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Meaning of the song ‘Feels’ by ‘Kehlani’

Released: 2019

“Feels” by Kehlani is an intimate exploration of experiencing powerful emotions in a romantic relationship that make her question her sense of reality. The lyrics depict her struggle to comprehend these strong feelings, despite past hardships, and her hopeful prospects of a limitless love.

From the outset, Kehlani hits us with introspection, “I ask myself, “Is this shit real? / I contemplate ’bout how I feel”. The language here, profanity and all, is real talk, expressing an internal conflict. She’s wrestling with her feelings, questioning if what she’s feeling is authentic or imagined. It’s this raw honesty that marks a stamp of relatability for anyone who’s ever been in love.

The pre-chorus and chorus echo the title of the song. Lines like “You got me falling from the ceiling for ya”, and the repeated phrase “You give me feels,” underscore a feeling of being overwhelmed by love. In the hip-hop space, “feels” is slang for strong emotions, often tied to love or passion. So, when Kehlani repeats, “You give me, you give me feels,” she’s emphasizing the intensity of her emotions, a sentiment that’s both scary and thrilling.

In the second verse, Kehlani gets real about her past, acknowledging that she’s faced hardships but she doesn’t want those to affect her current relationship. Her lyrics, “It took a lot of hard shit just to learn / How not to break down and stop, baby”, signal resilience. She’s learned from her past and is stronger for it, but she’s also conscious not to let those experiences taint her present love.

The songwriting is exceptional here, with Kehlani managing to convey a common human experience in a compelling and relatable way. Her repeated affirmation, “Know that it, know that it, know that it’s real” serves as both a self-reassurance and a declaration of truth — a bold proclamation that the love she feels is authentic and profound.

In sum, “Feels” is Kehlani’s lyrical journey through love’s emotional landscape, from questioning its authenticity to surrendering to its power. The song stands as an anthem to lovers grappling with intense emotions, making sense of love’s reality, and ultimately embracing its limitless potential.

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