Grammy award-winner Billie Eilish just released her newest song called “Your Power.” It’s from her forthcoming album, Happier Than Ever, set to release in July.
This track finds Billie healing from a former relationship in which she was manipulated and mistreated by boyfriend, 7:AMP, when she was just 16.
Billie now realizes that the relationship she was involved in was emotionally toxic and mentally abusive: “Try not to abuse your power,” she tells her ex, singing vulnerably in a near whisper. “I thought that I was special/You made me feel/Like it was my fault, you were the devil/You lost your appeal.”
While these lyrics obviously point to something destructive, it’s a healthy thing that Billie has obviously broken off the relationship as she reaches for something better.
A few real issues here. First, it’s clear in the song that this man was far older than Billie and pretended to not know the age difference: “And you swear you didn’t know/You said you thought she was your age.” The fact that Billie sings about herself in the third person only adds to the creepiness factor here.
Second, it’s clear that this man groomed Billie, drawing her in emotionally before disconnecting after getting what he wanted from the underage teen: “But you ruined her in a year/Don’t act like it was hard/ … She was sleepin’ in your clothes/But now she’s gotta get to class.”
The song’s video features Billie singing on a barren cliff. What’s almost horror-movie disturbing about the video is how a huge python slowly wraps itself around Billie—including her neck—as she sings, imagery that definitely illustrates the way this relationship slowly deceived and metaphorically strangled her.
This is an emotionally charged song from 19-year-old Billie Eilish. It’s also a vulnerable song that most would find hard to sing. And it deals with emotional abuse and hints at an underage relationship that Billie found herself in at the age of 16.
Kudos to Billie for recognizing, in retrospect, how inappropriate (and, indeed, perhaps criminal) this relationship was given the couple’s age difference. In California, where Billie lives, a sexual relationship between an adult and a minor under the age of 18 is legally considered statutory rape. That said, the story Billie tells also illustrates the frequent issue in pop music of underage teens singing about very adult relationships while they’re still young themselves. Billie now understands that this kind of relationship is deeply abusive, even if she didn’t as she glorified the risky relationship hinted at in her hit song “Bad Guy” at the age of 17.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).