A "choker" is someone who folds under pressure in an important competition or event. Here, Tyler Joseph is down on himself because he can't cope with his circumstances. He feels nothing can save him.
I know it's over
I was born a choker
Nobody's comin' for me
Comin' for me
In the second verse, Joseph further beats himself up for his shyness, while acknowledging his negativity is addictive.
I don't bother anyone
Never make demands
Chokin' on the circumstance
Self-sabotage is a sweet romance
By the end of the song, Joseph has resolved to move on rather than dwelling on his past mistakes.
Like a silhouette that you can barely see
As a shadow cast upon the ground where you'll eventually
Lay forever, but the day goes on, the sun moves behind you
You get taller, bolder, stronger and the rearview only blinds you
Twenty One Pilots released this song as their second single from Scaled and Icy. Joseph's struggles with depression and anxiety are a common theme in the rockers' music, and the album finds the singer processing his prevailing emotions during the COVID pandemic: "anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and doubt," according to a statement.
Twenty One Pilots' frequent collaborator Mark C. Eshleman directed the video, filming it in the duo's hometown of Columbus, Ohio. The clip sees Joseph taking a trip to a toy store where goes to battle with bandmate/shopkeeper Tyler Joseph in a surreal feud.
Tyler Joseph comes from a basketball background, where "choking" is a common term for failing in a pressure situation, like missing a key free throw. He explained to Apple Music: "With certain friendships and relationships, there were moments that I could have risen to the occasion and I didn't, and that's something that I'll have to live with. I think that everyone has those moments where they feel like they choked. The song is trying to work that through and trying to figure out if that's someone that I was born to be. Can I shape this? Is this something I can turn around?"