Why Fans Think PartyNextDoor is Talking About Kehlani in ‘Savage Anthem’

Some artists are deciding to release their new albums early – or on time – in the wake of coronavirus quarantines, giving fans something to listen to while practicing self-isolation. Last week, PartyNextDoor blessed fans with PARTYMOBILE, his fourth studio album.

The long-awaited project comes four years after P3 and has 15 tracks, including “Believe It” featuring Rihanna. Rihanna’s presence earned the song a collective round of cheers.

But since most PND listeners have already absorbed and digested the whole album, there’s been time to discuss each track. One of the others getting attention is “Savage Anthem,” and it’s causing fans to speculate that PartyNextDoor is talking about his ex-girlfriend, Kehlani.

Kehlani | Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images; PartyNextDoor | PA Images via Getty Images

A history of Kehlani and PartyNextDoor’s relationship

For those who are unfamiliar with Kehlani, she’s an R&B singer-songwriter with a string of hits that include “The Way,” “Crzy,” “Gangsta” (from Suicide Squad soundtrack), and “Nights Like This.” She and PartyNextDoor dated on and off between 2013 and 2016, eventually breaking things off for good.

Drama ensued when Kehlani started dating NBA player Kyrie Irving early in 2016. PartyNextDoor posted a photo on Instagram of Kehlani’s tattooed hand while lying in bed, with a caption that read, “After all her shenanigans, still got the r&b singer back in my bed.” This led people to accuse her of cheating on Irving.

Social media backlash against the songstress took such a toll that she was admitted to a hospital for attempting to take her own life. Following that, PND did an interview with Rolling Stone expressing remorse for the post.

Kehlani later shared that she and Irving broke up prior to her reconnecting with her first love, PartyNextDoor, and no one cheated.

Why people think PartyNextDoor’s ‘Savage Anthem’ is about Kehlani

The lyrics to “Savage Anthem” are not subtle, and they’ve sparked analyses from fans, reviewers, and people such as Joe Budden. In the song, PND sings about how he doesn’t care about being unfaithful, dirty, and callous. He croons, “Don’t hold your breath, don’t wait on my love.”

But two lines have many believing it references his former relationship with Kehlani. Fans think “I heard number 2 is your man now / Don’t mind me being number 2 now” refers to Irving’s jersey number when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

“Packed up and went back to Oakland / Finally it’s out in the open” makes mention of Kehlani’s hometown of Oakland, California. On social media, people dug deep to tie the song’s lyrics to her.

How Kehlani responded to the speculation

With so much chatter on Twitter and other spaces on the internet, it was inevitable that fans would tag Kehlani in hopes that she would comment on the song. She listened to it, because she finally replied in a now-deleted tweet.

There’s another line in the PND song that goes, “I broke her off in the livin’ room / There is a smell in the livin’ room” which prompted Kehlani to write this to a fan:

“Because I see you’re tryna go viral and this is hella annoying, this is a true story about smelling the OTHER woman thus confirming the cheating, but go off tho fr”

The tweet was captured in a screenshot before being deleted, and PartyNextDoor has yet to comment on who he’s singing about. It’s been left up to the internet.