What is the meaning of TSU on Drake's new album?

Olivia Olphin September 3, 2021
Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for dcp

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Drake has just dropped his brand new album Certified Lover Boy and fans are going crazy for the new tracks. With Kanye West’s Donda and Drake’s CLB dropping within a week of each other, hip-hop and rap fans are spoilt for choice. We explore the meaning of the song TSU, breaking down the lyrics and taking a look at the strong fan reaction.

Drake drops new album Certified Lover Boy

Fans have been waiting patiently for new music from the One Dance rapper and the time has finally come. Drake just dropped his new album Certified Lover Boy on all music streaming platforms today.

The album contains 21 songs, including collaborations with Tems, Kid Cudi, 21 Savage, Yebba and Jay-Z.

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The album’s cover art has caused quite a stir online. It was designed by Damian Hirst and depicts emoji versions of 12 pregnant women.

Some have been joking that this is because Drake’s music is so sexy that it is often used to make babies to. Fans on Twitter have been leaning into the labour related jokes.

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What does the term TSU mean?

According to Urban Dictionary TSU means “Tear S*** Up”.

Drake’s song TSU opens with OG Ron C calling out of all the ladies from Louisiana to Texas City, asking: “What’s up to all the ladies on the north side, south side, east side, west side?”.

He then states at the end of the intro: “TSU ladies”. This could be calling all the women in America to own their power and make a statement.

However, it looks like TSU stands for Texas Southern University in the song, and could be referring to the “TSU ladies” who attend this college.

This song was first leaked back on 1 March 2020 under the name Not Around, and fans were glad to see that it still made it onto the album despite this controversy.

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Fans are obsessed with this new song and have taken to social media to share their love for the lyrics.

Hip-hop gossip reporter and podcaster DJ Akademiks even weighed in on the track.

TSU lyric breakdown

TSU is a song about a stripper who is wanting to get her life together. This is a song about being an outcast, being left by your family, and trying to make it as a young woman in the world.

Drake raps about a woman who has been pushed out and not accepted by her family: “Her daddy is not around, her mama is not around”, and who dances to make ends meet: “I watch her climb to the top of the pole and then get to slidin’ down”.

He follows her journey as she moves away from stripping and tries to start a new life: “She moved out of state and s*** done went left, she’s seeking’ forgiveness/ she used to dance, but she want a loan to start up a business”.

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The rapper also states that these are personal lyrics influenced by his own experiences: “This is a story, it came from my life and I’m just rec”.

Drake admits that both he this woman: “Came from a broken home” and talks directly to her stating: “Heard you got some brand new life goals”.

This song reflects on the struggle that it takes to make lasting change in your life, and celebrates how you can come from a difficult background and still make a success of yourself.

We can’t wait to listen to this new album on repeat for the foreseeable future.

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Olivia Olphin is an English Literature graduate and a film and literature fanatic. She has many years of reviewing experience, recently working as accredited press for the London Film Festival. She has also written widely about culture and sex education, as well as LGBTQ+ and women's issues.