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The Meaning Behind The Song: Strange Ways (instrumental) (Koushik remix) by Madvillain

The Meaning Behind The Song: Strange Ways (instrumental) (Koushik remix) by Madvillain

I am listening to this song while writing this article, trying to decipher the meanings hidden within its hypnotic beats and enchanting lyrics. “Strange Ways” is an instrumental track remixed by Koushik, originally performed by the iconic duo Madvillain, consisting of MF Doom and Madlib.

The Lyrics

The song opens with the recurring refrain, “They stay… Strange ways,” echoing throughout the track. These words set the tone for the introspective and thought-provoking lyrics delivered by MF Doom.

In the first verse, Doom paints a vivid picture of a world filled with chaos and danger. He describes a protagonist who navigates through turbulent streets, facing the consequences of their actions. The line, “Any day could be the one he picks the wrong thug to test,” depicts the constant uncertainty and peril that surrounds them.

Doom’s lyrics also shed light on the harsh realities faced by individuals forced into criminal activities to provide for their families. He highlights the moral ambiguity surrounding the concept of “real thugs, killers, and gangsters,” questioning the societal norms and those who profit from the suffering of others.

The chorus further emphasizes the notion of unfamiliar and questionable paths. It touches on the struggles faced by individuals driven to extremes, such as sacrifice or self-destruction, in the pursuit of survival or personal beliefs.

The second verse delves into the stark contrast between those in power and those affected by their decisions. It critiques the immense costs and consequences of war, pointing out the hypocrisy of allowing one side to possess destructive weapons while denying the same to others. Doom cleverly compares this situation to disarming a soldier and then attacking him, demonstrating the unjust dynamics at play.

The outro, delivered through a spoken word passage, adds another layer to the song. It tells a story of personal betrayal and resilience, set against a backdrop of rain and melancholy. It serves as a reminder that even in the face of adversity, one must carry on and persist.

The Message

“Strange Ways” is not a song that offers straightforward answers or solutions. Instead, it invites listeners to explore the complexities of society, power dynamics, and personal struggles. The lyrics challenge the status quo and prompt us to question the motives and actions of those in authority.

Through clever wordplay and thought-provoking storytelling, Madvillain invites listeners to look beyond surface-level impressions and consider the multifaceted nature of the world we live in. The song encourages critical thinking, empathy, and a deeper understanding of the human experience.


“Strange Ways (instrumental) (Koushik remix)” by Madvillain is a captivating and profound piece of music that combines hypnotic beats, intricate rhymes, and reflective storytelling. It compels listeners to delve into themes of societal injustices and personal hardships, urging us to question the world around us.

As I continue to listen to this song, it serves as a constant reminder to remain curious, think critically, and never shy away from exploring the strange ways that shape our lives.

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