NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

Diss Tracks 101: Reviewing Two Instant Classics 


Although some music listeners prefer happy and peaceful songs, diss tracks never fail to amaze me. I am not alone; these songs are often the most successful on the album, featuring sharp writing and pop culture references. Olivia Rodrigo’s popular debut album, “SOUR,” was a collection of diss tracks calling out her ex-boyfriend and resulted in plenty of speculation about his identity.  

A few more are Drake’s song “Back to Back,” aimed at Meek Mill, Jay-Z’s hit “Takeover” about the rapper Nas, and of course, Taylor Swift’s entire career. Diss tracks can be very interesting because audiences crave celebrity drama; the easter eggs and hints in the lyrics and music videos often attract interested viewers.   

This year started with a bang, presenting “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 5” by Shakira Ripoll, better known mononymously as Shakira, and “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus. Both songs are rumored to be diss tracks about these artists’ ex-husbands, who reportedly cheated on them.  

First, “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” also known as “Out of Your League,” is a song sung by Shakira and produced by Argentinian producer Bizarrap. The song was released on Jan. 11; within 24 hours of its release, it had accumulated over 15 million streams on Spotify. The music video received more than 55 million views on YouTube in the same period, smashing the previous world record for any Spanish song, and debuted at the 12th spot on the Billboard Global 200 list.  

This song is a breath of fresh air from other diss tracks, mainly because Ripoll is not afraid of playing what I call the name-blame-game. She bluntly uses her ex-husband Gerard Pique’s name and tells the entire story of the problems she faced after he left her for a new girlfriend. The lyric “I am worth two twenty-twos” is a direct and combative statement meant for Pique, who left her for a 22-year-old.  

Another personal detail is found as Shakira narrates how she was left in their home with Pique’s mother as her neighbor. I was surprised by this song, as I had never imagined a sweet person like Shakira ranting about her ex-husband. She was unafraid to call herself a Rolex and Ferrari, while comparing Pique’s new girlfriend to the cheaper brands Casio and Twingo.  

She confidently declares that she will not be returning to Pique, even if he begs or cries. Shakira asserts that she deserves better, and states that we live in a world where women are not dependent on anyone — instead, they work hard and live their life to the fullest. I get goosebumps whenever I listen to that lyric.  

The song has a catchy beat with lyrics in Spanish; after listening to it a few times, I decided to learn Spanish to understand more of her music. This pop song is now one of the most frequently played tracks on my playlist.  

Moving onto “Flowers,” I think this song is simply amazing, and with its virality on TikTok and Instagram, it seems that many people agree. Cyrus strategically released the song on Jan. 13, 2023; this date is her ex-husband Liam Hemsworth’s birthday.  

The song is sonically very similar to Bruno Mars’s song “When I Was Your Man.” Cyrus uses the chords of that song to write a feminist reply to those lyrics. For instance, Mars sings “I should’ve bought you flowers,” to which Cyrus replies in her song, “I can buy myself flowers.” The music video takes place in the former couple’s house, where Hemsworth allegedly cheated. 

“Flowers” debuted at the number one spot on Billboard. My favorite lyric from the song is “I can love me better than you can,” because this single line sums up what the whole song is about. Both Shakira and Cyrus stress that women are independent and do not need a significant other to make them feel special or beautiful. The popularity of these tracks is an indicator that today, self-love is even more crucial than having someone in your life. 

I loved both songs, learned the lyrics, and forced my friends to listen to the hits. This music made me appreciate both the singers and women all around the world. As the saying goes, “Women do not cry; they cash in.” 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Vector

Your donation will support the student journalists of New Jersey Institute of Technology. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Paridhi Bhardwaj, Staff Writer
Donate to The Vector

Comments (0)

All The Vector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *