Ed Sheeran and Travis Scott have teamed up for a new song, “Antisocial,” along with a visual effect and reference-heavy music video. Watch and listen above.
While "Antisocial" is a far departure from Sheeran's romantic ballads like "Perfect," "Photograph," and "Thinking Out Loud" — each of which has been played billions of times — the sentiment has long been part of Sheeran's persona. From his very first albums, songs like "You Need Me, I Don't Need You" and "Take It Back" featured rap verses that communicated his discomfort in the spotlight and need for space. "Antisocial" shows that side of Sheeran, while adopting Scott's hard-hitting hip-hop sound.
Director Dave Meyers uses clever visuals to reinforce the song’s lyrics. The excessive intrusion into Sheeran's personal life is especially evident in one scene where a swarm of blue birds, seemingly akin to that of Twitter, start to attack him. As he watches the glass surrounding him begin to crack, he worriedly sings the chorus, “Don't touch me, I came to vibe.” This idea pops up throughout the video, like in another scene where he discreetly whispers to the camera, “Help me,” when two women are shown clinging onto him as a chocolate “Edible Ed.”
Tributes to classic Hollywood movies like Kill Bill, The Mask, The Martian, Edward Scissorhands, and Pulp Fiction feature Sheeran and Scott keeping things light despite the song’s somewhat dark message. As the two men spring from costume to costume, smoking pipes as sea captains and karate-kicking bad guys, they prove that the irritation underlying the track’s sentiment isn’t meant to be taken too seriously. After all, Sheeran raps, “Won’t let nothing come in between me and the night.”
The track is one of many collaborations off of Ed Sheeran’s most recent album, No.6 Collaborations Project. The ambitious LP boasts a slew of industry powerhouses, such as Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Justin Bieber, Eminem, and Bruno Mars. Check it out on Amazon and other major streaming services.