Dawn Richard’s “Billie Jean” + “Castle” a Soundtrack to my Cheating Ways

blackheart head piece
Billie Jean


I met him during a threesum with then boyfriend, Lucas. He was short, but I still invited him over. I’m a groupie for brown and dark skin, so I gave him the “pussy cause his tatts looked great”. For the most part we kept it about the bass and the rhythm of three bodies intertwined trying to pulsate together. I was the kick drum they took turns on.


As it happens with open relationships at times. Connections are made with the third party, those moments of harmonies and stacks. Those moments, like in “Billie Jean” by Dawn Richard off her latest release Blackheart, must be sparse and brief akin to a 20 second chorus. Though the moment, much like the sound of the chorus, seems more devoted to traditional structure, and even soft compared to the drums that have fallen by the wayside in the production, our eyes were doing nothing, but merely fuckin the gateway to the soul.

 Dawn Richard booklet

My goal was to keep it nasty — to keep this live action version of “Billie Jean” nasty, filthy, and to make him want to come back for more. Instead, I committed infidelity and went to him four days later, solo.  My goal was not intimacy. I needed to explore the sexual connection that began that chilly Wednesday evening. I told my self one or two orgasms with him would suffice, I wanted to be like “an assassination [and] leave without a trace, except for the mess he made when he came all on my face” (Bille Jean).


With a failing relationship grinding on my back like a monkey, I decided it needed company without the obligation. I employed Lucas to make me feel good, in dire times. Much like the lyrics of Billie Jean, I never wanted to stay too long with him; it was all about the orgasm of the mischief and the remedy from heartbreak sometimes being under a new guy brings.


I got to be “Billie Jean” with Lucas: a sex fiend (as Richard writes in the lyrics). A bumpin yet grindin’, soft and rambunctious piece of ass.


This relationship with my then boyfriend ended in July. Around the same time Lucas and I found one another again. He text me, asking for pictures, ass shots, wanting to parlay our conversations into phone-bones. However, while I was free to do anything I wanted to do with him in the open, he was the one in a committed relationship now. During these text sessions, I always refused to send him pics and engage in sexual talk with him. I’m sure I may have failed one time or two, but if my memory serves me right 99% of the time I refused.


Now out of his relationship for a few months and me still single, we have found ourselves spending a lot of our time spent together. And while I’ve heard, “I love you,” and “I care for you,” and friends and strangers have inquired about our relationship status together, I don’t believe we can be together . . .



. . . because “we built castles out of sand” (Castles). “Castles” by Dawn Richard off the January 15th, 2015 aforementioned album is the best way for me to describe this relationship with Lucas. The track described by some publications as electro-R&B is chaotic and sensitive as is this relationship for both of us. Richard originally wrote the track for the 2014 October released DK3, but it did not make the cut. So the track finds its birth on parent album Blackheart and I see similarity in the lyrics and production to what began as a tryst for me, a cheater, and has spawned this relationship of confidant, friend, and sexual partner. Because of the foundation our relationship was founded on, I, like Richard, see a doomed end although we are currently “so high we could see clouds under our feet” (Castles).


I recall a time when he texted me asking what I wanted from him. I replied as writers do, vague. He said good; he would just enjoy the ride — we could stand in the breeze “say our c’est la vie” (Castles). The electro ballad begins in chaos: synths, bass, vocal samples techno’ed up to be used as an instrument, and when Dawn’s head voice is introduced to us, she is calm and peaceful as if she ‘knows it all’. Yet, the moment when the track gets a moment to breathe (nothing really goes away, it just softens) she states “please don’t let us fall”. In this moment, Dawn’s vocal delivery is monotone, almost lazy. It’s as if her and I both know pleading will get us know where.


It is not until the second verse is divulged that you can hear how distraught she is, but I for one don’t believe that it is because she doesn’t want it to end; instead, I believe this new emotion in Richard’s voice is due to her feeling damned that she was a part of this faulty foundation to begin with. This is an emotion, I believe I will encounter in this relationship sooner or later, the both of us. While I cheated with Lucas, he never actually met me to cheat on his boyfriend although he asked me to meet me several times. Numerous attempts were made to get drinks, but he would cancel when his boyfriend couldn’t make it. Because his boyfriend was not into threesums and they weren’t in an open relationship, I’ve tried to communicate to Lucas that the behavior is still damaging. I wouldn’t want to date Lucas and have to wonder if this friend we are having drinks with is secretly a nigga he is communicating on the side with to get some ass.


This castle is very sandy.


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