20 Songs About Acting

It’s pretty common for folks to act differently depending on who they’re with, making them question if it’s cool or if they’re being fake. This whole deal has a psychology term attached to it: self-monitoring. Basically, it’s about how much attention someone pays to how they’re coming off and tweaking their behavior accordingly.

On one end, you’ve got low self-monitors who don’t really care how they’re seen—they’re the same with everyone. Then, there are high self-monitors who are super aware of how they’re acting and switch it up based on the situation.

For those who’ve faced rejection for not fitting the “normal” mold, this topic can be a bit touchy. They might see the benefits of adapting but also hate the idea of conforming. It’s like a battle between wanting to fit in and preserving their uniqueness.

We all prefer people to be real, and acting differently can sometimes come off as hiding something or being fake. Interestingly, the theme of acting isn’t just in our behavior but also in music. I’ve put together a list of 20 songs about acting in this playlist!

20 Songs About Acting

1. “Everybody Acting Gangsta” by Big Smile NBT

“Everybody Acting Gangsta” by Big Smile NBT is a song that delves into the theme of people putting on a tough or “gangster” facade until confronted with real challenges.

The lyrics portray a sense of skepticism towards those who act fake and the consequences they might face when a genuinely tough individual, referred to as a “gangster,” shows up. The artist uses a mix of vivid imagery and street-life experiences to convey the message, singing:

“Everybody acting gangster till a gangster show up

Everybody acting gangster till a gangster show up”

These lines point out the contrast between the pretense of toughness and the reality of facing a true “gangster.” The singer continues: 

“I prolly bend the knee one day but for now let’s get this cake

I been moving like a cat, I am never in a haste

But I’m a loyal like a dog, unless you gimme a reason to

In the streets I’m a lion, never take me for a fool (Gangster)”

These lyrics explore the artist’s attitude towards life, expressing a blend of caution, loyalty, and a readiness to assert oneself when needed. The use of animal metaphors adds a layer of complexity to the portrayal of the artist’s character.

2. “Acting Like That” by YUNGBLUD

“Acting Like That” is a song by YUNGBLUD featuring Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker, released in December 2020 as part of YUNGBLUD’s second studio album, “Weird!”

The song was written in the aftermath of the death of their mutual friend, Juice WRLD, and it revolves around a night the two vocalists spent together. Despite the somber circumstances, they decided they were “way too cool to be acting like that,” which became the inspiration for the song.

The lyrics of “Acting Like That” touch on themes of behavior, self-perception, and the consequences of one’s actions. The repetition of the line “You’re way too hot to be acting like that” suggests a sense of self-awareness and confidence.

The lyrics imply a desire to break free from negative behavior or attitudes and assert a more positive and empowered self-image.

3. “Act a Fool” by Obndz

“Act a Fool” by Obndz is a song that delves into the artist’s emotional response to various life situations. The lyrics suggest a combination of nonchalant attitudes, frustration, and a rebellious spirit. The artist contemplates the idea of playing it cool but ultimately decides to act a fool in response to judgment and challenges.

In the lyrics, Obndz expresses a sense of defiance against societal expectations and biases, particularly those based on appearances. The lines “Ima act a fool cause ppl think that I’m ignorant” and “Ima act a fool cause they judging me off my pigment” highlight the artist’s frustration with being unfairly judged. This sentiment is further emphasized with the reference to law enforcement: “Time to act a fool cause 12 still on they pig shit.”

The lyrics also touch on personal loss, as evidenced by the lines “Until I heard my brodie died on the news.” This tragic event seems to fuel the artist’s desire for revenge. 

4. “Actin’ Up” by Meek Mill and Wale

“Actin’ Up” is a track from the collaborative album “Self Made Vol. 2” by Maybach Music Group, featuring Meek Mill and Wale, along with rapper French Montana.

The song reflects on the behavior of certain people, particularly women, who are perceived to be acting out or causing trouble. The artists boast about their success, wealth, and luxury lifestyles, emphasizing that they don’t let the drama affect them. They sing:

“These hoes be acting up

And these niggas be letting ’em

And me, I don’t be sweating ’em”

In these lines, the artists observe and comment on the behavior of certain women, suggesting that they are causing disruptions or drama. The phrase “And these niggas be letting ’em” implies that some men are tolerating or indulging in this behavior, but the artists assert that they don’t let it bother them, expressing a sense of confidence and detachment.

“See, me, I don’t practice much

Gold albums from the word of mouth

Gold bottles in the back of us

These Jones be broke as fuck”

Here, Wale implies that he doesn’t engage in negative behaviors or drama (“me, I don’t practice much”). Instead, he focuses on his success, with gold albums and bottles symbolizing achievements and wealth. The reference to others being “broke as fuck” suggests a contrast between the artists’ prosperity and the financial status of those they are addressing.

