In “Stay,” Shawn Cook covers the emotional toll that love can have on a person and the conflicts, manipulations, and ultimatums that may be a part of toxic relationships. Taking a sarcastic approach to love, Shawn Cook raps about it sociologically. He employs his seamless flows to show a failed romantic relationship in which both sides are exhausted from all of the games and desires yet remain attracted to the poisonous nature of the relationship. He likens it to a “reverse carousel,” which refers to a situation in which a magnetic attraction leads to a never-ending cycle of delight and agony with no chance for quiet.
The stunning music video for “Stay” gives viewers a window into the artist’s unique perspective on the tension between desire and loss. Most of it is captured in black and white. But there are little glimpses of colors here and there to demonstrate that not all has been lost.
You can listen to it on YouTube:
Beginning with Cook seated on a porch, the attention is instantly pulled to his colorful sock and jade stone bracelet. Cook’s wife, with her bright red lipstick and sparkling wedding band, is the reason he is being pulled back. Cook is getting a cigarette light when we see the word “LOVE” painted in vivid colors on a wall. He knows he must go back and not succumb to the siren’s call to “stay for a while.”
You can listen to the single at Spotify and follow the artist on Instagram:
He tries to break out of the loop, but as the music video reverses, he is drawn back and forced to resume doing the same things. The song’s message is that sometimes we get so wrapped up in a relationship that we incorrectly think our regular actions are moving us forward. But in truth, we can be emotionally regressing even while the current moment keeps us in limbo.