Better Mistakes

Bebe Rexha

Better Mistakes

“The connecting thread is definitely the honesty and the vulnerability,” Bebe Rexha tells Apple Music of the real talk that weaves throughout her sophomore album. “I just wanted it to be super straightforward. I just wanted to write whatever I felt like writing about, whether it came from jealousy and body love, to being done wrong and wanting to write an angry song about it, or a song about mental health, or fucking up. I just wanted to be completely honest. I just said what I wanted to say.” With Better Mistakes, Rexha not only doubled down on the unfiltered bravado and lung power that made her 2018 single “I’m a Mess” an instant fan favorite, but embraced every musical instinct that felt true to her. The resulting collection of songs is an eclectic mix that blends the pop-punk she embraced during her Warped Tour-playing years (“Death Row”) as enthusiastically as it does dance-floor bangers (“Sacrifice”) and grand, sweeping ballads (“Sabotage”). She assembled a crew of collaborators to round out her vision, including Travis Barker, who joins her on drums for album opener “Break My Heart Myself”; Doja Cat, whose wordplay pops on “Baby, I’m Jealous”; and Rick Ross, who tackles a tricky time signature as Rexha flips the script on her dad’s favorite song. Below, Rexha unpacks each track of Better Mistakes.
“Break My Heart Myself” (feat. Travis Barker) “I was told by a doctor that I was bipolar, and my mental health is something that I've struggled with. So I wanted to write a song about it, about how we can be our own worst enemies. Whether it's a relationship or a friend or an outsider, it's saying, like, 'Hey, world. I've broken my heart myself with my mental health. I've broken my own heart a million times and there's nobody else that can come and break my heart more than I already have, so don't even waste my time.'”
“Sabotage” “Some people smoke cigarettes, some people think too much, some people eat something they're not supposed to be eating, whether it's good or bad. Why do we do the things that are not good for us? That stuff comes from a place of 'Maybe I'm not good enough. Maybe I don't deserve it.' That's different for everybody, whether you sabotage your relationship or your diet, or you're smoking, whatever it may be.”
“Trust Fall” “I don't really trust anybody—especially being in the industry. In life in general, we need to be careful who we trust. I started dating my boyfriend, and I just wanted a solid 'I hope I can trust you. I want to fall and I want to trust, so would you help me?'”
“Better Mistakes” “From Nancy Sinatra to Paramore to No Doubt to Lauryn Hill to Biggie Smalls to David Guetta and dance music, freestyle music back in the day—I love all kinds of music. And this song, I love the beat on it. I love the rhythm, and it just does something to me. And no matter what age you are or what background you come from, who you are, you're going to make a mistake in your life. The best we could do is make better mistakes.”
“Sacrifice” “When you're in a relationship, you're going to have to sacrifice something. Now, I like to be really dramatic, and I like to be very visual, so I definitely took the lyrics, especially in the second verse, to a heated, intensified place. The sarcasm comes out where I say, 'I want to be the air you breathe, and I want to live in your brain, and I want to be the blood pumping in your veins.'”
“My Dear Love” (feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Trevor Daniel) “I was just going through some rough stuff in my business and in the music industry, and with my friendships. I felt I was being taken advantage of, and I was really angry. This was kind of my anthem of being like, ‘If you think you're going to keep messing with me and playing these games with me, you have it all fucked up. You don't know me, my dear love.' 'My dear love' is always usually such a loving endearment term, but it's kind of like, 'Oh, my dear love, don't fuck with me no more,' you know what I mean?”
“Die for a Man” (feat. Lil Uzi Vert) “I was going through a breakup, and I was just kind of at the weird point where you're both moving on, but then you kind of go through your phase of, 'Oh my god, it's over!' and crying. It's about not losing yourself to somebody else.”
“Baby, I’m Jealous” (feat. Doja Cat) “We were in the studio and we started up this hook about being jealous because I was feeling jealous of other girls. And then I started talking about my love, my body, and my love/hate relationship with my body, and then seeing these perfect girls on Instagram and then being like, 'Oh, I don't look like that.' I feel like a lot of people are probably ready to hear about being jealous of other females and feeling a certain way because it's a lot.”
“On the Go” (feat. Pink Sweat$ & Lunay) “I'm a big fan of Pink Sweat$ and I just love his voice, his songwriting, his vibe. I really wanted to write a song about being on the road, because I was just new in my relationship. It's about this concept of, whether you're on tour, or whether you're so obsessed with your phone, or whether you're so obsessed with your job, you're just going, going...we never even stop to just enjoy the moment or our significant other. It's like, 'I want to love you but I'm on the go.'”
“Death Row” “I was just new in a relationship, brand new. And you have this obsessive phase of 'If I was on death row, you would be where I ate my last meal. You would be my last word. I know it's crazy to die for you, I know it's crazy to cry for you.' It's this kind of journey of low-key how insane I could be. And I just love the guitar vibe of it. I feel it rings true to who I am.”
“Empty” “‘Empty’ is like a ballad, it kind of has a Killers vibe to it. It goes back to the mental illness: It's about me feeling as if I was a glass of water, and I feel like I'm constantly emptying myself out. Why do I do this to myself? It's just a song that's written to myself.”
“Amore” (feat. Rick Ross) “‘Amore’ is a flip on the regular ‘[That’s] Amore’—the one where the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie. So we flip it and we make it into more of a song where we're being sarcastic and saying that, to love me, love is like Versace and diamonds. And the reason why I got Rick Ross is because the time signature is really different. I grew up listening to the song, and I grew up listening to my dad sing it so badly. It's my dad's number one favorite song of all time.”
“Mama” “This song is about our mothers trying to protect us from the world, and the relationship I had with my mom. In the song I say, ‘I sold my soul. It's too late for me. I don't care about going to heaven. Right now, I'm just trying to get through. I'm trying to just get through this life. And I sold my soul just like you've sold your soul. I'm just trying to get through. And we all know that you did the best you could, and even though I'm not perfect and I have a lot of flaws, it's okay and you did a great job.'”

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