DISCLAIMER: Yellow Metal = Gold. As in Green & Gold. You’re an absolute clown if you’re still denying Zarry. Especially after Fine Line.
I don’t know what’s happening. Zayn is a rapper now, Daniaal is leaking songs, and this one (Yellow Metal) is the length of an entire album. Help. I just woke up to people telling me about this on the Discussion Post (thanks btw, I appreciate the people who bring news here! 🙂 )
It’s very apparent Zayn gave him permission to post this. This is the direct link: Click here!
This is a link to a full lyric thread (with convenient timestamps) that is the most accurate set of lyrics I’ve personally seen so far (which many people shared here yesterday. Thank you!) A lot of the other transcripts are very off:
Zayn apparently sampled a song called “Qudeo Malo” in “Yellow Metal,” the intro of which samples the Charles Bukowski poem called “Style.” This is funny because Harry actually used the same poem for his intro to “Golden” for his December 2019 show, and we all know Charles Bukowski is one of Harry’s favorite writers. (Credit to the people who discovered this.)
Was this deliberate on Zayn’s part, or is this supposed to be another of those cosmic coincidences??
My interpretation of some of the lyrics are below.
Also, I might as well add it here! The Sequel is officially on the way, beginning in June. It will be called “Neon Red” based off of a lyric in Zayn’s “Tightrope.” Here is the first look at the cover:
This book will pick up right where This Thing Upon Me left off, in February 2017, and span several years until 2019. It will be told entirely from Zayn’s perspective, and will cover flashbacks from late 2013-2015. I plan to release a few chapters in the first week of June, and then take my time to build out the story from there. Thanks for all your support!!
First thing we need to observe here is the title. “Yellow-Metal” is another name for Gold. It sounds very much like Zayn is adopting his role in the whole “Green & Gold” unit. He is referring to himself as the Gold/Yellow part.
I can’t possibly analyze every line of this song. It’s practically a podcast. It’s 24min long. I believe it is multiple songs added into one file. I tried to transcribe it for you all, got two full pages down and had been doing it for about half an hour, when I realized I was still only at minute-3. And it’s infuriating because I’m a word-whore so I like to read and understand every single word of the things I consume. Especially song lyrics.
I like to let them marinate inside my brain and heart so I can get a fuller understanding of the motivating emotions behind the song, beyond just the initial listen. The trouble is, Zayn can mumble sometimes, so he can be incredibly difficult to transcribe. I listened to every line of what I did write like 5 times each, which is why it becomes so time consuming. So I gave up.
What I will say before we begin, is that I’m impressed. Super impressed. He sounds really good, he has flow, the delivery is impeccable, and his lyricism astounds me. It grows leaps and bounds anytime we hear something new from him. So I commend the effort he put into writing this, regardless of whether or not I will ever fully understand what it is he is trying to convey.
Here is my failed attempt at a transcript below:
Dark matter like paint splatters they fit better. The old saying, the way it goes: better the devil you do, than you don’t know. I hit pedals and switch levels my heart metal. I can’t settle I’m part troubled and not subtle. I fuck good, so fuck cuddles (?) burst bubbles. The thirst levels at new highs, I down bubbles and got better till I felt high and my face puzzled. Felt mumbled far-strung and your floors wooden. The thought might be (???) of fortnight, and I thought right. It’s all bark and it’s no bite. I’m torn (?) still embarking on a dream. Took a bit of time to take darkness from the team. Seen what I seen. Heart lives on the sleeve. Tried to burn my wings so I put them in a piece on my chest. At peace, no rest. Flip this on its head. Rip the script up now flipping dark things. Slip the shit again. Fakers all around me and they living in pretense. Fake friends won’t make amends. There’s no need these mean queens control the scenes. They take a seat cause the span (?) is weak and they spam the news (?) where the family need and the planet bleeds the damaged trees. It’s never leaving till we are saints so fuck the fence. The told did stuck in color it’s fuck the feds. You must be worth it I mean it you know you had (???) neve guilty of judging. I used to dread growing my beard too long, never felt I belonged but it’s been long like a minute I ain’t looking to no mans for the lyrics to feeling timid I’m telling them who they mimic why healing them like a clinic I’m too swagged they get no women. Still just fucking girls lost in their own world. Jurassic nothing is vermin kicking the game I’m swerving these losers are never learning, my fire’s forever burning. Adding it to my fuel, seems like I’m always focused on never becoming you. These jokers are always feigning they slaughter us (?) for a reason I’m seeing my new beginnings, watch how this loser’s winning in waters too deep to swim in like combat I see me killing now mortal without a limit, flawless and feeling lawless. Their prisoner now to the gimmicks my (???????) set to swim in. I’m watching you bitches plummet no matches now for my cunning. You rappers are feeling done in, switching your genre, running-running your jaws, stunting. Colored and straw something I think you’re a poor effort. Definite tour (?) definite I hate (????) living near my element riding it like sentinel never lose me to fentanyl, scared when I take Benadryl, keeping it green and general. Think you remain relevant look at yourself with reverence, hoping to always elevate. Celibate of these thoughts killing themselves with sedatives in comparison to Eminem you’re feeling feminine and politically correct. Still jumping on my neck and I never give a fuck what they say about my shit. I’ve been moving things in my mind like (??) do. Memories make me wonder if they amount to you. What’s the purpose that you do this, are you hoping that they learn? I like to say I’m done but it’s getting up on my nerve. Looking at my life saying what do I deserve? It’s hard to say I know when we’re walking through the dirt. Talking about do nothing I can see for what it’s worth. I’m tired of feeling hurt and I’ve tried enough in works. I’m racking up excuses while I’m slacking off at work. Shit-chatting is the usual I’m taking with this clerk. I beg you don’t include me I might write it on my shirt so that every time they see me that they always know it’s worth. My life is potent I did some fucked shit till they took notice. Weren’t no hocus pocus it was hard work that got me heard so I put in a graph like google maps; got the whole earth. Riding round till my dome hurt. Taking over like the Mormons (?)
