― On a serious note, the song/video dropping Friday is the most personal and honest shit I've written so far. I can't tell you how many times I thought to myself "Is this too much, is it gonna resonate?". I realized that I was scared to put out my true emotion for fear of being judged, but fuck it! This is me! You can love me or hate me but you will not say I am not myself.[src]
"Do or Die" is a remix by Conor Smith, music video directed by Thomas Crane in a parking garage. It was uploaded on March 8, 2019. The instrumental audio was used from Twenty One Pilots' 2018 album Trench, third track "Morph" as well as two other tracks.
Conor gave hints of what song he was making the remix to, the first being an emoji of the color yellow and a bird, indicating the album Trench by Twenty One Pilots. On March 3, 2019, over Thomas' Instagram story, he announced with the caption "Shot Michaels music video 5 hours ago, edited, done" but on the far-right corner of the photo revealed the output name "Morph2.mp4", giving away the name of the audio.
A teaser of the video dropped on March 7, 2019, but used three different tracks from the album including "Jumpsuit", "Morph", and "Levitate". Conor stated that the video will be the most obvious hint, with certain clues in it. The final hint before the day of release was two hands - one finger pointing up, and the other pointing down, with a yellow circle around it, presumably representing the word "Morph". Back in February over his Instagram story, Conor showed the Twenty One Pilots album in his hand with the caption, "This will make sense." Over Twitter, he revealed that the lyrics of the remix explained why he was rapping, while his "Lucky You" remix explained what he was doing.
It's the fire burning
Uh, uh-uh, yeah
Uh, I'm still the same kid, visions a little clearer
Tryna become the man that I wanna see in the mirror[note 1]
Getting older and bigger now mom's starting to tear up
'Cause there were many people who said I wouldn't be here
But I knew deep in my heart that I had ice in my veins
And I ain't special I just know I'm not created the same
So when a pussy motherfucker says to stay in my lane
I cannot help but write a verse that puts me up there with Jay
I study the greats and I do what it takes to get there
If I want to be the captain I'm supposed to make the ship steer[note 2]
So that being said, I got the passion so I'm destined to last
A bright future why the fuck do I still dwell in the past?
I felt alone because people couldn't understand me
And that goes for my teachers, for my friends, and all my family
I wish that I could find a better reason but I can't
'Cause I just wanna tell my grandma that her boy just won a Grammy
So many of us wonder if we're meant for more than this
I promise that we gotta purpose and I'm sure of it
But fame is just an ego trip that forces you to lie again
Bitch I'm insecure and I'm tired of fucking hiding it[note 3]
This is not a gimmick that’s gone in an instance
I gotta be putting my heart on a sleeve
Fuck a barrel of money 'cause there ain't nobody that’s doing it harder than me
And Imma accustomed to barely budging so I find it funny they try to compete
'Cause this is more than just an image, motherfucker this is me
Boy I'm dangerous
I'm glad that they came at us
They said my dreams were crazy, well good thing I'm insane enough
Like haters come and step to me
Don't make me embarrass you
'Cause I am better than half of the rappers you compare me to
This is for everybody who said I wasn't built for this shit
Man just a year ago I think I would've kill for this shit
All the blood, sweat, and tears I had spilt on this shit
I'm just tryna show the world that I'm for real with this shit
And I've always worn my heart up on my sleeve
I remember I used to rap till I could barely fucking breathe[note 4]
So I ain't playing when I say this shit is do or die
This is more than just a hobby this is keeping me alive
Shit is keeping me alive
Shit is keeping me alive
Shit is keeping me alive
Shit is keeping me, shit is keeping me
I shot a music video for my favorite song. It's my favorite video I've ever done, which I said last time, which was still true at the time, meaning Michael and I have both stepped our game up, always giving eachother [sic] 110% percent. — Thomas Crane, March 5, 2019
Over a Instagram live, Conor mentioned the video having multiple takes, the first being used for most of the final product. It took around three hours for the entire process, working with Thomas at 12 A.M and ending at 3. In contrast of his previous remix, "Lucky You", he wore a black hoodie and was underground.
Notes and References
- Conor Smith (March 10, 2019). (Tweet). With this lyric, Conor aspires to be what his idols were for him growing up - to encourage others to follow their passion and realize that they could do anything.
- Conor Smith (March 10, 2019). (Tweet). Conor explains this particular line over a tweet, "if I’m gonna step up and be the boss, I need to take on the responsibilities that come with that title".
- Conor Smith (March 10, 2019). (Tweet). Conor explains of keeping his feelings bottled-up inside because, referring to the previous lyric, people who have a platform are supposed to be "invincible". However, this questions the authenticity between artists and their fans. Conor has commented many times that being genuine was important, and shows disapproval of those who let fame get to them.
- Conor Smith (March 10, 2019). (Tweet). Conor recalls a memory of rapping for hours until his voice gave out.