On Ne-Yo’s new single “Don’t Love Me,” the R&B king sends a straight and sad message to his partner. He warns his lover that he is not in the correct frame of mind for a long-term relationship. Rather than messing with her emotions, he’d rather see her with someone who deserves her. “And I really wanna see you happy,” Ne-Yo says selflessly in the first line, amid delicate guitar plucks and Mally Mall’s chest-rattling bass.
In the second verse hears Ne-Yo discusses some of his mistakes in the relationship. “Running after all these thots, steady telling you I’m not / Lying to your face done got, too easy for me to not / Even though I love you a lot / All I’ma wind up doin’ is making you hate me,” Ne-Yo admits. He performs this verse in a similar cadence as rapper Roddy Ricch did in his hit song “The Box.”
Written during the pandemic as an open letter to Ne-Yo’s wife, “Don’t Love Me” is an honest confessional that underlines love’s difficulties. As painful as it may be for both sides, there are moments when you have to love someone enough to let them go, as Ne-Yo masterfully depicts in “Don’t Love Me.”