Tyrant
by Kali Uchis (featuring Jorja Smith)

Album: Isolation (2018)

Songfacts®:

  • Kali Uchis explained to Pitchfork why she chose the word "tyrant" to describe an emotionally abusive dude on this song.

    "A restrictive vocabulary is not any fun for a writer, and I liked how calling someone a 'tyrant' was direct," she said. "I can be really dramatic and overly sensitive sometimes, and that was a direct reflection of how I felt about a guy that was emotionally manipulative. On the track, I talk about trying to decide whether I should give this person my time because I don't know if they're going to abuse the power of me actually opening up. If I give you a little, are you gonna be like, 'Oh yeah, this is mine now' and then just s--t on me?"
  • Uchis told Genius how the song came together:

    "I was in the studio with Sounwave, and we were just going through a whole bunch of different song ideas that we had, potentially for the album. When he played that one, it just came into my head. And then, I used some lyrics from a really old song of mine that I never released. Like, the first two lines of it was from an old song. That's how I jumped it off, and then the rest of it just came rolling in right after."
  • The song features a verse by English singer-songwriter Jorja Smith. Uchis explained:

    "I had actually never even met her before. I just sent her the song and then, she sent me the verse back and I was like, 'This is amazing.' And then, I was kind of worried, because I usually don't work with people that I've never met before. I usually have to connect with you as a person before I'm going to make music with you, but I got lucky with her because then when I met her, we actually ended up becoming good friends and talking s--t over wine. And, she ended up just being really cool."

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