The last single The Chainsmokers released was called "Sick Boy." On it, Andrew Taggart mused, "I am the Sick Boy," and with its themes of narcissism and social media, we wondered collectively whether all millennials are indeed the Sick Boy or whether the Chainsmokers had just not watched Trainspotting and understood there is only one true Sick Boy. Anyway, I'm sure toddlers found the song brave and thought-provoking.
The band – voices of a generation, to be sure – have since released another track, "Everybody Hates Me," which is about PARANOIA and SOCIAL MEDIA and NIHILISM and MAKING U THINK. Anyway considering that this is extremely their brand now I decided to get into the nitty gritty and try to pick out the most Chainsmokers lyric of a very Chainsmokers track.
9) "Yeah, I just want to drink tequila with my friends
I'm so defeated, I just want this shit to end"
This one is interesting because it's actually not very Chainsmokers at all, but it's also very Chainsmokers. Let me explain what I mean: The Chainsmokers are a group who have consistently hopped onto trends, so much so that their actual identity as a band is very flimsy. The fact that they're trend-hoppers is basically what defines them most of all. "I'm so defeated, I just want this shit to end" is a lyric that feels very closely tied to the current wave of emo-rap as popularised by artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Peep, but it's not something that The Chainsmokers themselves have really approached yet. It feels like they're jumping on it without actually meaning it, in the same way as they jump on basically everything else, and in this way it is their least typical lyric and their most. Anyway I hate it loads so I'm putting it last.
8) "I'm talkin' to myself, shit, now they think I'm crazy
I walk into the club like, everybody hates me (everybody hates me)"
This is quite in-the-moment, but The Chainsmokers have had more success with rosy nostalgia (their biggest hit to date, "Closer," basically trades off "take me back to Spain 2016!!!" Instagram captions for lyrics), so not very Chainsmokers.
7) "The more I read it, yeah, the more I take offence
I'm so defeated, I can't get outside my head"
This feels like a possible moment of honesty rather than a cheap attempt to tap into a zeitgeist which is not very Chainsmokers at all, so low ranking for this.
6) "And I'm not trying to be like 'poor me,' I made it
I'm just trying to stay normal now that they know what my name is"
Staying grounded as a Chainsmoker seems tough :-(
5) "Yeah, I just wanna drink tequila with my friend
She said she cheated 'cause she tried to get ahead"
Oh cool misogynistic stereotypes. A mid-table placing.
4) "So I walk into the club like, everybody hates me
I walk into the club like, everybody hates me"
Maybe this is an attempt by The Chainsmokers to self-reflexively address their much-reviled status amongst critics in order to drum up publicity, or perhaps it's an attempt to tap into some sort of millennial malaise. Either way, pretty Chainsmokers.
3) "I post a picture of myself 'cause I'm lonely
Everyone knows what I look like
Not even one of them knows me"
THIS IS THAT REAL CHAINSMOKERS SHIT BABYYYYYY *AIRHORN NOISE*
2) "I'm a product of the internet
And now, I'm face to face with all the voices in my head
I can't even check the time without facing regret
Why do I still have to mean everything I ever said?"
This is just a bunch of words that vaguely say "online is dangerous and makes you vacuous guys" so yeah very Chainsmokers.
1) "Yeah, I just wanna drink tequila with my friends
They're the reason that I still am who I am"
Here's that weird Instagram caption shit again. This takes first place simply because it's badly constructed (10/10 Chainsmokers) and because its ~meaning~ is so loose as to mean literally nothing, but it also references 'friends' and brings everything to a more optimistic slant. Kind of encompasses The Chainsmokers' entire MO really. Post-postmodern. Art (except not).
Follow Lauren on Twitter.