Adele’s promotional team has been working overtime leading up to and since the release of 30, the singer’s fourth studio album.
The world has plunged into an Adele-shaped wormhole as she dominates the cultural landscape: headlines, talk show appearances, and transatlantic TV specials have become a fixture of November 2021. Just three days into its release, 30 has become the biggest-selling album of the year in the US beating Taylor Swift’s Evermore and Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour.
With this kind of cultural domination comes inevitable social media buzz. Since the album’s release on 19 November 2021, fans have been non-stop talking about the deluxe version, which features three fiery tracks. We take a deep dive into Wild Wild West, the deluxe album’s 13th song, to explore Adele’s connection to the California coastline.
Wild Wild West’s lyrics explored
Wild Wild West is the 13th track on 30 (Deluxe), one of three bonus tracks. It isn’t available for digital streaming yet.
Like the rest of the album, it explores Adele’s marriage, heartbreak, and the journey to choosing herself. This fourth project has even been dubbed a “diaristic divorce album”, by the New Yorker.
The lyrics that have sparked interest come in the chorus:
“From LA to San Francisco
I lost my mind in San Bernardino
Even Chula Vista and Modesto
I broke my heart in San Diego”
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Fans wonder what Adele was doing in Chula Vista
In Wild Wild West’s chorus, Adele lists five Californian cities where she spent time “losing her mind” and “having her heart broken”. While Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego will be familiar to many non-Californians, the other named cities are less known despite their relatively large sizes.
Chula Vista is south of San Diego and the 15th-largest city in the state of California. It sits right above the Mexican border, just a 25-minute drive to Tijuana.
In a viral tweet, one fan speculated whether Adele was dating someone in Chula Vista:
This, however, is unlikely. Adele was reportedly spotted at the Cabazon Outlets, a discount mall just outside San Bernardino, with rumoured boyfriend Skepta in July 2021. However, this is unlikely to be the incident the song is referencing.
Some argue Adele can’t have been to all those cities and simply used the city names because they fit the rhyme. They also enhance the Wild Wild West allegory (for her turbulent relationship and mental state) as classic cowboy films were shot and set in California.
So, no, Adele was unlikely to be dating someone in all these Californian cities. It seems more a case of creative liberty than diaristic confession. Although those from Chula Vista seem more than happy to have Adele namedrop their home city, regardless of whether she’s been there:
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