One of the strengths of Robinson’s (Khalid’s) productions is the honesty involved in each of his lines, unafraid to be frank with his peers in the interest of living life to the fullest. The entire basis for “Young Dumb & Broke” is the notion that high-schoolers are much too inexperienced & irresponsible to be bothered with emotional commitment, although that’s not to say they shouldn’t enjoy falling in love with each other when the time arises; In Robinson’s eyes, youth is a medium for social expression, a facet of life oft-overlooked by those rushing to reach maturation without taking the time to smell the roses, so to speak. Viewpoints like these would appear rare, with an increasingly profane addiction to child celebrity in modern media causing youngsters to crave the details of adulthood earlier & earlier, but Robinson remains unphased, yearning to participate in life the way it is presented to him. His headstrong mentality combined with the subject matter of this track push the boundaries of teenage self-awareness to new levels, evoking a lust for life akin to the love songs of yesteryear, filled to the brim with inward reflection & outward acceptance of one’s surrounding circumstances.
Reeling it all in is the glum but positively-charged beat Robinson sings over, a simple melody of only 3 notes & a drum machine, with just the right level of dynamic accentuation to illustrate the motionless afternoons of after-school hangout sessions as the year slowly winds down towards graduation; These final days can be surreal, especially with possession of the looming knowledge that you’re receiving freedom at the cost of possibly losing every friendship you spent the last 12 years constructing. The days get long, bending & folding upon each other into one endless loop lost in time, expertly demonstrated by the droning tonal quality of Robinson’s organ playing in the background. “Young Dumb & Broke” contains quite possibly the most conflictingly emotional portrayal of high school exit ceremonies since Vitamin C’s 1999 hit “Graduation,” a song still capable of bringing 90’s kids to tears, wiped clean by the pages of their Sharpie-covered yearbooks; With any luck, Robinson’s contribution will be this generations version of that song, likely bringing audiences back to “the day” upon hearing the first note of this striking declaration of merry independence.
Khalid Robinson, Joel Little, Talay Riley
"Young Dumb & Broke" is a song by American singer Khalid. It was released as a single on February 2, 2017, by Right Hand Music Group and RCA Records as the second single from his debut studio album American Teen. The song peaked at number one in the Philippines and New Zealand and it has reached the top ten in Australia. As of October 2017, the single has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.