People all over the world cringed for days when Robin Thicke released his Paula album back in July 2014 in hopes of winning back his ex-wife, Paula Patton. The “Blurred Lines” singer’s desperate attempt was pretty freakin’ intense, and while no one else has gone quiiiiiite as far when it comes to using music to talk about a past relationship, many have gotten close.
Taylor Swift’s 1989 features tons of songs that are speculated to be about her past romance with Harry Styles (you didn’t really think “Style” was a coincidence, did you?), but she’s been calling out her former flames for YEARS. And while Tay is definitely the first person that comes to mind when we think of musicians who kick a** and take names (literally), there are many others who have done the same exact thing.
The Ex: John Mayer
The Lyrics: Dear John, I see it all now that you're gone / Don't you think I was too young to be messed with? / The girl in the dress, cried the whole way home, I should've known - "Dear John"
Taylor Swift is known for putting her entire heart and soul on display through her music; "Drew looks at me, I fake a smile so he don't see" was the opening lyric of one of her first hits. But as she's gotten older and become more successful, the singer has pulled back when it comes to being SUPER obvious about who her songs are about. Well, most of the time...
While "Dear John" could be played off to be about 'Dear John letter,' which were notes written to soldiers overseas telling by their S.O. them that the relationship was over, we're pretttttty sure it's more than coincidental that she just so happened to split with John Mayer around the same time.
The Ex: Selena Gomez
The Lyrics: Justin Bieber, you know I'mma hit 'em with the ether / Buns out, wiener, but I gotta keep an eye out for Selener - "Beauty And A Beat"
In the case of Justin penning a tune about his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez, he had someone else do the dirty work for him. While "Beauty And A Beat" is featured on his Believe album, it was Nicki Minaj who got the fortune of rapping the now-infamous "Selener" line. Okay...so mayyyybed it's possible that JB and Sel were still a thing when this one was written, but there's also a great chance that they were on one of their infamous breaks.
The Ex: Rita Ora
The Lyrics: No need for water, Rita / You got the wine / Tell me, what do I mean to you? - "What Do I Mean To You?"
Nick Jonas is known for being a hardcore mumbler when he sings, so it took some time for people to realize that he was actually saying a name in the Jonas Brother's tune, "WDIMTY." When they did catch on, they obviously shocked but also super confused — Nick and Rita dated?! WTF?! Apparently, the 25 year old was also baffled, as she responded by saying, "It was a very weird situation… because we were close, but it never went to that level. I read the lyrics and I kind of messaged him and was like, ‘I have no idea where this came from. If you want to talk about it, call me.'" AWK!
The Ex: Nina Nesbitt
The Lyrics: Oh, Nina / you should go, Nina / Cause I ain't ever coming home, Nina / Oh, won't you leave me now - "Nina"
When the red-headed crooner released x in 2014, legit everyone freaked out about "Don't," an anthem about his ex Ellie Goulding cheating on him with Niall Horan. But, as per usual, it was all speculation — Ed never actually mentioned named. The 24 year old did, however, say the name of his ex-girlfriend Nina Nesbitt quite a few times in the track "Nina," which is about their relationship leading up to his rise in Hollywood.
The Ex: Serena Williams
The Lyrics: I'm with my whole set, tennis matches at the crib / I swear I could beat Serena when she playing with her left - "Worst Behavior"
Drake's relationship with Serena Williams basically mimics her tennis matches — it's eternally back and forth. While the pair was back together this fall, things weren't as clear when he released "Worst Behavior" in 2013. Perhaps we'll never know why the former Degrassi star put the athlete's song in his rap, but we do know that it'll be there forever!
The Ex: Ember Rose
The Lyrics: Mike no homo, Amber Rose, Kim Kardash type / 5 star chicks, first class like my last flight - "Spotlight"
Like Justin Bieber, Wiz Khalifa let someone else actually utter his ex's name in a song; Killa Kyleon is the one who actually says the words 'Amber Rose,' but it's definitely Wiz's brainchild.
The Ex: Mariah Carey
The Lyrics: Damn Slim, Mariah played you / Mariah who? - "The Warning"
The relationship drama between Eminem and his ex-wife Kim was the main theme for many of his biggest raps early on in his career, but it was a different former flame that had people more shocked than ever. While Marshall Mathers told people that he and Mariah Carey were in a 6-month relationship in the late 2000s, the R&B singer vehemently denied that claim. And, as you can imagine, Em was PISSED. The 43 year old released a one-off song called "The Warning" all about Mariah's diss.