I don’t need you.

Andy Mineo is one of my favorite rappers, and I enjoy listening to his 2019 project Work in Progress.

As I looked through Mineo’s Instagram, I found Marcus Thomas, the artist who created the visuals for Work in Progress.

On Thomas’ Instagram, I found the art for a song on the album entitled I DON’T NEED YOU (DEMO).wav.

I love this piece because it is a visual representation of the song and the album titles. Not only does it show Mineo as a work in progress, but also it shows the effects of saying the phrase “I don’t need you.”

It features Andy Mineo with his eyes shut as the focus of a construction site, as if he was being built. He is contrasted by the background of cloudy skies and a brown city. Mineo is surrounded by scaffolding, and his chain is being put on him by cranes. His heart is exposed through his black t-shirt, seeming to act as a furnace, which sends up fiery smoke through his head and ribcage. White, curly words are written throughout the piece, some I recognize as lyrics from the song (“I don’t need you.”) and some are the illustrator’s musings (“This ends up here.”).

Thomas writes the phrase “It all starts here” next to Mineo’s heart, which tells the viewer to think about how the phrase “I don’t need you.” affects your internal emotional state. He supports this by using the same warm, reddish colors for the heart as the fire and smoke that come out of Mineo’s head and chest.

Thus, I interpret this to mean that saying “I don’t need you.” will set your heart on fire and your being into smoke and flames. Through Mineo’s words and Thomas’ visuals, the viewer feels the truth that though people may harm you, you’re harming yourself by rejecting community.

So I love the piece because it shows the effects of rejecting others on our emotional state, and for that reason, I did not dislike anything about the piece.

Mineo and Thomas are showing us that while others may hurt us, we shouldn’t cut everyone off from our lives. We are all a work in progress, and that should bring us some comfort.

Discussion — 2 Responses

  • Kate Warren 03/28/2020 on 9:47 PM

    I’m not really a huge fan of rap music, but I appreciate the art for the song. I liked the art so much, I decided to give the song a listen too, and because of it I’ve noticed some things in the art that I didn’t before. On the top left corner of the art, I noticed it says “I don’t need you” over and over, until the last line where “don’t” is crossed out so it says “I need you…”. I picked up that this was consistent with the journey of the song, with Andy Mineo rapping about how he doesn’t need certain people in his life that have let him down. Yet, at the end of the song, which was the part I found the most compelling, he backtracks and admits he DOES need these people. He admits his insecurities, like how he needs “to know I’m not somebody that you just got to put up with.” He also admits he’s pretty upset at the other person(s) too, by rapping “Why you hit me so hard? Why you never want me ‘round? … I’ve been holding this middle finger up so long, my arm hurting’.” I think by confessing to these things (anger, resentment, and hurt), then he can truly begin to repair relationships that have been damaged. Hence, why this is a “work in progress” and why it looks like he’s being built up from scratch. This has clearly all caused a bit of a fire inside him, as we can see the smoke emerging through his head, all while his heart is in the open and exposed. There is nothing covering his heart up, which I find quite interesting. To really fix any damage done by both parties, everyone has to have an open heart, willing to reconcile, and we can see Andy is doing that, through the lyrics and the art. One last thing I want to mention that I really like is the handwriting in white. The way it is written everywhere, with even some of the writing enclosed in circles pointing to things, makes it look like a blueprint. Blueprints go hand-in-hand with construction and building, so I think it was a really fitting element that the artist added. In conclusion, thank you for sharing this. Like I mentioned before, I’m not a fan of rap, but actually really enjoyed this song and the artwork for it.

    • Jeremy Park Kate Warren 03/30/2020 on 11:17 AM

      Hi Kate,

      Thanks for reading and enjoying the song. I really enjoyed reading your comments, and they all made me think about both the song and the art in a new light. You have a very profound view on both pieces of art, so I’m very thankful for your analysis.

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