“Middle Child” by PnB Rock (ft. XXXTentacion)
The foundation of this track is supposedly based on the artists’ childhoods and their ascent to stardom. Thus the title “Middle Child” actually refers to the fact that PnB Rock was born the third out of five children his mother had. And it should also be noted, though it is not mentioned in the song, that X was also a middle child.
Thus in the chorus, we have PnB alluding to his challenging childhood being one of five sons his mother brought up. But outside of him mentioning that he “had to” sell drugs on the corner, the rest of this track really is not about his youth at all. Instead it mostly consists of him threatening “ni**as” and seemingly referencing intimate encounters he has had with “bi**hes”, though he does use the term “bi**h” to refer to both particular females, as well as guys he perceive as being feminine.
Meanwhile X’s contribution is understandably brief, as for the most part he just blesses the post-chorus. In it, he takes a lighthearted approach referring to his stacks and male haters who he also refers to as “bi***es”.
In fact PnB Rock modified his own lyrics in lieu of the fact that X took a relatively carefree approach to this song. But he also holds down the last line of the actual chorus itself by threatening to “blow… down”, as in shoot, any ‘ni**a who runs up on him’. And it is a bit odd that the makers of this song decided to include that passage despite that fact that X himself was fatally gunned down a few months prior to the song’s release.
Overall this track has an innovative premise but for the most part reads like most of the popular rap songs out these days, as its main themes are money, women, drugs and threats of gun violence. Indeed what truly makes it unique is that it features the late rapper X.
Facts about “Middle Child”
- PnB Rock and X were actually homeys and collaborated on a few tracks in the past, including “Smash!” and “Changes” on X’s Billboard Music Award–winning album ?.
- According to PnB, he recorded “a few songs with X” but decided to include this one on his 2019 album TrapStar Turnt PopStar due to it having a “sentimental value” to him.
- PnB, being the third of his mother’s five sons, is a “middle child”. X was also a middle child, having one older sister and one younger brother.
- This track was officially released by Warner Music Group and Atlantic Records on 3 May 2019.
- “Middle Child” was produced by DatKidChris, who also co-wrote the track alongside X and PnB.