Hot 100 Review: Roses by Saint Jhn

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It is very hard to stay objective and judge songs on their own merits when it feels like you have heard the same kind of songs tons of times up till that point. The problem might be taste issues or over saturation in one type of genre. That takes us to today song Roses by Saint Jhn.

Roses is another dark and brooding rap song by a mumble artist that is hard to understand. From the description alone I think you can tell just how unoriginal it sounds. Though being unoriginal is not an issue if done well this song feels like there is very little substance to it, and too vague for its own good.

The main reasons for this opinion is how it is a relationship song, but not a romance song. That distinction is important and I feel the song is not sure of which on it is either really. Thankfully, the song is broken into verses and a chorus I can actually go through to pick out my points instead of just generic brag rap lyrics.

The first verse has the narrator going into a club feeling alone, but good (hence the Pablo Escobar and Scarface references) and finding a girl he likes and decides he might want to marry her, and even though he has money he only needs a rose. It’s an okay setup that is muddied because his mumble is too strong, making it difficult to pick out full words and ideas.

The repeated chorus seems to be an internal debate about how the narrator gets too ahead of himself, been through a lot, and wants to make sure that is what the girl wants because she won’t tell nobody no (which is confusing because it’s a double negative. The line “and I know you won’t tell anybody no…” as a double negative means she will tell people no, but colloquially it is straightforward. She won’t say no to anyone. Those divergent meanings conflict or change the ideas/themes. If it’s meaning show won’t tell anyone no then she is a pushover, if it’s a purposeful double negative she will tell people no. But if it’s supposed to be on purpose then it is confusing for no reason, and makes the song harder to understand).

From that comes verses two and three. They are both shorter than verse one and can be tackled together, and give a good contrast to what the song wants to be and what it is. Verse two, for example, is about the narrator flexing on others by calling his girl cute, and buying her rosé over water, calling himself a god (very humble to be sure). Contrast that with verse three where he talks about having strippers come out, dance pole-less and says something about roses (he says n-Roses and acts like we’re supposed to know what that is. He literally says that), and ends by saying “kill’em, make it…”

Now maybe they are supposed to be a contrast to the life he wants to lead verse the life the narrator actually leads. The issue is how that’s not even mentioned. It’s just presented in a straightforward way with the chorus breaking the two verses up, and I already went into why the chorus doesn’t work.

The video has a guy and his crew (I assume that is Saint Jhn) break into a villa and start wrecking it and harassing the people that live there. Done all in one take.

It’s a strange video for sure. The vibe and filmmaking match the dark, oppressive sound of the song, but do not match the lyrics in anyway. the lyrics are kind of a relationship song, but the video is not in anyway. It’s just guys breaking into an apartment villa, tagging, and being hooligans. Nothing to do with roses at all. It does not do anything to the song other than let you hear it.

Based on everything Saint Jhn has said in interviews and on Genius, he thinks this song is a romantic song. I do not see it. There is too much inconsistencies to make that feel true. There is also just too much that is unclear in the song itself that holds it back. That does not mean he doesn’t think it is, but when you talk about strippers being a necessity in life then romance is a problem. Even with all that said, maybe it is not for me. Maybe I’m not the target demographic. That is fine. I can accept that. What I cannot understand then is why someone would find a dreary song about guy flexing on his friends and getting strippers to be romantic when it should be focused on the girl.

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