Now I will instead cherry pick the lyrics that stand out to me the most. Not necessarily the Zarry lyrics only, but any sentiments that are clear enough for me to feel confident I understand what he is saying.
The old saying, the way it goes: better the devil you do, than you don’t know. Basically he is referencing the old adage “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” Which according to Merriam Webster means: “—used to say that it is better to deal with a difficult person or situation one knows than with a new person or situation that could be worse.” For me, this could mean many things. But it also could very well mean he’s choosing to stick to the Hadids despite how bad things have become, because the familiarity makes the situation easier, as opposed to…idk, finding a new beard lol. I made a similar point in my recent Q&A video. He’s sticking with Gigi because imo if he leaves her he’s done. No other woman will put up with this toxic dysfunctional confusing shit. It’s either that or be alone completely, or be with Harry, which will expose him.
The thirst levels at new highs, I down bubbles and got better till I felt high and my face puzzled. This sounds like a metaphor for yearning or wants in life, which he describes as “thirst” and then he uses the extended metaphor of himself drinking “bubbles” which typically refers to champagne?? So alcohol. And he still felt high of course because he was now drunk. (Side note, I’m so sorry, but this made me think of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory when Charlie and his grandad drink the soda and then they start floating and they reach the ceiling, and then they have to burp to get down. Ahhh, I tell ya. Good times, good times.)
It’s all bark and it’s no bite. Hmm…could he be referring to himself here? I think so. This is what some of us constantly accuse Zayn of. Talking a big game (like in Tightrope) and then doing nothing, or falling back on his old media gimmicks with Gigi. He never actually makes the move he keeps alluding to.
Heart lives on the sleeve. Indicates vulnerability and exposing your feelings for the world to see all the time. This is very Harry, and it’s very unlike Zayn who is a cloaked, tight-lipped, introverted person. Someone else also said it could be referencing the two hearts Harry has tattooed on his arm (which he kissed for Zayn) and I agree.
Took a bit of time to take darkness from the team. This instantly puts me in mind of the band. Almost like he felt he was a sacrificial lamb of sorts and his leaving alleviated their burden somehow. Or like he felt he was holding the band down with his style, or complicating things with his inability to fit in. Or the team could be another group he is a part of, where he similarly feels he needed to “take one for the team” or suffer for the team, such as his family perhaps?
Fakers all around me and they living in pretense. Fake friends won’t make amends. Is he finally starting to wake up and see he is surrounded by a family of leeches and clout-chasers who are forcing/encouraging him to play make believe and play house with Gigi?
There’s no need these mean queens control the scenes. Lol is he talking about the gay mafia? They’re real, you know. Watch your back, Zayn. He could also be referring to Hollywood elites that run things behind the scenes. This seems to be the second reference he’s made to gays in Hollywood, like in Calamity. He says something like “I’ve seen actors at the BAFTAS be more straight.” Sounds like some internalized homophobia, or a bit of projection going on there. Who’s gonna tell him?
I used to dread growing my beard too long, never felt I belonged but it’s been long like a minute I ain’t looking to no mans for the lyrics to feeling timid I’m telling them who they mimic why healing them like a clinic I’m too swagged they get no women. Alright, sir, chill. This seems to be a major reference to the band days, and how he would be discouraged from growing facial hair because it made him look older than the other boys. And he seems to be bragging about his songwriting ability as compared to other people.
