Other Side Of The Game – Peeling Back the Layers of Love and Survival


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Erykah Badu's Other Side Of The Game at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. A Soulful Symphony of Love and Hustle
  5. The Conscious Conundrum: Morality in the Mix
  6. Unveiling the Hidden Meaning: Shades of Grey in Love
  7. Memorable Lines That Touch the Soul
  8. A Timeless Tale of Resilience

Lyrics

Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
Work ain’t honest but it pays the bills
What we gonna do when they come for you?
Gave me the life that I came to live
Do I really want my baby?
Brother tell me what to do
I know you got to get your hustle on
So I pray
I understand the game, sometimes
And I love you strong but
What you gonna do when they come for you?
Work ain’t honest but it pays the bills
What we gonna do when they come for you?
God I can’t stand life without ya
Now, me and baby got this situation
See brotha got this complex occupation
And it ain’t that he don’t have education
‘Cause I was right there at his graduation
Now, I ain’t sayin’ that this life don’t work
But it’s me and baby that he hurts
‘Cause I tell him right
He thinks I’m wrong
But I love him strong
He gave me the life that I came to live
Gave me the song that I came to give
Pressure on me
But the seed had grown
I can’t make it on my own
Summer came around and the flowers bloomed
He became the sun
I became the moon
Precious gifts that we both received
Or could this be make believe
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
Work ain’t honest but it pays the bills
What we gonna do when they come for you?
Gave me the life that I came to live
Don’t I know there’s confusion
God’s gonna see us through
Peace out to revolution
But we paid though
Don’t you worry, I know there’s confusion
The work ain’t honest but it pays the bills
Don’t you worry…
Gave me the life that I came to live
Don’t you worry…
The work ain’t honest but it pays the bills
Don’t you worry…

Full Lyrics

In a world strewn with straightforward love songs, Erykah Badu’s ‘Other Side of the Game’ emerges as a soulful and complex narrative that dives deep into the interplay between love, survival, and morality. As a testament to her hallmark ability to interweave the personal and political, Badu presents a ballad that serves as a window into the lives of those entangled in the often invisible struggles of urban life.

Badu encapsulates the essence of the human condition, addressing the nuanced dynamics between a woman and her partner who is caught up in the seductive yet perilous allure of the hustle. This song is not just a mere reflection of reality; it is an anthem of resilience and silent battles fought in the shadows of society.

A Soulful Symphony of Love and Hustle

The musical landscape of ‘Other Side of the Game’ is rich and textured, built upon a foundation of subtle jazz influences and a steady hip-hop rhythm. It is a ballad that feels at once familiar and revolutionary, with Badu’s smooth vocals painting a poetic picture of devotion amidst adversity. The song delves into the raw, emotional complexities between two lovers, grappling with the moral ambiguity that stems from life’s less-than-legal necessities.

As the melody weaves itself through the lives of these characters, it becomes clear that this is not just about the struggle to survive, but also about the strength of love that endures despite it all. The song’s composition underscores the tension between the two forces – love and survival – and how they intermingle to form the fabric of their relationship.

The Conscious Conundrum: Morality in the Mix

Erykah Badu’s narrative prowess shines through in the way she addresses the theme of morality head-on. The song’s chorus is a haunting reminder of the precarious life the couple leads: ‘Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Work ain’t honest but it pays the bills.’ It’s a troublesome acknowledgment of the unfair choices one is often compelled to make when caught in the unforgiving cycle of economic disenfranchisement.

Within these lines lies the crux of the song: the societal indictment that those who live outside the boundaries of ‘honest work’ are less deserving of empathy or love. Badu’s lyrics reject this notion, instead portraying a multifaceted and compassionate picture of the lives that many refuse to understand or acknowledge, effectively crafting a nuanced plea for understanding and solidarity.

Unveiling the Hidden Meaning: Shades of Grey in Love

Beneath the surface of ‘Other Side of the Game’ is an intricate web of hidden meaning that portrays the duality of the human soul. Badu sings of the man’s ‘complex occupation,’ suggesting that there are layers to his choices, none of which can be dismissed without understanding the gray areas of love and morality. The narrative shirks black-and-white judgment, instead offering a glimpse into a world where decisions are rarely simple and love is a powerful, binding force through uncertainty.

This complexity is echoed in the song’s bridge, which juxtaposes the imagery of seasonal change to reflect the nuanced growth and transformation within their relationship. The metamorphic elements of nature symbolize an evolution of their love, painted against the backdrop of external pressures and societal judgments.

Memorable Lines That Touch the Soul

Erykah Badu’s gift for poignant storytelling manifests in memorable lines that reverberate beyond the song. ‘He gave me the life that I came to live, gave me the song that I came to give. Pressure on me, but the seed had grown. I can’t make it on my own,’ gives voice to the shared destiny and interdependence between the woman and her partner. Here, Badu encapsulates the simultaneous burden and gift of their love, suggesting an inevitable intertwining of souls.

The line ‘God’s gonna see us through, peace out to revolution’ is both an invocation of faith and a nod to a society in need of upheaval. It recognizes the presence of a higher power while acknowledging that the status quo is untenable and must ultimately be challenged. These lyrics epitomize Badu’s ability to connect the spiritual and social realms, finding resonance in both the personal struggle and the collective consciousness.

A Timeless Tale of Resilience

While ‘Other Side of the Game’ was a product of its time, released on Badu’s 1997 debut album ‘Baduizm,’ its themes remain strikingly relevant. The song stands tall as a parable of resilience, a reminder that the circumstances thrust upon us do not solely define who we are or the depth of our relationships. The narrative endures, resonating with anyone acquainted with the tightrope walk between love and survival.

Erykah Badu’s artistry is not in simply telling a story but in telling one that reverberates across time and space, inviting listeners to consider the lives of others with empathy and compassion. ‘Other Side of the Game’ remains a powerful attestation to the complexities of human relationships and the perseverance of love against all odds.

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