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Meaning of the song ‘Insomnia’ by ‘Takeoff’

Released: 2018

“Insomnia” by Takeoff from the hip-hop trio Migos, is a trap anthem about the grind, hustle, and desire to succeed that keeps him awake at night, while reflecting on his success and wealth. Takeoff also showcases his confident attitude and hardened resilience towards both life and the music industry.

The first verse begins with “Count up my money and give me them blues (count it up)” – Takeoff here is talkin’ about his racks. “Blues” slang for blue-face hundreds, Benjamins, you know, hundred dollar bills. Speakin’ of being ‘up’, Takeoff’s talkin’ about his financial status, but also about being awake, running the game relentlessly, feeling the side effects of his hustle. “Percocet, mollies on her tongue” goes on to talk about the drug-infused ambiance of the late-night rap scene – Percocet and Molly are both recreational substances often mentioned in hip-hop.

In “Plain Jane cost a fifty (plain)”, Takeoff brags about his watch, known gracefully as a “Plain Jane” – classy and minimalist, yet costly. This symbolizes his success. He then says, “Told ’em that I was gon’ make it, they laughed (laughed)”, a familiar narrative of doubters turned believers in the face of his triumph. They “can’t see the vision” – couldn’t understand his dream or goal.

The chorus, “I been up, I can’t sleep, what’s wrong?”, reflects Takeoff’s dedication to his craft, often being restless or having “Insomnia” due to his work ethic and commitment to success.

The line “I met the plug in England, no Queen Elizabeth, we talkin’ ’bout pounds”, Takeoff’s talkin’ playfully about pounds, not your British currency nah, but weight in drugs – a common subject in trap music. “I drink an eight a day / I never heard of a drought (Actavis)” references Actavis, a popular choice of lean – that’s codeine cough syrup, often mixed with Sprite and a Jolly Rancher, another common trope in trap culture.

The line “Stars in the ceiling, Wraith, ayy / Big body comin’ down (Wraith)”, describes his Rolls Royce Wraith, a luxury car known specifically for a starlit roof feature. “Hundred bricks came in on crates” is a braggadocious line about drug dealing, and it adds to his street credibility, while the mention of “AP, iced out face” refers to his Audemars Piguet watch, decked out with diamonds – another symbol of his wealth.

The song’s conclusion returns to the chorus, a constant reminder of the grind, the hustle, the money, and the sleepless nights – his Insomnia. There you have it, Takeoff using his lyrics to paint a vivid picture of his life loaded with wealth, late nights, but also the hard-work that goes unnoticed behind the flash.

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