“Sabotage” by Bebe Rexha
To begin with, it must be said that Bebe Rexha is a pretty deep artist. Yes, she is in fact a pop musician, a profession which by default requires a certain degree of superficiality. But the album (“Better Mistakes”) does not appear to be your standard fare, at least not as of yet.
We have already dealt with the lead track, “Break My Heart Myself“, which deals with the serious subject of bipolar disorder. And now we’re dealing with a song, “Sabotage”, which premise-wise sounds like something that was conceptualized by a philosopher. And said premise would be the common human tendency to engage in actions that we already know beforehand are detrimental to our wellbeing. Or put otherwise, the song is about the mentality behind the act of self-sabotage.
Lyrics of “Sabotage”
And the context in which Rexha places this narrative is by and large an interpersonal one, as in other words being about relationships. Or viewed alternatively, she presents herself as the type of person who would destroy a productive association, even though there’s nothing wrong with said relationship or the individual whom she is involved with.
So for instance, in the second verse, the narrator reveals that she can be in a situation which is actually beneficial to her. But instead of simply ‘letting herself be happy’, she finds herself ‘always running way’ from such. And accordingly, she is letting those who may get close to her know in the pre-chorus that they shouldn’t get their hopes in terms of establishing any type of long-term relationship with someone who considers herself to be “the queen of burning bridges”.
That is to imply that not only would she leave a fruitful association behind, but she would do so in such a manner where there is no hope for future reconciliation.
So the chorus centers on the narrator asking herself why does she tend to operate in such a fashion. She has knowingly placed herself in a position where she is uncomfortable socially, leaving “beautiful” relationships behind in the aftermath. But at least she’s keeping it real with herself.
Thus, as revealed in the bridge, she doesn’t get her “hope(s) too high” when the next good thing comes along. That is due to the fact that she already knows that as a result of this personality flaw, she will inevitably “tear it down”.
And it is upon such a sentiment, dear readers, that the song not only begins but also climaxes. And no, this isn’t Bebe Rexha’s way of being pessimistic or anything like that. Instead she is just being, in her own words, “painfully honest” about a weakness she has observed in her own character.
Yes, she may be a successful pop artist, living the type of life that many of us dream of. But she still has the tendency to shoot herself in the foot, if you will. And the reason she has decided to drop a song about such is because she is also able to recognize, as put forth earlier, that behaving in such a manner is actually a widespread practice.
Facts about “Sabotage”
This is the third single from Bebe Rexha’s second album, the latter of which is entitled “Better Mistakes”. The track was released as such on the date of 16 April 2021.
And upon release “Sabotage” did manage to chart in New Zealand. On 18 April 2021 it was also ranked “This Week’s Favorite New Music” by readers of Billboard. It received a whopping 74% of votes cast, beating out Young Thug and YSL’s “Slime Language 2”, which came in at second place.
The producer of “Sabotage” is Greg Kurstin, who has helped create hits for artists as diverse as Kendrick Lama, Adele and Niall Horan. And he also co-wrote the tune with Bebe, Michael Tighe, Michael Matosic and Jon Hume.
The music video to this track, as put together by director Christian Breslauer, is quite a visual affair. It climaxes with the songstress setting ablaze an abandoned house which the visual is situated in.
But the way that particular scene played out caused a bit of backlash. And that is because certain viewers deemed it too similar to the video another singer, Gabbie Hanna put out for a track she dropped in 2018 entitled “Monster“.