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Released: 2019

“Class Fight” by Melanie Martinez is a brutally candid examination of teen angst, jealousy, and the battleground that exists within the chalk-dusted walls of a traditional classroom. It’s a raw depiction of the pent-up aggression and emotional turmoil that plays out in the formative years of adolescence, underscored by a relentless pop beat.

From the jump, the song sets up a classic love triangle drama. We’ve got our protagonist, the other girl named Kelly, and a boy who’s caught in the middle. Let’s crack the code: “Kelly had a fat ass and trouble was cookin’,” is lingo for Kelly being a significant, alluring presence whose actions are sparking controversy. When Martinez states, “She had a boy wrapped around her finger tight,” she’s openly acknowledging Kelly’s influence over the boy she herself is desiring.

The chorus is a repeated cry for help to her parents: “Mommy, why do I feel sad?” Conveying the complexity of young love and heartbreak, she questions if her feelings are valid or if she should simply “give him away,” and move on from this difficult situation. The response is shockingly aggressive with, “‘No, no, no, don’t you choke,’ Daddy chimed in, ‘Go for the throat.'” Here, her father seems to be encouraging her to fight back, to fight dirty, which emphatically captures the frustration and hostility prevalent in the lyrics.

After detailing the explosive schoolyard showdown, Martinez again circles back to the haunting refrain of questioning her emotional state and the violent advice from her father. Repeating this chorus emphasizes the cyclical nature of the conflict, the pain, and the primal ‘go for the throat’ response.

The unsettling climax of the song showcases the consequences of this damaging advice, implying a physical altercation occurred: “Her face was fucked up and my hands were bloody.” The price of such destructive actions comes to light when “my one true love called me a monster.” As much as the song explores adolescent conflicts, it also delves deep into the troubling dynamics in familial advice and poor coping mechanisms.

“Class Fight” is not just another pop tune; it’s a fierce exhibition of adolescent turmoil presented through Martinez’s unflinchingly honest lens. Martinez is no stranger to exploring dark themes in her music, and “Class Fight” stands as a jarring testament to her ability to capture the universally tumultuous journey of growing up.

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