Ed Sheeran is harkening back to his earlier days, when his tracks held a rap-like flow, with his latest remixed single featuring rapper Lil Baby, called “2step.”
This song, taken from Sheeran’s 2021 album Equals (=), focuses on the pressures that weigh Sheeran down, and how his wife seems to be the only person who can help him find perspective and take a breath amidst those pressures. But with Sheeran’s vocal guest, the song takes a bit of a crude turn in a few verses.
Sheeran says that he’s had “a bad week” but that he “spent the evening pretending that it wasn’t that deep.” Yet, he could only hold the facade for so long and, eventually, his wife helped him “take all of [his] stress right down” by being present with a listening ear.
Sheeran credits his wife for helping him get his worries off his chest, but he still realizes that they’re just working too hard and doing too much (“‘Cause we’re living at a different pace, stuck in a constant race/Keep the pressure on you’re bound to break”).
And how do they plan to resolve this? Well, by putting their phones down (“Seeing through a picture behind the screen and forget to be”), reconnecting and learning to be fully present (“we should just be canceling all our plans and not give a “d–n”/I think you and me/We should head out to a place where the music plays”).
That chorus could be interpreted as Sheeran and his wife simply going out dancing and spending time together, or it could be an allusion to drinking and sex: “Two-stepping with the woman I love/…electrified, we’ll keep turning up and go all night”).
That sentiment is not helped by rapper Lil Baby’s input, who says that his idea of mental escape is just ignoring his problems, hanging out with friends and a girl in a club, doing drugs and focusing on the possibility of sex.
Sheeran does use the profanity “d–n” in one line.
For a song that was fairly clean before the remix, one wonders why Sheeran felt the need to revisit the song–especially because the remix pushes innuendo aside and makes the sexual intentions of Lil Baby quite clear.
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).