Dark Light

Released: 2017

“8TEEN” boasts Khalid’s heavenly croon against an upbeat blanket of pop-urban rhythm, weaving a perfect tapestry of adolescence. It’s a musical trip down memory lane, nestling on the cusp of adulthood and the emotional baggage that the realm of adolescence so generously bestows. Peppered with references to car rides, marijuana, traffic, and parental opposition, Khalid dispenses a dose of quintessential teenage recklessness and naivety that’s both raw and relatable.

When Khalid opens with “Woke up a little too late this morning,” he’s painting a familiar picture of youth: erratic sleeping patterns, mixing a sense of independence with the lingering comfort of parents’ care. He’s hitting us right in the feels with familiar scenes of our teenage years. The relieving “I’ll be okay” sets a tone of optimism, which many of us had as teenagers, shrugging off minor mistakes with a laissez-faire attitude.

As Khalid confesses “Damn, my car still smells like marijuana”, he’s not shy of disclosing his standard teen follies. This blend of blunt honesty and breezy aura expertly mirrors a typical teenage mindset. There is a touch of rebellion in those lyrics, which is another pillar of teenage existence that resonates with listeners the world over.

When he heralds “Because I’m eighteen and I still live with my parents”, this is our guy flatly stating the bittersweet intersection of burden and liberty that’s a defining factor of late teenage years. Khalid hints at the double-edged sword of life at 18 – you’re technically an adult, but still under the wing (and rules) of your parents. This lyric, along with the recurring line “Let’s do all the stupid shit that young kids do”, chronicles the freedom, folly, and fervor of youth – a cocktail that’s all too potent.

Diving into the lines “No I’ve never really been the smartest, Yeah I’ve made my mistakes”, we get the confirmation that Khalid is not romanticizing adolescence but revealing it, warts and all. He’s unapologetically candid about his imperfections and missteps, which only serves to create a relatable persona that resonates with his listeners.

The refrain of “Just me, and you” throughout the song suggests an exploration of young love. He’s clear in expressing that the activities he’s reminiscing about were shared with another person, perhaps a first love. The continuous repetition of “you” could potentially be a nod towards those unforgettable memories that are very often connected to a significant other during our formative years.

In a nutshell, “8TEEN” is a track that, without frills or fabrication, chews the bittersweet cud of youth. Whether it was the ground-shaking trepidation of first love, the adrenaline-fueled spontaneity, or the mundane charm of day-to-day routines, Khalid’s track throws it all under the spotlight, leaving us in a reminiscent haze of our own teenage years.

Related Posts