My concept with “Strangers” was to take a song idea that’s traditionally about courting and spitting game to a woman and relate it to the excitement and freshness that comes with learning new things about a person who you care about. The two ideas – initially meeting someone when you meet them at a bar, for example, and learning more personal things about someone whom you already know – are comparable when looked at through an optimistic lens in viewing relationships.
Therefore, the words cause the title “Strangers” to be sort of paradoxical. It typically refers to individuals who haven’t met before. In this case, I’m already with this woman and am describing how much I care for her and how excited I am to continue to learn new things about her. To keep that excitement in our relationship everyday as if it were the first time we met. And I do so in a sort of shrewd way through role-play, actually courting her as if I’ve never met her before.
I allude to the fact that I’m speaking of a woman I am already with and care for at the end of each verse. In the way it’s written, each line can be taken as if I’m meeting a woman for the first time at the bar or role-playing the dialogue with a woman who I’m already with.
Why you over there? You should come here
You should come near where you’ll end up anyway
Got a few things you might wanna hear
Listen to my touch while I bite on your ear
‘Got a few things…’ begins the dual meaning of the song. It could be taken to mean that I’m kickin game to the girl to tell her why she should come home with me or that I’m telling her how much I care about her. This stanza also begins my reference to communicating with her sensually and without words. Such as, “Listen to my touch…” and “…lips”. Also saying, the smell of her fragrance is telling me something and I “Dig [her] senses…”
Listen to my lips I can feel your kiss
Smell your fragrance yeah I dig your senses
And if love’s crazy, I’m senseless
You bad girl, I’m tempted
Enforces the description above.
Not to mention the way you put it together
The rest I forget em, you I’m forever with
Walk on em I’ma talk on ya
Work those heels, suga, I just wanna flaunt ya
Here is the first place where it’s more concretely revealed that I’m speaking of someone I’m already with. I say “The rest I forget em, you I’m forever with” to exemplify my commitment. Though, in another sense, it could also be taken as a playful, intentionally shallow promise you might make to a beautiful girl the first time you meet her…that she’s so beautiful that you could marry her or that you never want her to walk out of your life, etc. I then say “Walk on em I’ma talk on ya” to mean that she’s figuratively walking all over other women. None can compare, but she doesn’t need to spend her time boasting to other girls because she’s humbly confident. That’s why I say I’ll “talk on ya” in the way that I brag to the others about her, for her. The figurative walking is then related to how good she looks, literally, walking in heels “Work those heels…”. Then, “I just wanna flaunt ya” brings the idea together by saying that I flaunt her, in a way, both figuratively and literally. First, by bragging about her and, next, by proudly having her on my arm.
And she calls me by full name, that’s the difference
Nobody else got the privilege
Lil’ cute smile lookin innocent
But I watch her kill em all I’m a witness
Throughout the song, I move in and out of talking to her directly, referring to her as “you” and indirectly, referring to her as “her”. This is meant to show that I’m not just gassing her up and kicking game to her in person, I also say these things in an objective situation to other people. Describing to other people what someone means to you is often more telling than the way you might describe it to the person themself. So, “she calls me by full name” means that she knows me well and sees me as the person I am, rather than calling me by a nickname or stage name. In the other sense, someone you’re meeting for the first time typically calls you by your formal name. It works in that way as well. I then play on her seductiveness. She looks so cute and innocent, but she’s, figuratively, killing other girls who compete with her in beauty and the way she carries herself. In assigning a literal meaning to the two lines, it comes full-circle. She looks innocent, but she kills these other girls, as a murderer would. I’m a witness in the way that I see her shine next to other girls.
So lost in your eyes
Look both ways when you’re crossin my mind
Think about you like all of the time
Your voice sounds best when you’re callin mine
“Look both ways…” is meant to be personified as if she’s actually in my mind and should be careful when crossing my mind by looking both ways. “Your voice sounds best when you’re callin mine” continues on in dual meaning as a person just meeting someone at the bar could say such a thing to refer to a one night stand they would like to have with the woman. In my case, it refers to me loving the way she says my name when she talks to me. There are certain people who say your name and it just sounds and feels right. That’s an example of the subtle hints that I’ve always tried to be attuned to in relationships.
