Rich Brian, a young Indonesian rapper, songwriter, and record producer, has put out 3 albums ever since his debut single, Dat $tick, came out in 2016. While signed under 88rising, a music recording company that focuses on Asian artists, he produced his second album The Sailor with 12 tracks depicting his journey from internet sensation to musical artist. The fifth track of the album, “Drive Safe” has been recognized as one of his more moving pieces as he is more vulnerable, expressing his “voyage” post-heartbreak.
In the first verse Brian comments on his prospective future as a growing artist then switches focus, in the second verse, to his longing for the presence of his “love interest” again. He reiterated through the song that he recognizes that he had gotten lost in his pursuit of his musical dream and wants to caution the love interest and his audience. He wants individuals to be conscious of how they conduct their business while they chase their dreams, making sure to recognize how their actions may affect others. Brian uses metaphors, alliteration, and similes to depict his external and internal challenges.
The first line:
Feeling left out from the pack, you gotta, go rogue
Brian expresses his distinctive feeling, from progressing from an online phenomenon to a musician, through a metaphor between him and wolves’ system of survival. He indicates his realization of the growth in his career as well as the feeling of estrangement as he was leaving a part of his origin and area of comfort behind. He compares himself to wolves using the word “pack” which symbolizes his online persona he held before starting to “go rogue”, transitioning to music professionally. He seems to recognize that his past had been holding him back as he was growing which, by separating “from the pack” it helped push him forward and elevate his career. The connection that wolves have in a pack is very strong, knowing they must trust in one another to keep the other safe but when one starts to put less faith in another, the dynamic is impacted. Although the departure of a wolf can affect an entire pack, it can also open the doors to new experiences for the “rogue wolf”. With Brain, his connections to his roots as an internet sensation is comforting and has helped him grow but as he matures and decides to put his confidence in music, specifically the development in it, he will be able to flourish and create a new “pack”.
Brian’s second verse:
Live life thinkin’ why it’s goin’ so slow
Lookin’ at the clock, wonderin’ why my mama’s not home
You waited way too long
The two uses of alliteration helps exaggerate how time is influencing Brian. Focusing first on the words, “live life” and “lookin”, it can be drawn that Brian has a distinct connection with the changing of time. He acknowledged that time is passing but by adding the words, “why” and “waited way” he offers his confusion to where the time has gone.
A simile from the second verse:
Polaroid photos looking like a movie scene (Ayy)
This pieces together the capturing of a real moment to a fictional one. This reflects his struggle of differentiating the “good times” he had with the love interest. The “good times” he spent with the love interest is starting to look made up like a movie scene which can build upon the idea that his focus on his career had made him disregard the ones around him, giving reason to why he reiterates the point to be aware of your actions and how they will affect the ones around you.