I'm Clifford Stumme, and I use literary analysis and research to explain the deeper meanings of pop songs. Feel free to leave a comment or to email me at with questions or ideas!

What does "Antisocial" by Ed Sheeran and Travis Scott mean?

What does "Antisocial" by Ed Sheeran and Travis Scott mean?

“Antisocial” Lyrics Meaning

“Antisocial” is one of Ed Sheeran’s darker songs and is a departure from the sweet tone he’s most well-known for. It follows two people who have decided that the best way to deal with their pain is to drown it with drinking and drugs and to isolate themselves from the world.

“I’ve been down, give me some space”

The song doesn’t go into detail about why either of them are so distraught. The focus is instead on how they handle the pain. 

(Sidenote: To avoid confusion, in this analysis any lyrics Ed Sheeran or Travis Scott sings will be talked about as if it is about him, though we have no confirmation that any of the elements of this song are autobiographical or not. These are likely characters that they are playing for this song.)

Verse 1 [Ed Sheeran & Travis Scott]

Friday night and I'm ridin' solo

When I touch down, keep it on the low-low

I don't mess with your energy, no photos

So antisocial, but I don't care

Don't give a damn, I'm gonna smoke here

Got a bottle in my hand bring more though

Got my hat low, don't talk to me

Ed Sheeran’s idea of a successful night out doesn’t include other people. Preferring to keep his whereabouts private or “on the low,” he says he wants “no photos” to be taken of him since it will “mess with [his] energy.” Though he knows that he’s behaving in an antisocial way (not desiring the company of others), he doesn’t care what people think of him. Sheeran goes on to say he doesn’t “give a damn “ about the rules, and he will smoke in a place where he shouldn’t if he feels like it, which is an example of a different type of antisocial behavior (contrary to the laws and customs of society). 

Pre-Chorus [Ed Sheeran]

I've been down, give me some space

You don't know what's in my brain

Music loud, easin' my pain

The pre-chorus sites his poor mental state as the reason for his desire for “some space.” He doesn’t feel that people understand him because they “don’t know what’s in [his] brain,” but he finds comfort in music as it “eas[es his] pain.”

Chorus [Ed Sheeran]

Don't touch me, don't touch me

Don't touch me, I came to vibe, yeah

On something, on something

On something, I wanna riot

Don't touch me, don't touch me

Don't touch me, I came to vibe, yeah

Won't let nothing come in between me and the night

The chorus hits home Ed Sheeran’s desire to be alone. He doesn’t want to be touched so that he can “vibe” like he has planned to do. The night he “won’t let nothing” interfere with is vague, but likely has something to do with the “bottle in [his] hand” from verse 1 and the “something” that he’s on. This is an attempt to suppress his pain. 

Verse 2 [Travis Scott]

I need room, I need room

Where you standin' way too close

You might catch fumes, might catch fumes

When I zoom, when I zoom

Pass out, wake up by myself right past noon

Right past noon, then I'm doomed

Hit the ground and I'm movin' on 'em

Hennessy's drownin' all of my issues

Right before I leave, she give me more than just a "miss you"

That thing got more back, just like my engine, I can't hit it

(In the back) Seen the vision in the boy, then we commit it

Travis scott appears to be in a similar situation to Ed Sheeran. He warns those around that they “might catch fumes” while he’s on a high (likely drug related) if they hang around. When he wakes up after passing out, he begins drinking the expensive alcohol Hennessy’s in the middle of the day in an attempt to drown “all of [his] issues.” The final three lines of verse 2 are likely alluding to a relationship that has recently ended and is the cause of his pain.

Pre-Chorus [Travis Scott]

I've been lost out in outer space

You left me right in my place

I put you down on my name

Speaking to the woman he was involved with, he tells her that while he was “lost out in outer space” she left, and likely put him in his place. The line “I put you down on my name” isn’t clear enough to decipher without a comment from the lyricist, but it likely means that he felt that their names were connected. Losing her is unexpected and the separation of their names is causing him great pain.

Deeper Meaning of “Antisocial” by Ed Sheeran and Travis Scott

Despite the darker tone of the song, the vibe almost seems to boast about how much they don’t want to be alone. It’s unclear if the song is intended to glorify the use of alcohol or drugs as a means of escapism, but it appears to show these to be valid, consequence-free means of coping with pain, which is a common message in the world of pop music. The song itself feels less like it’s speaking from personal experience, and more like a mainstream rap song mixed with a romanticization of mental health issues. I believe the song is not meant to be taken seriously, especially because of the dark humor that is the lifeblood of the music video. The tone of the music combined with the angst of the lyrics mixes to create a kind of hype track. The lyrics are sad, but they appear proud to be that way. I may be taking this too seriously, especially for a song that is so clearly not meant to be, but I can’t help but notice that the commercialization of pain seems to be increasing in the pop industry. I’m not accusing Ed Sheeran or Travis Scott of doing anything wrong. Ed Sheeran, who I’m more familiar with as an artist, is a very talented lyricist and songwriter and I have a lot of respect for what he’s made. It does seems like in this particular song, however, destructive behavior is made to seem less harmful than it is.

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