And I heard you’re into poetry
If I wrote this song would you notice me?
My baby, that’s got a ring to it
Your left hand next, that’s gotta ring to it
Saying “I heard you’re into poetry” is a playful way of approaching her interest in poetry and other intellectual things. It follows that, one, this song is my form of poetry and, two, that I wrote this song for her. It can be taken as me hypothetically writing a song for someone I just met “If I wrote…” or hinting that I actually wrote this song for the woman I’m speaking to. Here, the final line of this verse is when it’s finally confirmed that I’m speaking to someone who I already know well and care for a lot. Directly hinting at marriage is something I would only do with someone I had a deep relationship with. It plays on the phrase “that’s got a ring to it” against the literal meaning.
Can I get a dose of, your love
Your touch, your blush, it’s never too much
Always just right, never not mine
Goddess of fine, Aphrodite in a past life
In the first two stanzas here, I compare her characteristics to fine wine. I say “a dose” to relate her love to a sip of and infer that it’s almost potion-like. The perfect touch and blush are words that have meaning in a very human sense, but also in the sense of wine’s taste and touch on your lips and mouth, as well as blush wine. I go on to compare her ‘Always just right’ perfection to a goddess. The goddess of beauty=fine, being Aphrodite.
She’s the one don’t ask twice
Slow whine got me givin up the fast life
Fine wines get better with time
In my eyes I could never deny her
I start here by playing ‘twice’ off of ‘one’ in different contexts. The second line continues this playing by using ‘slow whine’ to contrast with ‘fast life’…’whine’ as in the way she moves has me giving up the fast life of partying, being single, and chasing other girls. I continue in comparing her to wine in saying ‘fine wines get better with time’ to confirm that I’ve given up chasing other girls because of my commitment to her. She and our relationship are only going to get better with time.
So real, so pure, I prefer
Other women talk, me I refer them
Lost on purpose, me I’m certain
Death to the rest of these girls #curtains
I link the wine theme to the next two stanzas by saying ‘so real, so pure…’. Then, ‘Other women talk…’ as in they attempt to talk to me, but I refer them to other men who aren’t taken, as I am. ‘Lost on purpose…’ in the sense that, often times, women might act like they’re lost to start a conversation with you. An underlying meaning is that many women who are out at the bar partying and not settled down are sort of figuratively lost in that they don’t know what they want so they hook up with random men at a bar in the meantime. ‘I’m certain’ because I’m both intolerant of these types of women and certain about the way I feel about this woman, in particular. As a result, ‘Death to the rest…’
No flaws, she’s perfect
No runway, she work it
Lord have mercy please don’t hurt me
Curves to the hips to the purse on her wrist
I begin to explain how she has the total package here. Her walk…she works it like a model with no runway. Not only physical beauty in her ‘curves to the hips’ but her fashion sense and other unforeseen qualities such as me noticing the ‘purse on her wrist’.
Blow me a kiss when you’re pursing her lips
I’m in the middle I’m immersed in the midst
I testify and defer with the fifth
Put it on my life cause she’s worth all the risk
I’m consumed with her or ‘immersed in the midst’ of her beauty. I allude to not being afraid to tell people everything about her ‘I testify and defer with the fifth’ as in, speaking and not utilizing my right to avoid testifying. I not only am not afraid to tell people, but I’m also not afraid to speak candidly and emotionally about her in the way I ‘put it on my life…’. This also plays and refers back to the criminal metaphor in verse one.
I do time in exchange for your promise
That’s the truth like honesty
You know you got me right where you want me
Right where I should be and wrong’s where I won’t be
Continuing on with this idea, I end verse two in a similar way to verse one. ‘I do time…’ in committing to her in ‘exchange for [her] promise’ or her commitment to me. To end, much like, ‘one’ vs. ‘twice’ and the ‘slow’ vs. ‘fast’, I playfully pit the opposites of ‘right’ vs. ‘wrong’ to infer that I’m going to be with this woman and not with others. Because she is what’s ‘right’ and they are what’s ‘wrong’.