Analysis on Two Versions of “See You Again”: Charlie Puth v. Wiz Khalifa

So you’re looking at the title and you’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute, aren’t these guys on the same song?”

Well, yes. That’s obvious. But what most listeners have not realized was that there was a demo version that Charlie Puth had originally submitted (this was before the addition of Wiz Khalifa). I happened to stumble upon it when I was browsing YouTube for a piano version of “See You Again.” Boy, am I glad I did. Puth’s version has a exceptional beauty to it, but I’m not saying that Wiz ruins the song. I mean, he flows into the song tremendously well.

So I decided to do some research on the reasons how this came to be.

So, Puth’s publishing company, Artist Publishing Group, approached him asking if he could write and sing a song that pays tribute to late Paul Walker, mainly for Fast & Furious 7. Shocked, Puth had originally believed that his song probably wouldn’t be accepted but had recorded and sent his demo anyways. Puth says, “…Justin and I wrote it, we sent it off, and I thought we’d never hear about it again.”

It’s number one right now, Charlie.

The filmmakers were in love Puth’s demo. They then decided to commission both Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa to write verses about family that would surround Puth’s vocals and piano. According to Wiz, Puth was the one who said that “We gotta have Wiz on there.” Oh man. I think I can start to hear the rap-haters hating.

Why? But why would they hate on Wiz?

Honestly, it’s pretty arguable that rappers in general don’t fit into a nice and peaceful piano and vocals song. However, I feel that Wiz’s voice is smooth enough to blend in to any slow song, and if you notice, his lyrics are intensely meaningful. I mean, it’s not like his voice sticks out like an out-of-tune oboe or anything. Seriously, have they even ever listened to Lil Wayne (but even he can blend in at times; have you heard “Mirror” with Bruno Mars?)? According to an interview with BET, he said that his “whole objective was to make everyone feel connected” and to “think about family in general. Not necessarily my family or someone else’s family that everybody goes through in that situation.”

The main question here is: Was he successful in his goal?

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Well, if you think about it sales-wise, then absolutely. People loved the song. From Puth’s hook to Wiz’s verses, what aspect of the song was there not to like? But was he lyrically successful? Hearing the lyrics and you can already tell how it’s referring to loved ones, to family, to ones who are no longer here with us in this world.

“I know we loved to hit the road and laugh
But something told me that it wouldn’t last.”

“And what’s small turn to a friendship
A friendship turn into a bond
And that bond will never be broken
And the love will never get lost .”

My two favorite parts in the song. “It wouldn’t last” means that nothing will last forever, and the second part that I put shows the evolution into an eternal bond of friendship. It is evident that Puth and Wiz had been able to convey emotions through the lyrics.

WizKhalifa-SeeYouAgainCharliePuthFurious7Soundtrack

Now let’s go back to what I was talking about at the beginning, Charlie Puth’s demo version. What made me describe it with an “exceptional beauty”? Well, to start off, it’s a melodic piece from start to finish. Below are the two verses that replaced Wiz Khalifa’s rap (albeit shorter).

Why do you have to leave so soon?
Why do you have to go?
Why do you have to leave me when I needed you the most?
Cause I don’t really know how to tell ya without feeling much worse.
I know you’re in a better place and it’s always gonna hurt.
Carry on, give me all the strength I need.
To carry on.

How do I breath without ya?
Feeling so cold.
I’ll be waiting right here for ya till the day you’re home.
Carry on, give me all the strength I need.
To carry on.
So let the light guide your way, hold every memory as you go.
And every road you take will always lead you home.

Although Puth’s verses are shorter, his vocals push the meaning of this song forward much more. According to him, when he was in the studio writing and recording this song, he thought of his friend abruptly a while back because of a car accident.  He has stated that he felt that he was believing that one day he and his friend could communicate one day again.

You never know when you could lose your loved ones, so cherish every moment you have with them.

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Everyone has loved ones. And we may have conflicts with them. But what’s important are the memories that we shared with one another. If we can keep them even when the one passes, then it could be possible said that we are always with each other. A possibility of an eternal link. Of love? Of friendship?

What am I saying?

Charlie Puth had believed that one day he would be able to see his friend again. When would that one day come to be? After death? Or what if there are ways of finding each other down here? Is there any possible way that two can connect with each other once again, despite one being alive and the other dead? I continue to wonder and wonder…

It’s been a long way without you, Ông Nội. I’ll tell you everything that’s gone on if I can ever see you again…

~Dennis

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9 thoughts on “Analysis on Two Versions of “See You Again”: Charlie Puth v. Wiz Khalifa

  1. So interesting moment, I played this song while I was scrolling WordPress, and then bam! I see your post. What a coincidence.

    Anyways, good analysis! I enjoyed your interpretations of the lyrics. I really like this song because I can relate to it, like you do.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Solekikz and commented:
    Rap music doesn’t always have to be rapidly moving and fast paced. Rap is a type of music that people can pour their feelings unto. Just like Ludacris’ new hit single Good Lovin. Ludacris’ vocals match smoothly with Miguel’s vocals to create a more powerful message to us listeners. We can feel the discontent and tiredness to find a person to love, while on “See you again” we can feel the mourning of the friend and great love that the two shared. Here we see, rappers with a tough image, coming out of their shell and portraying emotion and feel like they haven’t done before. Piano and vocals like in these two songs, have been popular these days. The powerful message inscribed in these songs impact others. The poetic vibe from rap, and the strong vocals make these songs really enjoyable. This blog really helps understand the song on a personal level. Don’t forget to leave them a like. Sole out XD

    Like

  3. Reblogged this on The Bright Side Of Life and commented:
    I really like this song and I love how you interpreted the lyrics. This is a very emotional song for some people because it is a tribute to the recently lost Paul Walker. Anyways I also liked how you analyzed both versions of the song and how they are alike and different.

    Like

  4. Pingback: A Soon-Nostalgic Experience (just kidding) | Shadows of the Day

  5. Does anyone have a copy of the second video which always says its been removed? Is this the full version with a beat without Wiz? Ive heard a version with a beat with verses sand no irritating rap.

    Like

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