Middle Child
by PnB Rock (featuring XXXTENTACION)

Album: TrapStar Turnt PopStar (2019)
Charted: 91

Songfacts®:

  • PnB Rock grew up the third child out of five boys. The quintet were raised in Philadelphia by a struggling single mother and by the age of 13 the "Middle Child" was "young and wild." Here, PnB Rock reflects on his humbling upbringing.
  • The Philly rapper is joined on the song by XXXTentacion, whose rhymes mainly comprise of boasts about his cash and threats about the gun he's carrying. PnB Rock previously collaborated with X on "Changes" and "SMASH!" from the later rapper's ? album.
  • PnB's "Middle Child" was the second rap song with that title to reach the Hot 100 in 2019, following J. Cole's hit tune.
  • PnB told Billboard that though has two older brothers, only one of them acted like an older figure. He explained:

    "I have an autistic brother and he's older than me but he can't really talk much. We all take care of him - so I was a middle child, but I was like the second oldest, pretty much. Then recently, my oldest brother got killed, so now it's like now I'm really the oldest. I really had to step up like the oldest, regardless of living as the child born in the middle of five siblings all my life. It taught me how to step up."
  • During the song's only verse, PnB Rock recalls the actions that led to him being sentenced to over two years in jail on drug charges. He explained to Apple Music that it was X's contribution that spurred into talking about that time in his life:

    "He really surprised me with 'Middle Child', because I wasn't even expecting to do that type of song with him. I was thinking I was gonna go one route, talking about how I came up, talking about how I got kicked out my mama's house. But he came on it and just started swagging on it. I'm like, nah, I gotta match that energy."

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