Meaning of “I’m a Mess” by Bebe Rexha
“I’m a Mess” is a song written and performed by American singer and songwriter Bebe Rexha. The track’s chorus finds the narrator (Rexha), who is going through relationship problems, making self-demeaning comments about herself.
Her lover’s refusal to love her in return has left her so broken she feels so useless. Among others names, she calls herself a loser. She wraps up the chorus by talking about how much of a mess she’s become for her guy’s love.
However, in the song’s pre-chorus, her pessimism appears to give way for optimism. Here, she talks about her therapist telling her everything’s going to be fine. But it’s not really clear if she believes in the brighter future her therapist is painting for her.
What Bebe Rexha has said about this song
On Twitter, she said of the song as on that celebrates “your imperfection and insecurities”. According to her, we are all imperfect and insecure. She feels these things are not necessarily negative things. To her, they are what actually make us special and human.
Inspiration behind this song
According to Rexha, this song was inspired by her own sad feelings. She said she was so downcast on the day that she wrote the song because she was finding it very difficult loving herself and her imperfections. Her sadness stemmed from the fact that she was in love with a guy who didn’t love her back. This got her so bummed out that she literally had her mascara running down her face when she entered the studio to work. She told one of her collaborators at the studio (songwriter Justin Tranter) how sorry she was for being a mess on that day. It was at that very moment that Tranter came up with the title of the song “I’m a Mess”. He told her not to worry and they were going to write a song about being a mess. And that was how “I’m a Mess” was birthed.
So to sum it up, the lyrics of this song are based on true events in Rexha’s life. She loved a guy who didn’t love her. The unrequited love led to her feeling heartbroken and insecure about herself. That ultimately led to the creation of this song.
Facts about “I’m a Mess”
- Bebe Rexha and Justin Tranter along with three other noted songwriters are credited with writing this song. The other three are: Jussifer, Shelly Peiken and Meredith Brooks.
- The song’s co-writer Jussifer linked up with record producer Devon Corey to produce it.
- This track was released on June 15, 2018 for both digital download and streaming. It was the first single from Rexha’s debut studio album titled Expectations.
- English director Sophie Muller directed the music video for this song. That video came out on July 19, 2018.
- Meredith Brooks and Shelly Peiken didn’t physically work with Rexha and her collaborators to compose this song. The only reason they are credited as writers on the track is because it interpolates Brooks’ 1997 hit single “B*tch”. That song was penned by Peiken and Brooks.
How did “I’m a Mess” perform on the charts?
On the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, it climbed to number 25. On the UK Singles Chart, it reached 77. It charted in numerous other countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Canada.