To celebrate the release of his first album, grayground., Gray has been releasing music videos of the songs featured in this album, one of which is “I Don’t Love You”, featuring Coogie. “I Don’t Love You” was initially released as a single, and was added as one of the main tracks in his album, alongside the upbeat title track, “Baby Don’t Cry”. While “Baby Don’t Cry” had a fun and more uplifting mood and atmosphere both musically and visually, “I Don’t Love You” is more melancholic and bitter.

Visually, the MV’s aesthetics remind me of Tron, with its use of white lights, drones, and cool colours. Particularly in the scene where we see the backup dancers, their costume consists of a black one piece with neon blue patterns, much like the outfits we see in Tron. This gives the video a cool, modern and chic vibe to it, matching with the chill tone of the song despite its sad lyrics. Coolness aside, the futuristic setting also creates a lonely and empty atmosphere to the MV, placing further emphasis on the bitterness that comes with the lyrics. The lights are constantly flashing and moving, but at a slow enough pace that does not attack the viewer, and instead evokes the feeling of sorrow. 

Throughout the MV and the song, it is implied that the past lover was never really invested in the relationship, but rather staying in said relationship for clout, or for attention. Once the relationship was over, they started attacking the other party, and this is represented by the drones present in the MV, which circle around Gray and Coogie, pointing lasers at them, as if to imply that the two are being attacked or targeted. 

I don’t wanna go back, your love is fake

All of your love is fake, now I’m finally leaving

What you wanted is fame, your goal was to clout chase

Stop thinking that my love songs are about you

But these lyrics are true, I don’t love you

Upon reading Coogie’s lyrics, I started thinking about how songs are used to create drama in the industry. One good example would be Olivia Rodrigo’s album titled Sour, where most of the songs were about heartbreak and sadness, and many of her listeners suspect that these songs were about her ex-boyfriend, Joshua Bassett. Of course, the songs were good and memorable – I catch myself putting “favorite crime” and “good 4 u” on repeat every now and then – but the drama that comes with the intention behind the lyrics only serves to boost both the album and the artist’s popularity. Furthermore, sometimes relationships would be made public in order to draw attention to certain celebrities to ensure that their upcoming singles or albums would gain more listens.

Clout chasing has been increasing over the years, with influencers and celebrities jumping onto certain bandwagons in order to keep the drama going while trying to gain more followers and fans. Unfortunately, it is effective to do so, as more people get invested, and while the initial conflict has been forgotten and discarded, those involved are likely to have gained a bigger following than before.

Increased acts of clout chasing only leads to wariness, particularly for bigger creators, who may get dragged into drama just because they have a huge fanbase, or are simply being used for fame, as Coogie’s lyrics suggest. It is an unfortunate consequence of the internet combined with human’s greed to have more, but much like Gray and Coogie, it is important to make a stand and shut down those who are using you.

Tangents aside, “I Don’t Love You” is a great introduction to what Gray is like as an artist– easy to groove and chill music, while tackling deeper emotions and issues. The title track, “Baby Don’t Cry”, has similar moods, though a bit more cheerful music-wise. grayground. is also worth a listen, and it features other artists such as pH-1 and Zion T, so you can expect nothing but quality music.

(YouTube [1] [2]; Images and Lyrics via AOMG)