Shame

Album: Night (2018)
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Songfacts®:

  • This smooth jam about a complicated relationship was released as the lead single from Night, the third album in Maxwell's R&B trilogy. The singer described "Shame" as a modern love song.

    You unlock my phone, you look through all my messages
    You were lurkin' at my life from a di-di-di-distance
    You were checkin' out the comments I was leavin'
    Adding letters up, subtracting numbers, jumping to conclusions


    Maxwell said the song was inspired by the way social media has created an alternate world, in which "people watch everything you do, including your failures. They even often feel a sense of joy in your pain."

    The singer added this prevents real intimacy as people have become preoccupied with "measuring up to what society thinks we should be, how we should look, what we should have and what we should aspire to."

    "The song is about removing that mask of expectation and letting go of the shame of being real and vulnerable," he continued. "The shadow of shame can only be broken when we unveil ourselves, and recognize that we that we are all human - flawed yet perfect, broken yet stronger with each obstacle."
  • The video, shot in New York City, finds Maxwell celebrating the beauty of black women. The clip shows the singer surrounded by black females, including African model Maria Borges. At first they cover themselves with veils but eventually they reveal their faces.

    "People of color have carried shame about our features, our hair, our bodies, our skin tone," Maxwell explained. "As I said previously, this song is about removing the cloak of shame and opening up to love...including self-love and love of your culture. So we decided to pay homage to another beautiful video, George Michael's iconic 'Freedom '90' - but make it black."

    "The end result is gorgeous, powerful and stunning," he added. "This video is a love letter to my women of color. Feel no shame in your skin - you are beyond beautiful."

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