notes the changes in his lover’s behavior, hinting at strife and misunderstandings. His assertion, “I ain’t gon’ lie, I miss the old you,” further underscores his longing for their earlier days.

As the verses unfold, Lil Baby delves into the intricacies of their relationship, admitting to engaging in sexual activities before fully understanding their bond. The line “Made a promise I won’t use you” seems like a reassurance but also an admission of his mistakes. The YouTube and voodoo references paint a picture of his perceived influence over her—an influence he perhaps regrets misusing. The phrase “I’ll go nuts for you, go cuckoo, lose my cool and all” is a powerful admission of his deep emotions and the irrationality that love can spur.

The chorus reveals further regrets and remorse, with Lil Baby admitting to his untruths and his attempt to buy her forgiveness with “racks,” a colloquial term for large amounts of money. His repetition of “I even did the unthinkable” without specifying the act leaves the listener speculating, allowing them to feel the weight of his guilt. He even reflects on how he himself might not forgive such actions, building a sense of sympathy in the listeners’ minds.

The latter verses discuss their relationship’s public nature, with Lil Baby lamenting the negative influence of the internet. He acknowledges his departure’s impact, hinting at personal sacrifices made “for us”—referring not only to him and his girlfriend but his children too. However, his confession that he’s “married to the game” suggests his dedication to his craft as a musician may have impeded their relationship.

The references to treating her like “Beyoncé” and making sure she’s “ridin’ in the latest Benz” highlight his attempts to shower her with a lavish lifestyle. Yet, the mention of a “brand new Audemars” – a luxury watch brand – juxtaposed with “I done ran out of time” aptly sums up the strain between his material success and the lack of time for maintaining their relationship. Throughout the lyrics, Lil Baby seeks balance between acknowledging his transgressions, expressing regret, and longing for the simpler times when they were just “close friends.”

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