The Meaning Behind “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2” by PinkPantheress and Ice Spice and How They Serve as Opposites on the Song

British singer PinkPantheress studied film in London and, in her free time, began uploading snippets of songs to TikTok. On her 2023 debut Heaven knows, she connected with super-producer Greg Kurstin, underground producer and composer Danny L Harle, and others to create an emotional, glitchy, and scattered pop album.

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The album’s closer is a remix of her single, “Boy’s a Liar.” Ice Spice joins PinkPantheress on the technicolor club confessional in this version about a dishonest boy. “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2” reached No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, and it’s nearing a billion plays on Spotify.

Dishonest Boy

Co-written and produced with Mura Masa, “Boy’s a Liar” is the rare pop song of this time without a paragraph of songwriting and production credits. (Ice Spice wrote her rap for the remix). The song follows a young, troubled relationship where PinkPantheress confronts her lover about his commitment to her.

Take a look inside your heart
Is there any room for me?
I won’t have to hold my breath
Till you get down on one knee
Because you only want to hold me
When I’m looking good enough
Did you ever feel me?
Would you ever picture us?

Singing in a high register over an anxious beat, PinkPantheress articulates her fear and explains a nervous tic when she tugs at her hair.

Every time I pull my hair
Was only out of fear
That you’ll find me ugly
And one day you’ll disappear because
What’s the point of crying?
It was never even love
Did you ever want me?
Was I ever good enough?

She sounds unsure but receives emotional support from Ice Spice, who turns the vibe from insecurity to frustration in a s–t-or-get-off-the-pot rap. Though she sounds secure, Ice Spice reveals she’s still not sleeping or eating without the boy.

But I don’t sleep enough without you
And I can’t eat enough without you (Huh)
If you don’t speak, does that mean we’re through? (Huh)
Don’t like sneaky s–t that you do

Good Enough for TikTok

PinkPantheress reappears in solidarity, repeating the hook: The boy’s a liar. Then, she repeats “good enough” on a loop, and the track’s cascading Atari-sounding synthesizers frame her affirmation. But who is good enough?

It’s unclear if PinkPantheress is good enough for the boy, or maybe she’s giving in and taking whatever he’ll offer. The track is like a film short, a blissed-out excerpt of a larger story.

Like most songs on Heaven knows, “The Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2” is only two minutes long. And these songs are twice as long as her first mixtape, to hell with it. TikTok accelerated an already shrinking collective attention span, and in this cultural vortex, songs are fragments.   

More than a TikTok Star

Meanwhile, PinkPantheress became a TikTok star from a wager. She told Billboard she bet her friend she could “crack the algorithm.” She did, and suddenly, she became a rising pop star.

Her early videos tapped into ’90s R&B nostalgia, and a generation of kids born in the social media age couldn’t get enough. But PinkPantheress had enough.

She mostly stopped using TikTok and aimed for something more than internet fame. She wanted a traditional pop career. Meanwhile, her songs have held to their TikTok-ness. Her productions are mini-thoughts, and the lyrics, according to Billboard, “capture and clearly telegraph universal feelings to make listeners feel as if she might be reading their DMs.”

Nothing Caught On Until It Did

The Bath, England, native learned music at a young age. She played piano and formed a band with schoolmates. At film school, she experimented with electronic music, and her first shot at shaking the internet awake came through SoundCloud.

She uploaded her songs to SoundCloud, but nothing happened. Then the TikTok wager with her friend led to viral fame, and she eventually signed with Parlophone and Elektra Records.

Ice Spice launched her career on TikTok, too. But that’s where the similarity between her and PinkPantheress stops. You can hear how opposite they are in “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2,” where Ice Spice’s aggressive drill rap is the inverse of the “Pain” singer’s introspection.

Old Beats and Gen Z Angst

On TikTok, Pink Pantheress stitched multiple genres and generations together. Apart from ’90s R&B, she looked to early 2000s drum and bass—fast breakbeats—to write tender, melancholy songs pining for connection.

Her 2021 TikTok hit “Just for Me” became a soundtrack.

When you wipe your tears, do you wipe them just for me?

It sounds Swiftian. But Taylor Swift’s direct message lyrics are peak millennial, while PinkPantheress and her misspelled alias are pure Gen Z.

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Photo by Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic

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