I'm a Mess

Album: Expectations (2018)
Charted: 35

Songfacts®:

  • Bebe Rexha is in turmoil as she suspects her man doesn't love her anymore. She kicks off "I'm a Mess" by singing:

    Everything's been so messed up here lately
    Pretty sure he don't wanna be my baby
    Oh, he don't love me, he don't love me, he don't love me, he don't love me


    Rexha continues to make self-disparaging statements about her state of being throughout the first verse. However, by the pre-chorus Rexha is feeling more optimistic.

    Everything's gonna be alright
    Everything's gonna be OK
    It's gonna be a good, good life
  • Bebe Rexha co-wrote the electro-pop song with Justin Tranter, whose other credits include Justin Bieber's "Sorry" and Selena Gomez's "Good For You." Speaking with Billboard, Tranter described the writing of "I'm a Mess" with Rexha as "an inspiring organic experience."

    He added: "As she was talking about her life the song just poured out. It was one of those magic moments that as songwriters you dream of."
  • Shelly Peiken and Meredith Brooks, the co-writers of the latter's 1997 hit song "Bitch" also get credited. This was because when Rexha and Trantner listened back to "I'm a Mess" a few weeks after writing it they heard similarities in their chorus to the one in "Bitch."
  • The song was released as the first single exclusive to Bebe Rexha's debut album, Expectations. Speaking to Billboard regarding the long player's title, Rexha explained that she had certain expectations when she arrived in Los Angeles to pursue a career in music.

    "I thought money would bring me happiness and being famous would bring me happiness, but I find that…this wasn't what I expected at all," she said. "It's like the little things. It's my family, it's my mom, it's my dog, it's a cup of coffee in the morning."
  • Bebe Rexha wrote a lot of this song's lyrics in the bathtub. She told Australia's News.com.au: "I run the water and talk to myself and record it as a voice memo. Those lyrics come from real things I think about constantly."

    Rexha added that the words were inspired by a guy that she has liked for over a year now, but she doesn't "think he knows the song is about him."
  • The video was directed by Sophie Muller, who also filmed the clip for Rexha's hit collaboration with Florida Georgia Line, "Meant to Be." It features the singer being wheeled around and dancing through an old-fashioned mental asylum complete with images of straitjackets and patents watching broken TV sets. Rexha said:

    "I have been very vocal and honest about my ongoing struggle with anxiety and depression. I wanted to create a video and song that expressed my truth. This video is a celebration of me finally being able to accept my imperfections. I'm okay with not being okay all the time. If you feel alone or lost please know you are not, and you are loved."
  • Bebe Rexha penned the song with Justin Tranter the same day she'd found out a guy she liked had been playing her. She walked into the studio feeling heartbroken and also unstable as this was the first time she'd written with Tranter and was well aware of how much incredible work he'd done. Rexha recalled to Billboard: "I didn't feel like I was in the mood or in the state of mind to write a record. The one thing that's so incredible about him is that I think he's able to take that out of an artist. I walked in there and I was like, I just literally started crying and I was like, 'I'm sorry, I'm a mess today. Like I'm really a mess.'"

    "And he was like 'Come sit next to me.' You know what I mean? He sat me down next to him and we just started talking, and little did I know that everything that I was saying he was processing in his head," Rexha continued. "I was like, 'I just feel like a loser sometimes, and I was obsessed with this guy. And I'm also like upset with myself 'cause like why did I let this happen? Like I don't trust myself, I need to learn to love myself more, but I always think of the negative. And now I can't trust anybody around me.' And then he's like, 'OK, we're gonna write a song about this.' And then we just wrote it."
  • This was Bebe Rexha's first top 40 Hot 100 on her own. She'd previously reached the region with five other songs, all collaborations. They were:

    2015 "Me, Myself & I" with G-Eazy (#7).
    2015 "Hey Mama" with David Guetta, Nicki Minaj and Afrojack (#8).
    2016 "In The Name Of Love " with Martin Garrix (#24).
    2017 "Back to You" with Louis Tomlinson (#40).
    2017 "Meant to Be" with Florida Georgia Line (#2).

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