The age-old gender divide – you know, men are from Mars, women are from Venus – shows up in music, too. In Matchbox 20’s “She’s So Mean,” Rob Thomas talks about this insane party girl that he’s in love with: “all you want is just to hold her but she don’t go for that.” Ultimately he dismisses her as “so mean” because she’s crazy and he can’t understand her behavior.
However, many female singers are taking the story of the “crazy ex” or the “crazy girlfriend” – or even just the “crazy woman” in general – and completely transforming it. Today’s post is about a singer who is doing just that: Bebe Rexha.
Bebe Rexha’s catchy song “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy” shows her dismissing a therapist’s diagnosis. “So what if I’m fucking crazy?” she asks them – and by extension, her listeners. She sings, “And I searched hard only to find,/There’s not a single thing that’s wrong with my mind.” Not only that, it was the “overthinking”, the constant wondering what was wrong, that’s really crazy and made her feel unstable. She’s essentially throwing Thomas’s lyrics back at him: because men don’t understand what’s wrong with women, they assume she’s insane…which makes the woman feel insane.
Not only that, the structure of the song mirrors Rexha’s ruminations. During the bridge, she says “crazy, crazy” over and over. Her voice here is wavering and sounds just as insane as the word itself. Finally, she screams “yeah!” like a madwoman. Additionally, the chorus is repetitive, like someone trying to reassure themselves through a breakdown.
The final message of the song appears to be that Rexha may be crazy, but it’s on her own terms.