SZA’s 2017 single “Drew Barrymore” was far from the first musical homage to the movie star.
The edgiest of ’90s rom-com regulars, Barrymore has unwittingly served as muse for a bunch of songwriters who projected their feelings upon her and directed their occasionally obsessive thoughts her way. It wasn’t always pretty. As we’ll see, it almost never was.
Here's a short ranking of some attempts.
6. Bryce Vine – “Drew Barrymore” (2017)
This song is the worst, a showcase for the vapid rap-crooning of some handsome personality-vacuum lazily spinning the pathetic line “You’re the next Drew Barry/ And I want more.” (Aaaaah, why haven't you shot me yet? No, point it at my face, dammit.) Only the densest frat bro would follow that forced pause with a vibey “ … yeah” and flaunt it like it’s fresh. This makes me want to erect a small militia to send after the perpetrator.
5. Groovy Cool – “Drew Barrymore” (1999)
A big ol’ muscular rock track, with guitars twanging their way along that dusty route to stripped-down blues, dedicated to the all-American girl from the all-American creep, who obsesses over her tattoo (“Drew Barrymore, I like your butterfly”) in a John Hinckley Jr. sorta way. The song breaks into a verse about movie stardom and fanaticism toward the end with a pointed wink. So, congrats, guys—you’re meta-creeps.
4. Brother Mynor featuring Ojmacoj – “Drew Barrymore Watches Saturday Morning Cartoons” (2016)
A fly instrumental groove with trickling sampled voices chopped up for contemplative cerebral tickles.
3. My So Called Life – “We Thought Drew Barrymore Was the Lead Until She Died in 11 Minutes”
A high-pitched pop-emo singer obsesses over an ex to the sound of speedy melodic guitars yet shares none of his thoughts on Scream, no matter what that lengthy Fall Out Boyish non sequitur title would suggest.
2. SuperMonkey – “Drew Barrymore” (2008)
A late-2000s rock act holding on to an early-2000’s alt sound, SuperMonkey go full rom-com here, enduring early plot fuck-ups and sprinting to a rock-ously momentous romantic leap. To their surprise, their Barrymore paramour is with it from the jump. Roll credits.
1. SZA – “Drew Barrymore” (2017)
SZA’s so cool and thoughtful I’m embarrassed to include her on this list of weirdos and dummies and weirdos. But the Barrymore-directed gaze of all these dudes is so desperate and sweaty that we could all use a pretty palate-cleanser. So put on a big SZA hoodie with fraying sleeves and wrap yourself in her warm, R&Bluesy tribute.