Single Review: Tyrese “How You Gonna Act Like That”

How You Gonna Act Like That
Album: I Wanna Go There
Year: 2003

Tyrese begs for his girlfriend to come back in the snail-like R&B rhythms of “How You Gonna Act Like That”

He first saw her walking down the street as he was driving along. He fell in love with her immediately. He didn’t have a girlfriend at the time and she wanted someone to be with. (“It seems like just the other day that we hooked up/(I was drivin’, you was walkin’ and I swooped you up)/From that moment on I knew you were the one, yeah/(I was single, you was lonely and we fell in love”). Every other lyric has Tyrese’s voice muffled. It makes his voice unnatural and overprocessed.

At first, they shared a lot in common and would talk on the phone for hours. He bought her a brand new car and paid her living expenses. She told him she would be with forever. However, she has decided to leave him. (“We would sit and talk for hours about anything/(Baby, you hang up, no, you hang up, on three hang up)/I bought your whip, I paid your rent, I gave you everything/(Said you’d always be my baby then you bounce”).

In the chorus, he’s dumbfounded that after all the things he did for her, she would still be gone. They’ve just gotten back together and he thought everything was fine again.(“How you gonna act/How you gonna up and leave me now/How you gonna act like that/How you gonna change it up, we just finished makin’ up/How you gonna act like that”).

They had lots of make-up sex and went it like rambontious bunnies. She’s ticked and has forgotten the love they had. (“How you gonna act like we don’t be makin’ love/You know we be tearin’ it up, breakin’ stuff, that ghetto love/how you gonna trip, how could you forget/how you gonna act like that”).

He’s disappointed that they cannot work through their problems. He’s tried compromising with her and hoping she would’ve communicated her fears to him. He’s irritated that she didn’t tell him until after he had put in a bid for a house for them. (“Girl, I never thought that lovin’ you would hurt/(I did everything a good man would to make it work)/Girl, you should have told me you had second thoughts/(Like before I put the down on the house we bought”).

He regrets getting involved with her but retracts it when he finds himself missing their intimacy. He reassures her they will make their way through the rough patch they are in. (“Now I’m thinkin’ you and me was a mistake/But then it hits me and I’m missin’ all the love we made)/Girl, I know that we’ve been goin’ through some things yeah/(But the sun is always shinin’ even when it rains, oh”)

In the bridge, he tells her eventually she’s going to want to spend time with him. He’ll be thinking of her constantly and comforting her from her troubles. He predicts that she will want to marry him and won’t be able to brush aside the relationship. He doesn’t blame her for dumping him, knowing he will have to deal with the consequences. Losing her has broken his heart. (“I’ll be the one you kick it to/I’ll be the one that misses you/I’ll be the one to ease your pain/I’ll be the one you’ll want to gain/And you’ll be the one who can’t forget/You’ll be the one that’s innocent/You’ll be the one I can’t hide/You’ll be the one that makes me cry, baby”).

Tyrese admits he’s the one that damaged their relationship. Now, he wants to earn back her trust. He’s used to dating many women at the same time but thought she’d be the special one he would settle down with. (“You know I’m willin’ to do anything/Just to keep you in my heart {Keep you in my heart}/I messed around and gave up everything/I thought we’d never part (Yes, I did, baby)/I was a player and made the choice to give my heart to you/And I gotta keep it that way, ooh, baby”).

After the third verse, the rest of the lyrics are filler to extend the single. He says that he wants her over and over. Now, he’s just carrying on and needs to let go. (“keepin’ love ghetto (all I want is you)….keepin’ love ghetto (all I need is you, all I need is you, babe”).

The full chorus is sung to finish the song.

Although Tyrese does apologize to his girlfriend and promise not to cheat on her again, he doesn’t respect her decision to leave him. He doesn’t give up which may seem romantic in theory. However, Tyrese ends up being petulant since he’s not getting his way


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