Stepping into a relationship is hard—and takes work. No one knows this better than Bahamian-born, Toronto-based rapper Travis Bowe who tackles the subject on his latest track, "50:50." With vocal assistance from A. Major, the down-tempo song grapples with the politics of indecisiveness and love. Bowe's bars use flowers as a metaphoric gateway into unpacking how dangerous these metronomical feelings could be if left in limbo. Ultimately, Bowe advises you to shoot your shot even if it's half court and seems way wildly out of pocket.
Read our interview and listen to the track below:
Noisey: What inspired this song?
Travis Bowe: I wanted to write a song about how "chance" can drive a person crazy when it comes to falling in love. The many questions you ask yourself, the doubt and the focus on your imperfections when trying to figure out if a person would actually feel the same way you do or not. It's like, "I'm willing to take the 'chance' to fall in love with you because I think that you're worth it", but what if you don't feel the same. I wrote my [first] verse from the perspective of a man being lost or stuck in the in-betweens of chance but he's crazy because he's more in love with picking the flower and daydreaming of him and the girl together than actually trying to manifest a relationship.
What advice would you give who is in a situation like you describe in the song?
My advice would be that you should never allow people to control or alter your self-perception. Believe in yourself enough to build the courage to approach and converse, even if they don't feel the same. With being so caught up in thoughts and dreams you can lose touch with reality and that's when you've gone too far."
You reference flowers many times throughout "50:50." Why is this connection important?
The flowers in the song symbolize "chance." The old game of, "does she love me or does she love me not." The beauty in the song is that it doesn't matter what the flower tells him—what the chances are—because he still loves the girl but the sad reality is he's too far gone to even take the chance and caught in his own ongoing cycle of picking the flowers. Also, simultaneously, the flower is him: a beautiful thing destroyed layer-by-layer by the thought of being with someone who may not reciprocate his feelings.
Sharine is a Toronto-based writer. Follow her on Twitter.