I Hate You So Much Right Now: 11 Celebs And The Infamous Songs They Wrote About A Famous Ex
It’s interesting. Whenever we regular folks have relationship problems, we tell a friend or family member. Some of us write in journals. Others just keep that stuff bottled in. But for musicians, well, it comes out in their music. Sometimes it comes out angry (see past Kanye joints), silly (any Taylor Swift track honestly), or brilliant (hey Adele!). But a bad breakup can always make for an interesting track, especially when it’s about an ex. Here are 11 songs by 11 artists about 11 famous exes (and in one case, an ex-boo’s family member).
Kanye West – Blame Game
Yeezy just might be the king of messy tracks about his ex-girlfriends. On his 808s & Heartbreak album, “Say You Will” was about his ex-fiancée Alexis Phifer. And while that was an interesting track, West’s most epic breakup song might be “Blame Game” about Amber Rose. When he wasn’t calling her a liar, he was admitting that at a time he was satisfied “being in love with a lie.” And if that wasn’t enough, he got Chris Rock on the track to deliver a vulgar (yet well done) psudeo-phone conversation with a woman with a voice close to Rose’s who to answer every question about why she’s so dope at everything she does for her new man, exclaims, “Yeezy Taught Me.”
Jennifer Lopez – Love Don’t Cost A Thing
After the breakup between J. Lo and Diddy, we saw a super turnt up version of the singer who came out swinging with her second album, J. Lo. The dance-worthy track might have sounded like just another pop track about an unnamed lover, but it was actually inspired by Diddy. The song, on the surface, was about an unreliable lover who showers J. Lo with gifts to make up for what he can’t provide emotionally. Interesting. While she was out here talking about my “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” Diddy was out here trying to get her attention with “I Need A Girl” (to ride, ride, ride…).
Nas – Bye Baby
Anything with Aaron Hall on it is a winner for me musically, but this song was also pretty good because it recounted the marriage of Nas and Kelis, the disintegration of it, and the eventual messy part that was their divorce. But it also goes deeper than that, recounting specific events in their relationship, and ends with Nas saying that he hopes to find “the truest type” of woman and do the whole crazy love and marriage thing again. While the song is the most specific track about his relationship with the singer on Life Is Good, a major chunk of the album is actually about/inspired by Kelis.
Usher – Papers
This song is extremely tacky to me, even after seeing the type of behavior Tameka Raymond likes to display during the former couple’s custody battle. You don’t make a song talking about “I’m ready to sign them papers,” but alas, Usher did back in 2009. The singer didn’t even put the track on his album Raymond v. Raymond, so it’s clear that it was just an opportunity to vent about the demise of his relationship and all that he “damn near” lost (including his mind and his momma) in the process. It was catchy, but ultimately, mad messy.
Drake – Fireworks
As inspirational as “Fireworks” sounds, it’s really just another emotional song by Drake, but this time, one that includes some words he has for on-again off-again…cuddle buddy (?) Rihanna. Okay, let’s just be honest. She calls him when she’s bored.
Anywho, after their first fling fell apart, Drake took it pretty hard, and talked about pretty much being the rebound boo to a hurt Ri Ri on the Thank Me Later track. While it’s a good song, a much better song about an ex (who isn’t really famous) by him is “Marvin’s Room,” and it even has recordings of his ex-girlfriend’s voice on it…
Bob Marley – Waiting In Vain
Aside from being married to Rita Marley, we all know that Bob Marley got around plenty. But one woman aside from his devoted wife that he seemed musically inspired by was girlfriend Cindy Breakspeare, a Jamaican beauty queen and the former Miss World. “Waiting In Vain” was reportedly recorded while the two were apart and Cindy was pregnant with their son Damian. There are also rumors that “Turn Your Lights Down Low” was for Breakspeare as well.
Alanis Morrisette – You Oughta Know
And you thought you were mad at your ex, geesh! If you remember Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill album, I’m sure you know “You Oughta Know.” But what you might not know is that the song was a rant about her ex-boyfriend, actor Dave Coulier from Full House. No, NOT fine Uncle Jesse, but Uncle Joey. The actor later told a Canadian paper that he knew the songs were about him because certain incidents in it, like folks being bugged at dinner, were incidents that happened in their relationship (and afterwards). However, Morrisette says she doesn’t like to say who her songs are and are not about because it’s not really about the ex, but the singer expressing herself (and her anger) freely.
No Doubt – Don’t Speak
I don’t know if I could be okay with being in a band with someone and knowing I’m performing a track that is inspired by me for negative reasons. But that’s exactly what happened when frontwoman Gwen Stefani wrote the classic track about her bandmate, bassist Tony Kanal. The two were in a relationship together for seven years and while the song was a big hit, Kanal would later say in an interview with the Huffington Post that the track was painful to perform and talk about back in the day: “We were on tour for Tragic Kingdom for 28 months. We were going through the breakup, and in every interview we were talking about it so we were opening this wound on an hourly basis. It was so brutal but I don’t know how we made it through.”
Lauryn Hill – Lost Ones
So we all are clearly aware these days that Lauryn Hill had a pretty tumultuous relationship with Wyclef while in the Fugees. Even after it ended though, as well as the group as a whole, they couldn’t really get along. And by the time Hill was ready to work on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, she was ready to talk about it, calling out Clef (without calling him out by name) and saying money and him purely not wanting to see her shine without him were reasons the Fugees split and why they still couldn’t be friendly. And to this day, they still can’t get it right.
Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River
Anytime a girl in your video looks exactly like your ex-girlfriend, it’s safe to say that whatever song the video is for is about her. Such was the case with Timberlake’s epic “Cry Me A River.” While he tried to play coy about the song being about ex-boo Britney Spears, by 2011, he just didn’t feel like faking the funk anymore. Both Timberlake and producer Timbaland have since been pretty open about the impact Spears had on the song, with Timbaland telling HuffPo the song happened after “He went to a concert and saw Britney, and Britney talked about him in the show and he was p**sed.” The rest is history, and a classic jam.
Outkast – Ms. Jackson
Okay, here’s a more positive track on the list. For those who weren’t aware, “Ms. Jackson,” a lovely song with a cute video, was actually a song dedicated to Erykah Badu’s mother. While her last name wasn’t actually Ms. Jackson, the song is, surface-wise, about a relationship that crumbles and the impact the parent of a former love can have on you. So what does Erykah’s mom think of the track? According to The Daily Beast, the Badu told said, “My mom just laughs about ‘Ms. Jackson.’ She and Dre are really pretty cool; they talk.”