“Astronaut in the Ocean” earned the Australian rapper Masked Wolf his first Billboard Hot 100 entry after a year it was released in 2019. The song sits at #10 on the charts in the US, its highest-ever standing on the chart, and at #10 in the UK and #4 in Australia.
The song was originally released in June 2019 and did not achieve much commercial success. However, following its January 2021 re-release, the song blew up all over the world. The re-release was accompanied by a music video.
At a glance, an ‘astronaut in the ocean’ may seem like an absurd statement. An astronaut belongs in space, not in the ocean. But this is the whole premise of the song–narrating a story of struggling to find your place in this world.
On YouTube, Masked Wolf explained the meaning behind the lyrics;
I have a lot of people ask me “what made you write Astro … what is it about?” The art of music is that it means one thing to me but so many other things to other people… for me it was about knowing i was on a journey like an astronaut but I wasn’t where I wanted to be… I wanted to be in space… I wanted to do what astronauts do.. me saying im in the ocean means i felt I was somwhere I didn’t belong.. but I knew I was close to finding myself as an artist and getting the recognition I wanted from people about my music.. also “whatchu know about rolling down in the deep actually meant what do you know about being down in life and depressed.. i was kind of saying.. have you been similar to me and my down time.. have you been in the rough and the trenches.. some people also say why is the video not in the ocean.. well because I have found my spot in the world.. i know who I am with my music now.. so i’m not in the ocean.. i’m now in space.. where I belong… 2021 gonna be even bigger 🙂 peace
Watch “Astronaut in the Ocean” Music Video by Masked Wolf
“Astronaut in the Ocean” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the chorus of the song, Masked Wolf questions his fans if they have ever been in a dark place. “Rolling in the deep” is a reference to his mental state of depression and anxiety. It is also a reference to Adele’s hit single “Rolling in the Deep” from 2010.
Masked Wolf recalls what it feels like to experience depression as if his brain is not functioning at all. The brain is the organ responsible for logic and reasoning in our body. It is also the organ that decodes all the sensory information we receive from around us. So, when the brain starts acting crazy, your whole world goes crazy. There are no more reigns on your horse thereafter. It is a scary place to be.
When all of this starts hitting hard, he questions his existence altogether. He says that he feels like an astronaut–a highly trained and specialized individual. But he is so far out of place in this world. He is in the ocean–drowning.
Masked Wolf also says that it does not help his mental state when everyone out there starts talking nonsense about him. He realizes that he cannot shut up everyone else. So, he opts to cut off the avenues that he gets such foul information.
In the two verses of the song, Masked Wolf dives into different ideologies he holds to. He says that he lives by God and has no time for women who try to play with him. ‘T.H.O.T.’ is an abbreviation for ‘that hottie over there,’ an Internet slang for sexy women.
Despite his good selections, he still endures psychological distress all the time. Maybe his expectations in the music industry were set too high for himself. Maybe smaller successes of his career prior to “Astronaut in the Ocean” did take a toll on his mental health. If so, the success of this song should help him alleviate his pain. In his explanation above, Masked Wolf did mention that he has now found his place in this world! A rare happy ending!
In the second verse of the song, he also shouts out to “Swimming Pools (Drank)” single by Kendrick Lamar from 2012.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.