Lil Wayne’s “How to Love” takes a somber detour from his usual high-energy wordplay, painting a portrait of a woman who’s struggled in her search for genuine love. By coupling a pulsating rhythm with raw, emotional storytelling, Weezy delves into this woman’s journey through insecurity and heartbreak and her struggle to understand the concept of love.
The song kicks off with hints of the woman’s past encounters with “a lot of crooks tryna steal your heart,” a metaphor for men who’ve taken advantage of her. The statement “Never really had luck, couldn’t never figure out / How to love, how to love” establishes her plight: craving love but not understanding how to recognize or receive it.
The repetitive chorus “You had a lot of moments that didn’t last forever / now you in the corner tryna put it together / how to love, how to love” paints a vivid image of a woman reflecting on her past mistakes, attempting to comprehend her cycle of heartbreak. It’s a mantra for those who’ve navigated through failed relationships, expressing their longing to decipher the elusive concept of love.
Weezy continues with “when you was just a youngin’, your looks were so precious / But now you’re grown up, so fly it’s like a blessing”. Here, he applauds her physical transformation but also hints at the insecurity she feels whenever a man’s gaze lingers, a consequence of her troubled past with dishonest lovers.
This theme is further amplified in “you can’t have a man look at you for five seconds / Without you being insecure.” The insecurity, a byproduct of her past, is a barrier to her ability to trust and consequently to love. Wayne’s keen perception into her struggle echoes a greater issue within the narrative of female self-worth and esteem.
“You never credit yourself so when you got older / It’s seems like you came back ten times over” the woman’s inability to recognize her worth, has her repeating damaging patterns, and thus back in the corner trying to understand why love remains elusive to her.
The verse “Oh, you had a lot of dreams that transform to visions / The fact that you saw the world affected all your decisions ” shows that her life experiences have shaped her worldview and directly influenced her choices. There’s an assertive acknowledgment that her past wasn’t her fault, referencing external circumstances beyond her control.
Even with these hardships, however, Lil Wayne admires her resilience, hinted at in “But I admire your poppin’ bottles and dippin’ / Just as much as you admire bartending and strippin’.” He respects her hustle – her survival skills – something she developed as a result of her past.
However, the chorus repeats, reminding us that no matter her strength or resilience, the woman is still plagued by her inability to find and accept love. This is emphasized with heartfelt assertions like “See, I just want you to know / That you deserve the best, you’re beautiful.” Wayne is reiterating that she is worthy of love and her past does not define her.
In conclusion, “How to Love” allows Lil Wayne to showcase his depth as an artist by empathizing with a societal issue. This woman, trapped in a cycle of self-doubt and unsuccessful relationships, serves as a mirror to several women grappling with their own love stories. This song, though a departure from Weezy’s usual lyrical style, provides a distinct perspective and solidifies Lil Wayne’s mark as a multi-dimensional artist, defying the archetype of a traditional rapper.