Pop Culture

Wait, Why Is Everyone Suddenly Asking to ‘Be My Yellow’?

They're each others' yellows!

When it comes to TikTok and Instagram, people tend to find good songs years after their release, and then re-popularize them to use in reels and the like. One particular song, Bakar’s “Hell N Back,” has been making the rounds once again, and for good reason! The London-born singer-songwriter has always had an incredibly rich, inventive, and fun sound, and this song is one of his best:

However, one lyric caught my attention: “Would you be my light, be my yellow?”

I’d heard this line from Bakar before, in his song from the same EP, “Stop Selling Her Drugs.” In that song, again, he asks the subject of his woes to please be his yellow, for his “yellow heart.” And wouldn’t you know, the EP itself was aptly titled, “Won’t You Be My Yellow?”

Now, as an Asian person, I’ve only ever heard “yellow” as a negative descriptor, so this threw me for a loop. I knew it couldn’t possibly mean that, but while I’m not exactly The Youth, I knew it probably wasn’t internet slang either, since Bakar is actually older than me at 29 years old.

Now that the song is taking off even more than it did during its 2019 release, we’ve got people asking others to be their yellow left and right. So: what does it actually mean?

It’s cuter than you’d think!

There are two layers to calling someone your “yellow.” The first is, perhaps most obviously, that yellow is a color associated with light, sunniness, and happiness. When you hear people saying they want a “yellow girl,” they’re saying they want a girl who’s full of life and positivity. This also aligns with Bakar’s overall EP, in which the opening song, literally titled “Yllw,” describes the power of the color yellow, and how it encapsulates so many things.

The other side of its meaning, however, is also incredibly sweet. This phrase also references the song “Yellow,” by Coldplay, often considered one of the most romantic songs ever written and popularized:

This song is just so disarmingly full of love, imagine how it would feel to be the person someone thought of when they heard it! What a thrill to be someone’s “Yellow” indeed.

How popular is this phrase, really?

The nature of the internet is so funny to me. I’ve only heard of this phrase recently, with “Hell N Back”‘s resurgent popularity, but apparently, it was one of the phrases in 2020 TikTok. I was barely on social media back then, so I certainly missed that wave, yet it was popular and sweet enough that many consider it to be “forever.”

I’ve certainly never heard it dropped in casual conversation, or outside of songs, but you know what? It’s an incredibly sweet sentiment and I’m glad I know what it means now. I can’t wait to annoy (and confuse) my loved ones with it.

(featured image: Getty Images/coldsnowstorm)

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