Chris Brown’s out with his new album Royalty, and one of the songs on that album–my favorite so far–is “Little More (Royalty).” The song’s smooth and strong and an enjoyable listen.
I’ll be honest though: I have rarely ever listened to Chris Brown, and what I have heard of him has been largely negative. Not that being explicit is always bad, but the fact that so many of his songs on this album are explicit concerns me. I’ve listened to a few others besides “Little More (Royalty),” and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of variety on Royalty. His song “Back to Sleep,” in a paraphrase of his words, is about “sexing” his girlfriend back to sleep after he comes home from playing a concert.
Combining the vulgar language with (seemingly) not having anything to say, Royalty doesn’t excite me. That’s why the song “Little More (Royalty)” (hereafter referred to as “Little More”) was a nice surprise, if still a little underwhelming.
See what I mean (and if you’d prefer, you can skip to 0:50 and avoid him dreaming about his sordid past):
I’ve added “Little More (Royalty)” and several other recent hits to my Spotify playlist “Clifford Stumme’s Pop Prerogative.” Feel free to follow the playlist!
The Meaning of “Little More”
By now, you’ve probably figured out what this song is about. While the lyrics “Little More” by themselves sound like they’re about an adult woman/lover, the music video shows viewers that it’s actually an ode to Chris Brown’s daughter Royalty–the namesake of the album. Brown had the girl with Nia Guzman, and only recently the court granted him 50/50 custody. Royalty has to travel between mother and father every four days for now, and Brown has to pay $2,500 in child support each month.
The chorus of the song seems to be a direct reference to the court’s ruling. Brown sings, “Wake me up before you go, ooh I need a little more / Just a little more, a little more of your love . . . Cause your love, your love, your love / Wake me up with some more of your love.” If someone doesn’t know the backstory, then this lyric seems to say that an adult women spent the night with him and is moving on early in the morning. But, since it’s his daughter, Brown appears to be referring to when she has to leave at the end of her four day visits.
He wishes she could stay longer, though it’s not immediately clear why he’s sleeping when she’s leaving. It would seem that he would be awake to hand her over, but there’s a possibility that he’s referring to when she grows up and leaves both her parents’ homes one day. This could be him wanting to spend as much time with her as possible before then.
In the first verse, Brown sings, “Oh, I need a jumpstart. When you call me, I’m running to ya / Gimme a head start, thank God, gonna have me like hallelujah.” He wants to be there for his girl when she needs him. He continues, “Even though I’m a man, girl, you making me feel like a baby.” This is another one of those lines that’s so confusing; it suggests Brown wanted people who didn’t know it was about his daughter to be able to enjoy the song when, in fact, it’s about how his daughter makes him feel gentle and small.
The rest of the verse is about him taking “advantage of the moment” when “you lay in my arms . . .” He sings that “the way you [Royalty] smile is the definition of a real lady.” Again, it’s hard to tell who it’s about, but, based on the video, Brown seems to intend for it to be about his daughter primarily.
The last unique stanza, Verse 2, continues to be (it seems) purposefully vague. Brown sings, “Oh, I need a back talk, girl. I’m your daddy, no sass talk.” This line is also confusing. If a listener thinks it’s about a woman, then it sort of makes sense to ask for “back talk” but not “sass talk”; we can excuse the contradiction because he’s flirting. But this being about his daughter leaves me (and maybe you) confused. My best explanation? To Brown, there’s a difference between back talking and sassing, and he likes one over the other. Maybe sass is just plain disrespectful, and back talk signifies an independent spirit? Then again, maybe there’s no reason for the discrepancy, and we need to grant him some artistic license.
He continues the verse: “Oh, baby girl, you inspire me, give the reason to keep on / My baby, my Royalty, girl you’re the lyrics to my song.” If a listener thinks this song is about a women, it sounds like Brown is calling her “royalty,” but if the listener is “in the know,” it makes even more sense.
Brown continues to sing about how powerful a hold Royalty has on him: “Girl, you got this heart lock on me, I don’t think I can control it / I hold on with all my might while you look at me in my eye.” And not only does he have to struggle to come to grips with how much he loves her, but his daughter gives him the power to love her better: “Like a vitamin you put back my energy, you’re making me stronger and bring out the best of me.”
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Who’s “Little More” about and does it matter? Commercialism strikes again!
From my perspective, “Little More” is purposefully vague so that it can cater to a wider range of audiences. If you look through the lyrics, you’ll find no language that specifically makes it about either a woman or Brown’s child. There’s not a single word or phrase that would exclude one or the other, and there are many that directly support each.
Thus, for you, “Little More” truly is about whichever you want it to be about. If you like the thought of a rapper singing to his toddler, then it’s about Royalty. If you like the thought of a strong, gentle, and beautiful woman, then “Little More” is about spending a “little more” time with her.
Based on the lyrics, it really doesn’t seem to matter who it’s about, so long as Brown and his record company get the profits. I don’t want to be too accusatory, and–who knows?–there may be an explanation, but look at what’s happening here. Brown has created a purposefully vague song that appeals to two very different market demographics: those who want a sweet and sentimental song, and those who want the hot passion and romance of a one night stand.
I admit that much of this is speculation and extended reasoning, so I’d love to hear your opinion. Is the song purposefully vague? Is what Brown did right? Or am I way off base?
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Clifford Stumme has his master’s in English literature and is a blogger and a college instructor/desk-watcher at Liberty University. He likes juggling and reading/writing, and he is married to the wonderful and beautiful Wife April. He thinks pop music is awesome. Seriously awesome.