I’m swerving these losers are never learning, my fire’s forever burning. Adding it to my fuel, seems like I’m always focused on never becoming you. This could be a hit at his dad? Or even just at other people in his life whose paths he is reluctant to follow and whose positions he doesn’t seem to respect. Quite derogatory and arrogant language from Zayn in this whole thing.
I’m seeing my new beginnings, watch how this loser’s winning in waters too deep to swim in like combat I see me killing now mortal without a limit, flawless and feeling lawless. This is a cool line. But what are his “new beginnings” I wonder. He seems to be doing all the same shit to me, with a baby added on top.
I’m watching you bitches plummet, no matches now for my cunning. Ngl, that line was kinda hard, yo.
…living near my element riding it like sentinel never lose me to fentanyl, scared when I take Benadryl, keeping it green and general. Kind of dark, but I love the lyricism here. Genius stuff. A sentinel is a soldier btw. Fentanyl is a highly addictive, highly potent drug that is killing a lot of addicts in America right now. It’s being laced in a lot of pills and other substances. Benadryl is allergy medicine that can make you very drowsy. Keeping it green and general means he’s sticking to weed, I believe. So for everyone speculating that he’s doing hard drugs he’s saying stfu hahaha.
Memories make me wonder if they amount to you. I feel like when he mentions memories he is referring to Harry. Idk I just feel that way. Like when he opened Calamity talking about “nostalgia.”
I’m tired of feeling hurt and I’ve tried enough in works. I’m racking up excuses while I’m slacking off at work. Shit-chatting is the usual I’m talking with this clerk. I beg you don’t include me I might write it on my shirt so that every time they see me that they always know it’s worth.
This last stanza seems like it could be about Harry really. Like Zayn is tried of the struggle to contain everything, and tired of being pressured to expose everything at the same time? Idk, just a vague thought I had. The threat to put something on a shirt sounds almost like a metaphor, for exposing something???
I did some fucked shit till they took notice. What is he referring to? Leaving the band? Leaving Islam? What did he do? Or is it referring to something messed up he did behind the scenes that the public is unaware of?
(Music changes @ 4:00)
It’s been a while since I smiled at a milestone. He maybe isn’t finding much joy in his achievements anymore? Why though?
Me against the world. He still feels like an Island. Super alienated. Hmmm…
Overcome all these stunts that I pulled. Ya don’t say.
This life it don’t give you no armor. A lot on this earth that could harm ya. Yes we know, sir.
Do you still believe I’m a fool for ever leaving. Sounds like another band reference.
I’ve had enough of being my own enemy. It’s time I grew up, a long way from 17. Always went against the grain. Struggles in my life. Got some things to say when I stand up on the mic. I ain’t dropping this for fame I need this time like therapy to keep me sane. Music remains his only true therapeutic outlet, and it leads me to believe he does a lot of these rap songs to express himself. Like Calamity or Lucozade. But what strikes me the most is there are so many indications that on some level he suffers from a kind of PTSD from his time in the band (which we already know was quite traumatic for him as far as his mental health and the stress levels and the eating disorder and the general feelings of rejection and alienation.)
Don’t say I can’t communicate when you know I conversate with you in several different ways. And I know you know it’s reverence cause I’m looking at your face. Who is he talking to? Harry?
Can’t justify mistakes. Like every man that made them seems I ain’t the one to blame. Lying to myself only had so much to gain. At least he’s acknowledging that he’s been lying to himself and possibly shifting blame away from himself for his mistakes.
Surround myself with real ones and you feel the plastic melt. He keeps talking about fakery, I would love to see what comes of this mindset. Will he remain in the clutches of the Hadids? Will he return to his family? Since Daniaal posted this, I wonder if it is any indication.
(7:40 Music changes)
Feeling trapped, this industry is a cage. Yeah, we know.
(8:30 Music changes)
(Side note: I love how he references ’93 like he was born in the 60s or something lol)
Seems to be referencing the state of the world and how conflicted he is about speaking out on certain issues. He references facing racism which we know he has, and getting kicked out of school for fighting or “hitting” the kids who called him “Paki” He also references how he was made to believe he was the issue when all along it was the people who were discriminating against him, I believe.
How can I be civil when they got me by the throat. This is so good. He even makes reference to people I believe telling him his skin is “too light” to be discriminated against. And he’s like, ok MF how about you try to take my name up on a flight and see what happens. Which is true. When the band was first starting out, I believe his book references how they would give him trouble, basically racial profiling him at airport security. And it happened more than once I believe.
He goes on to talk about the evils of the music industry and how he’s overcome so much, and how writing has helped him through these things.
(11:30 Music changes)
PAGE TWO: ADDITIONAL LYRICAL ANALYSIS