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Meaning of the song ‘Remember’ by ‘Jhené Aiko’

Released: 2014

“Remember” by Jhené Aiko is a powerful and personal narrative, deeply rooted in the pangs of heartbreak and the crushing reality of deceit. It’s a raw account of a relationship that ended in betrayal, with the protagonist being hurt, disappointed, but also saying that despite everything, there’s no love lost.

The opening verse, “This is the saddest story I have ever heard / Call early in the morning when I got the word,” expounds on the shock and grief of discovering a partner’s infidelity. The phrase “I am not involved, no not at all” is the narrator’s attempt to distance herself from the emotional turmoil — a common coping mechanism when facing heartache.

In the chorus, “‘Do you remember, do you remember you? Do you remember, do you remember who you were?'”, Aiko asks the betrayer if he remembers who he was before the betrayal. It’s a poignant plea for him to introspect, to acknowledge the person he was in their shared history, and to realize how far he strayed from those ideals.

In the lines “Tell all the homies that you’re the one to blame / And when you speak my name / I’d like you to explain the lies you told me”, Aiko empowers herself by holding the betrayer accountable. The language used, “You’s a suck ass, busta ass” are expressions rooted in the slang of hip-hop culture, simply put, they’re calling the person a fraud or a fake.

As the song unfolds, in the verse “I never did complain, you never heard me say / You’s a suck ass, busta ass…second chance fuck all that”, it’s clear that Aiko has moved past the point of wishing for reconciliation, she’s dismissing the possibility of a second chance and standing firm in her decision.

Finally, when she repeats “Do you remember who you were to me?’Cause I do,” it serves as a reminder of the wounds she carries, an expressed memory of who he was and the acknowledgement of the pain his actions have inflicted.

“Remember” by Jhené Aiko is a testament to the emotional resilience in enduring pain, a unabashed articulation of heartbreak, and an affirmation of self-worth in the face of deceit. At its core, it underscores the strength that comes from remembering, even when those memories are painful.

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