DFMU

Album: Heart on My Sleeve (2022)
Charted: 85
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Songfacts®:

  • "DFMU" is a vulnerable R&B song where Ella Mai sings of a relationship that's pulling her down (the title is an acronym for "Don't F--k Me Up").

    You know I wanna be around
    You tugging warring with my heart
    Didn't think it'd ever be so hard
    Crazy I'm letting down my guard


    Mai is giddy in the throes of new love and hopes the object of her affection feels the same way. She fears getting wounded if he doesn't treat her right.
  • Mai ends the song by repeatedly imploring her love interest not to let her down. "Someone can be angry at you, sad with you, or upset with you, but disappointment from the people you love or being disappointed by someone you love, I think it's the toughest pill to swallow," she told Billboard. "The 'don't let me down.' I still feel it, and if someone's telling you that, 'I'm really here for you, just don't mess this up,' it's like, 'Damn, we're here.'"
  • Mai wrote "DFMU" with Prince Charlez (Usher's "More," Ledisi's "High," Mary J Blige's "Love Yourself") in 2020 after she told him about her relationship issues. "Making the song felt like a much-needed therapy session," the London R&B singer told Apple Music. "Prince Charlez and I were having a honest conversation and explaining being down for the ride of a relationship as long as it's reciprocated, and that later turned into lyrics and melodies."
  • Ella Mai's longtime musical collaborator Mustard produced the slow-burning piano ballad. The California producer first discovered Mai's music on Soundcloud back in 2015 and signed her to his label, 10 Summers. They've worked together ever since, including on her singles "Boo'd Up" and "Trip."

    "Mustard is like my brother, so there's nothing that's off-limits to say to each other in the studio when it comes to the creative process," Mai told Nylon. "I know he'll always be honest with me about his feelings towards something."
  • Mai released "DFMU" as the lead single from Heart On My Sleeve on January 28, 2022. It slowly gathered momentum and entered the Hot 100 four months later.
  • The Loris Russier-directed video shows Mai and her lover slowly drowning inside a car that's crashed into a lake. It represents how a toxic relationship can pull you down.
  • This topped Adult R&B Songs, giving Ella Mai her fourth leader on the Billboard chart. Her previous three #1s were "Boo'd Up," "Trip," and her featured turn on Usher's 2020 single "Don't Waste My Time."

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