Rod Wave “Tombstone” Meaning (Explained)

Rod Wave‘s “Tombstone” is a poignant reflection on the hardships and struggles he has faced throughout his life. The song delves into themes of perseverance, the quest for success, and the hope for eventual peace.

This analysis will explore the meaning behind the lyrics, breaking down the various verses and choruses to better understand the message that Rod Wave is trying to convey.

Lyrics Interpretation

Before we delve into the story behind this song, let’s take a closer look at each verse of the lyrics.

Verse 1:

“I keep my gun in my drawers, ducking the sad news (Oh yeah)

My phone say seven missed calls, I know it’s bad news

This life had left me so scarred, I’m knowing that’s true

Remember times got so hard, I got it tattoed (So hard)”

In the opening verse, Rod Wave paints a picture of the tough environment he has had to navigate. By mentioning the gun in his drawers, he emphasizes the necessity of self-protection and the constant threat of danger. The seven missed calls suggest that he is often confronted with bad news, while the scars and tattoos represent the permanent impact that these experiences have had on him.


“I ain’t did no shows but made some bread (Yeah)

I gotta keep the family fed (Yeah, yeah)

Look, just talked to pops about the feds

I ain’t gon’ lie, he had me scared, uh”

Rod Wave highlights his determination to provide for his family despite the challenges he faces. He discusses making money without doing shows, possibly alluding to the unconventional ways he has had to hustle. The mention of a conversation with his father about the feds demonstrates his awareness of the potential consequences of his actions, further emphasizing the weight of the decisions he has to make.


“And fuck these niggas ’cause they lame

Since they love saying my name

Make sure you write the truest in the motherfucking game

On my tombstone when they bury me

By the river, they will carry me

Finally, I’ll be resting in peace

Finally, finally”

The chorus serves as a bold declaration of Rod Wave’s desire to be remembered for his authenticity and dedication to his craft. He dismisses his critics and insists that his tombstone should proclaim him as the “truest in the game.” The imagery of being buried by the river and finally finding peace underscores his yearning for an eventual reprieve from the struggles he has faced.


“I’ll get to fly away, somewhere, someday

Fuck these niggas ’cause they lame

Since they love saying my name (Yeah)

Make sure you write the truest in the game

On my tombstone when they bury me (Yeah)

By the river, they will carry me (Yeah)

Finally, I’ll be resting in peace (Oh yeah)

Finally, finally, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah”

The bridge echoes the chorus, reinforcing Rod Wave’s longing for eventual peace and release from the hardships of his life. The idea of “flying away” suggests a sense of freedom that he has not yet been able to attain.


“(You know what I’m saying, I don’t really know what I’m saying)

(I don’t know what’s after this shit)

Finally, finally

(Everybody think they know but fuck it, I sleep on the floor)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

(This shit comes with a lot, it’s a lot of pressure, I’m a young nigga though)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

On my tombstone when they bury me (Believe that man, I’m a hustler)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, on my tombstone when they bury me, yeah oh

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, finally I’ll be resting in peace

Finally, finally, on my tombstone when they bury me

By the river, they will carry me, I’ll be resting in peace

Finally, finally, yeah”

In the outro, Rod Wave reflects on the uncertainties of life and the afterlife. He acknowledges the pressure that comes with his lifestyle, but emphasizes his resilience as a young man. The repetition of the chorus throughout the outro emphasizes the importance of his desire to be remembered for his authenticity and the hope for a peaceful end.

True Meaning Behind “Tombstone”

Rod Wave’s “Tombstone” takes us on a journey through his tough upbringing in St. Petersburg, Florida, and the relentless hustling that ensued. The song deals with the stressors of his life, including losing loved ones, run-ins with the law, and his struggle to maintain relationships. He sees death as the ultimate release from these burdens, which is a sentiment that resonates with his fans.

Wave’s music career has given him purpose, as he mentioned in a 2020 interview with Billboard. He said, “It feels good. It gives me a reason to wake up. It gave me a purpose. It made me want to live and have kids. Live and see 50, 60. Because before music, I was ready to crash out.”

“Tombstone” showcases Wave’s desire to leave a lasting legacy. He wants to be remembered as “the truest in the game” when he passes away. The song also addresses the harsh realities faced by the Black community in America, as Stereogum points out, “the track laments the psychic wages of street life.”

In an interview with Genius, Wave speaks about the challenges he’s faced, like constantly anticipating bad news from missed calls on his phone. He’s aware that artists often gain more recognition after their death and hopes his legacy won’t only be built upon that. He said, “It’s hard to appreciate someone ’til it’s gone… That’s when there’s all this GOAT talk, and all this legend talk and all that.”


“Tombstone” ultimately ends on a bittersweet note, with Wave imagining his final resting place by the river, finally at peace. The song’s deep message and relatability make it a powerful ballad that continues to resonate with listeners.

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