We're many months into the coronavirus pandemic and Billie Eilish just came through with something we've all been wanting lately: a trip to the mall. Earlier today, Nov. 12, the singer-songwriter dropped her new track 'Therefore I Am' and a corresponding music video. The nearly five-minute-long visual shows the pop star galavanting past stores after hours, grabbing a pretzel and fries along the way, and eventually being kicked out by mall security.
It didn't take long for fans of the artist to sound off on social media about the new song and video, with Twitter unanimously crowning it a bop. 'Therefore I am is really fire,' one fan tweeted, with another calling it 'empowering and badass.' Other fans on Twitter said it made them excited for Eilish's next album. And while it's unclear when exactly we can expect the 18-year-old's sophomore release, the new track already has her fandom conjuring up album theories.
Billie Eilish and Bella Thorne are not the girls in the viral ‘fight’ video that made its rounds on Twitter. Celebrities and online influencers are targeted by false rumours and speculations. See Billie Eilish's Reaction After Losing 100,000 Followers Over Photo of Boobs After sharing her pencil drawings of breasts on social media, Billie Eilish lost about 100,000 followers.
One popular theory looks at how some of the song titles, similar to Eilish's first album, could tell a complete story when you put them together. On her debut, titled When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?,the names of the final three tunes — 'Listen Before I Go,' 'I Love You,' and 'Goodbye' — could be combined to tell a heartbreaking tale about leaving someone you love. Twitter user @bilslonely anticipates the same for what fans have dubbed BE2, with the title 'Therefore I Am' being part of a longer sentence that we won't know until the singer drops a track list.
Many fans seem to agree with @bilslonely's theory: Another Twitter user posted a screenshot of an Instagram Story from Eilish that seems to support it entirely. In the pic, Eilish is wearing a sweatshirt that appears to have the word 'therefore' on it. 'If ya really dying to be teased here's a zoomed in picture of....?' the musician captioned the photo. 'But we'll save this for another day.'
In other theories, Twitter user @sladoll2x pointed out that 'Therefore I am' was released the day before the one-year anniversary of Eilish's 'Everything I Wanted' single. With that in mind, they put the two titles together to form a sentence that just might hint at the theme of Eilish's next LP. 'Therefore i am, everything i wanted,' they wrote. Could the pop star's next era be all about self-acceptance?
If it turns out to be true that the next release will be about personal growth, Twitter user @billieonthefan's theory makes perfect sense. The name of the song clearly references French philosopher René Descartes' famous quote, 'I think, therefore I am.' At its core, the well-known philosophical statement means to constantly learn more and grow as a person, which could be the primary theme of this next chapter in Eilish's career. In another tweet, the fan applied this reasoning even further, making an early assumption that the other songs on the album will detail her journey to a more positive mental state.
Although fans definitely have Thoughts about Eilish's new music, the singer was adamant about the song being 'very, very up for interpretation' during an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music. 'Therefore I Am' follows the release of her single 'My Future,' which was released in July. 'I'm very curious to see what people get from it and also what they feel when they hear it,' she said. 'I don't know. But yeah, it's a little mean. I love it.'
Source: Gregg DeGuire / Getty
Outsiders showing disdain for particular elements of a culture they themselves wittingly or unwittingly are simultaneously colonizing is nothing new. The latest flagrant example of this phenomenon is Billy Eilish, the pop singer who shared a suspect hot take about rappers in a recent interview with Vogue magazine.
Eilish is no doubt a star, having earned multiple Grammys this year for her hit album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. She’s also gotten praise for her style, a blatant riff on 90’s Hip-Hop aesthetics.
The latter makes the “Bad Guy” singer’s comments in the aforementioned interview particularly eyebrow raising—though, not surprising all things considered. Also, don’t fall for the jig of her fashions sense being described as “streetwear” or merely “leisurewear,” you know damn well where it’s from.
As for the comment in question…
“Just because the story isn’t real doesn’t mean it can’t be important,” she told Vogue. “There’s a difference between lying in a song and writing a story. There are tons of songs where people are just lying. There’s a lot of that in rap right now, from people that I know who rap. It’s like, ‘I got my AK-47, and I’m f*ckin’,’ and I’m like, what? You don’t have a gun. ‘And all my bitches…’ I’m like, which bitches? That’s posturing, and that’s not what I’m doing.”
Excuses (read: pleas copped) will be made citing Eilish’s age, she’s just 18. Or, via the ruse of looking at her words without proper context—rappers do lie, sometimes a lot.
But the problem is such commentary is most times recklessly obtuse, especially when made in Vogue, where a legion of readers who don’t know any better will take her words as gospel. She also sounds like those surly critics who were convinced Hip-Hop was a trend made by unworthy people of color and anything but lasting cultural value.
So expect Eilish—who notes Tyler, the Creator as an artist she admires in the same interview—to walk back her commentary sooner than later considering she surely has plenty of fans into rap music who don’t dismiss it as “posturing.” Or she can keep it a buck double down, and we’ll at least know where she really stands.
Don’t think we’re making this criticism of her opinion up, peep some of the Twitter reactions below…