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Released: 2023

“Needs” by Tinashe is a bold, assertive anthem of self-possession and autonomy, set against the backdrop of intimate relationships. The song is a bold declaration of the singer’s independence, defiance, sensuality, and refusal to conform to societal expectations.

The song kicks off with the line “Hands on my knees / They ain’t never seen moves like these (mm-mm)”, indicating Tinashe’s proud display of her dance prowess. In pop parlance, “hands on my knees” often refers to confident, seductive dancing. In the line, “A1 body, but I talk real mean,” the term “A1” is a slang term meaning “top-notch” or “excellent.” Tinashe juxtaposes the picture-perfect exterior of her physical appearance with her tendency to “talk mean,” suggesting a multifaceted persona.

When Tinashe sings “He’s simpin’,” she’s using the term “simp,” which originated from online culture to characterize someone overly attentive or submissive to someone they’re attracted to. In this context, Tinashe describes a person who seems desperate for her attention, pleading with her for forgiveness.

The lines “don’t be a tease / grab them keys” and “after party in between the sheets / top floor shawty in a penthouse suite” are clear references to intimate, romantic scenarios, emphasizing Tinashe’s ownership of her sexuality and her control over the romantic dynamic. By asking her partner not to tease and to seize the keys, she prompts him to take the lead, knowing fully well she holds the ultimate power.

“I’m just human, we all got needs” is a simple yet profound assertion that underpins the song’s theme. In acknowledging that we all have desires and needs, Tinashe normalizes the act of a woman asserting control over her own sexual and emotional needs.

Finally, Tinashe’s lines “Eat your heart out (yeah), my body is a buffet / Eat my pussy, boy, don’t call me / I can’t be ya one and only, not today” is an unapologetic declaration of her sexual independence. She’s commanding, she’s choosing her needs over traditional expectations, and she’s unafraid to utter this “in your face” defiance that puts her in control of her own narrative and sexuality.

“Needs” is an audacious display of Tinashe’s capacity to create music that breaks barriers and challenges norms. It employs tantalizing lyricism and empowerment-driven themes to celebrate the power and strength inherent in embracing one’s own needs and desires.

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