After a few listens to the hour-and-a-half long weather report that is Drake’s new album Views, the third track, “U With Me?”, has begun to stand out for nailing queasy aspects about our era in the way that only Drake can. Toward the beginning of the song (currently available only through Apple), the 29-year-old Toronto rapper says the following:
I group DM my exes
I told ‘em they belong to me, that goes on for forever
And I think we just get closer when we’re not together
This is demented stuff, no? The last two lines are something that a stalker says. The first line confesses to a behavior that not even the most frightened think-pieces about Millennials would claim is a presently accepted use of social media. Taken all together, gulp, we might have a rom-com premise on our hands.
As is always the case with Drake’s many moments of semi-self-aware monstrousness, there’s relatable truth here. In the era where Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat serve as individual trophy rooms for human connection, terminated relationships can linger in the consciousness, suspended in eternal animation, more easily than ever before. Noreen Malone nailed this phenomenon in a 2013 New York essay that traced how George Strait’s “all my exes live in Texas” (a song referenced by Drake himself) became for, many people, “live in texts.”