Tonight, I am Zayn Malik in Mind of Mine.

McCoy
4 min readMay 29, 2020

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Tonight, I am Zayn Malik in Mind of Mine. Not Chike in Boo of the Booless. It is a beautiful project, but for “hopeless romantics” (whatever that means). Basic. The opposite of that is something like The Weeknd in Beauty Behind the Madness. Even though you see the real me when I am fucked up, I do not only call you when it is half past five (or do I?). Acidic.

Perhaps the PH is neutral in Ckay’s CkayTheFirst. On one track I am saying “you mean the world to me” and on another I am asking “are you down to fuck?” You see, these albums need range. The human experience is complicated so art deserves various interconnected themes.

Many Nigerian artistes do not understand this range. But then many do not even understand the basics at all, of “romantic” songs. The mediocre attempt often starts and ends like this —

Na you I go marry | I will take you to Mummy | I go buy you Bentley | You are my one and only

Yuck.

Tonight I am Zayn in Mind of Mine. I often am. On Friday nights like this I am overwhelmed by the week’s work. But underwhelmed because instead of a party, I am indoors doing even more work. So I am playing the album from my speakers and swaying on my seat.

The feeling it transmits is freedom. I feel like this album is one side of me, the other is probably Emeli Sande’s Our Version of Events. I mean —I am full of light and wonder. But I am also down for sweaty pillow talks. I feel free. This album gets one half of me in ways I cannot detail. I want to screenshot all the lyrics and display them.

But I also feel shame. Because most of the time I am committed to appropriateness. I need to be. I try to force a different narrative sometimes but I often tell the single, ubiquitous story—of uptightness. It is an unfair representation. I am also made of looseness! Notice my placard!

But I feel shame because of my loose thoughts. I have been taught to. My drastic, sexual thoughts that I perfectly wrap in double breasted suits and politeness. We are full of perverse thoughts, all of us. But we are full of shame too. So we cower and judge.

Especially you. And your gender. Who feel unspeakable shame for the same things mine feel pride for. Who act like sex is some burnt offering you give us. The world is full of women who do not want to take responsibility, who do not want to have explicit conversations about sexuality, who do not mind sacrificing their own pleasure. But what do I know?

I also feel shame because I am mostly alone in my recurring thoughts. No one understands how my brain works. No one. Things occur to me differently. In this regard, I see a certain design to everything. And this includes touches, kisses, thrusts. It is art. It should be art. But I am not brave enough to discuss it.

I avoid talk like this because it sells me as faux—a perverse, mischievous pretender. Too many shallow, inadequate men have used my artsy lines (well, something desperately close to them) for disappointing objectives. And my intuition isn’t meant for shallow women either.

Or how do I ask for your candid pictures? How do I make you sext at formal occasions? How can my kisses say everything? How do I ask you to get drunk, or dance naked with me? Without sounding like yesterday’s perv? Or is there a difference?

Once, I explained that people are either squares or cubes. I am attracted to cubes. I can do away with squares. The difference is one dimension. That dimension is depth. Only the deep can call out to the deep. Cubes keep their minds open and see the art.

I also never say “I am different”. Again, silly men and disappointing objectives. But I am indeed different. And I should be handled differently. So, I am not imposing. I am constantly respectful, slow. And the chase doesn’t excite me, the ease does. But why am I selling? And who cares?

Oh well. Tonight I am Zayn in Mind of Mine. I am seeing the pain and the pleasure. There’s nobody but you, and our bodies are together. I love to hold you close, I love to wake up next to you. But I can also taste it in your mouth — proof that you are a freak like me. And I want to watch you take your clothes off.

I am asking — can your heart be mine? And as long as you look me in the eye, I will l go wherever you are. But you must keep your eyes open or you will be looking in the wrong place for my love.

I am Zayn in Mind of Mine.

I am humble enough to admit that it is you, that I am a fool for you. But I am also arrogant enough to declare that it is okay to want me, because he does not know your body. He cannot touch you like I can.

For real, he cannot.

No one is more meticulous. And no one is speedier at this thing, darling. I‘m not regular! I talk clean energy and I talk dirty. I open doors and I pull hair.

Now that is range. Art is the discipline of a mature mind and the creativity of a child. Art is range. And this mind of mine… is as dark as it is lit.

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McCoy