For many reasons, “Yebba’s Heartbreak” is one of my favorite tracks on Drake’s 2021 album, Certified Lover Boy. The relevant reason here is that the excellent hypnotizing vocal performance from Yebba collaborates with the song’s emotional lyrics to deliver a different (but appropriate) therapeutic effect every time I listen to it.
That each person may have a different interpretation of a work of art is an established notion – the parable of the blind men and an elephant touches on this.
During my recent consumption of “Yebba’s Heartbreak”, moreover, I started to ponder on an extension of this notion – that, depending on the individual’s mood or state of mind, even one person can have different interpretations of a piece of art. After all, when our moods change, our perceptions are altered, and we become a different version of the same person.
On previous listens, “Yebba’s Heartbreak” toed the line between a letter from the songwriter to an estranged lover and a mother’s reassuring message to her reassurance-starved son in a faraway land. On my latest listen, I heard my future self consoling me.
“How much better can I show my love for you
Than say ‘I do, I do, I do’?
I do, I do, I do
You may not know right where you’re going, but
I do, I do, I do
And all the times you wasn’t chosen, well, I’ll make it up to you
All of the feelings you’re not showing
When your river’s overflowing, mmm
It’s the truth, swear to you
I do, I do, I do, I do, I do…”“Yebba’s Heartbreak”, Drake and Yebba
By “I do, I do, I do, I do,” I recognized my future self’s determined attempt to validate and soothe my frustration about my future. I heard: “Olayinka, I do know where you’re going because I’m already there. Olayinka, I do know your future successes drown your current disappointments. Olayinka, I do love you, today and tomorrow.”
As my future self, through Yebba, reassured me that my future is alright, I recognized that my role is to keep pushing and make that future happen.
Have you listened to “Yebba’s Heartbreak”? What does the song tell you?