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Meaning of ‘I’m Not The Only One’ by ‘Sam Smith’ feat. A$AP Rocky

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Released: 2015

Features: A$AP Rocky

Now let’s go deep into “I’m Not The Only One”, a heart-rending ballad by Sam Smith featuring A$AP Rocky. This poignant track doesn’t pull any punches with its narrative of betrayal and unfaithfulness, skillfully relayed through Smith’s soulful voice, and amplified by A$AP Rocky’s pointed verse addressing societal pressures.

Let’s kick off with A$AP Rocky’s opening lines— a potent commentary on a “disease” plaguing his city, where infidelity is rife among beautiful women. The line “like Beyoncé they’re getting by or they get embodied,” is a clever reference to Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce alter ego, portraying women who must fiercely battle emotional pain. The repetition of “preach” and “pray” emphasizes his imploration for strength amidst such loneliness.

This leads us to the refrain where Sam Smith negotiates emotional turmoil with poetic elegance. The vow “for better or for worse” paints a picture of matrimonial promises now broken. The line “the proof’s in the way it hurts” showcases an acutely painful realization of betrayal, underscored by months of doubts and hidden tears.

Smith accuses his lover of emotional distance and dubiously unobtainable affections. And yet, despite this painful knowledge, Smith acknowledges his enduring attachment— “God knows you have mine.” The refrain, “I know I’m not the only one,” is a sorrowful testament to his partner’s infidelity.

A$AP Rocky returns later in the song, meditating on his own culpability— “we all guilty of the same crime if you ask me.” His confession about womanizing is boosted by the reference to Jack Daniel’s and the mixing of Valium with antidepressants. It’s a raw depiction of self-medication amid heartbreak.

His verse concludes with a stark line— “life’s a bitch with no prenup, you’re on your own,” illustrating that love, much like life, offers no guarantees, highlighting the recurring themes of betrayal and broken promises. The closing lines “The Porsche or the fortress? Ignore it or forefeit—” reveal the tormenting choices in the aftermath of a messy split.

The final cycle of Smith’s words “I know I’m not the only one,” pulsates with a raw mix of pain, acceptance, and lingering hope, wrapping up this emotive pop song on a poignant note. The final, solitary “I don’t know” signifies an undefined future, despite the bitter certainty of the past.

Through its narrative arc and poignant delivery, “I’m Not The Only One” encapsulates the universal agony of betrayal, illuminating the darker shades of love within the glossy realm of pop music. It wasn’t just a hit—it became an anthem for broken hearts everywhere.

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