5. “Acting Like This” by Keemh

“Acting Like This” by Keemh is a song that delves into the complexities of a relationship where one person desires a deeper connection and commitment while the other seems hesitant or distant. The song captures the emotional struggle and confusion that arises from mixed signals and unclear intentions.

The lyrics highlight the longing for something more substantial than just friendship, expressing frustration and a plea for clarity:

“Between us it ain’t a game

I want you till the end

Look how much time we spend

You know we can’t be friends

Just know that i like how you dressing

Cause you know for you i’ll be different

And i know you are avoiding just commitment

So just tell me why you acting like this”

These lines illustrate the yearning for a genuine relationship beyond mere friendship. The singer expresses their willingness to be different for the other person and acknowledges the avoidance of commitment by the other party. The repeated plea for an explanation – “So just tell me why you acting like this” – underscores the confusion and desire for understanding.

6. “Acting Like That” by Jennifer Lopez

“Acting Like That” is a track by Jennifer Lopez featuring Iggy Azalea from the album A.K.A. The song delves into themes of loyalty, commitment, and the frustration of feeling unappreciated in a relationship.

In the song, Lopez expresses her dedication to the relationship since day one, highlighting her constant support and presence. She questions her partner’s behavior, asking why they are acting indifferent and not valuing her loyalty.

The following lyrics suggest that despite her unwavering commitment, there’s a sense of disregard or lack of acknowledgment from her partner’s end. 

“I’ve been down since day 1 yeah

I’m the only one that been right here

Why you acting like you don’t care?

I’ve been down since day 1

Don’t let the tables turn

Don’t let the bridges burn

Been down for you

Don’t get it confused, boy

You could lose your turn”

From these lines, we can see that the singer felt disappointed in her partner acting like he doesn’t care. She emphasizes her commitment from the beginning while also warning her partner not to take her for granted.

7. “Acting Out” by Coby Blacc

“Acting Out” by Coby Blacc is a hip-hop track that showcases the artist’s confidence and bold attitude. The lyrics delve into themes of individuality, resilience, and a bit of rebelliousness.

Coby Blacc talks about his career in the hip-hop scene, serving what he calls “crack music,” which metaphorically suggests delivering powerful and addictive sounds. Coby sings:

“You won’t see it coming

But fck it

I’m acting out

I’m acting out out out

Fck it

I’m acting out out out

F*ck it

I’m acting out out out”

In these lines, Coby is expressing a sense of unpredictability and spontaneity. The phrase “I’m acting out” suggests a departure from the expected or a breaking of norms. It could be interpreted as a declaration of independence and a willingness to defy conventional expectations.

8. “Welcome To The Theatre” by Lauren Bacall

“Welcome To The Theatre” is a captivating song from the world of musical theater, performed by the iconic actress Lauren Bacall. The song welcomes newcomers, specifically Miss Eve Harrington, to the intriguing and often tumultuous world of show business. Lauren Bacall sings: 

“Actors are children

Playing hide-and-ego-seek”

This line cleverly captures the essence of actors, showcasing their playful nature and the constant search for identity and recognition within their roles.

“You’ll be a bitch

But they’ll know your name

From New York

To Kokomo”

These lyrics speak to the multifaceted nature of acting, acknowledging the complexities of portraying various characters while also acknowledging the desire for fame and recognition.

9. “Actin’ Up” by Casey Veggies

“Actin’ Up” by Casey Veggies is a hip-hop track that showcases the artist’s confidence, carefree attitude, and experiences in the entertainment and party scene. In the song, Casey Veggies talks about his age, desire for success, and interactions with women. Casey mentions driving luxurious cars, going to the mall, and enjoying a lavish lifestyle. He sings:

“They see us when we ball, we be acting up

Getting calls from your broad, we be acting up

Pull up coupe to the mall, see me acting up

Back in the morning, I’m acting up”

These lines emphasize the carefree and confident behavior of the artist, highlighting moments of enjoyment, partying, and attracting attention.

10. “Cracked Actor” by David Bowie

“Cracked Actor” by David Bowie is a song from his album Aladdin Sane, released in 1973. The song talks about the not-so-great parts of Hollywood and looks at fame, getting older, and the not-so-real side of the entertainment industry.

In the lyrics, Bowie thinks back on his time in Hollywood, talking about the highs and the movies he made. When he says, “I’ve come on a few years from my Hollywood Highs,” it seems like he’s reflecting on the changes over time. The mention of being the “cleanest star” might mean the clean image that often comes with being famous.

The song gives a kind of disappointed view of showbiz, pointing out how success doesn’t last and the toll it takes on people. The lyrics also talk about things not being real, like in the line “You caught yourself a trick down on Sunset and Vine,” showing how relationships in Hollywood can be fake.

The words “Crack, baby, crack” and “Smack, baby, smack” coming up a lot make it seem like Bowie is craving something real and genuine in the middle of all the fake glamour of Hollywood. The lyrics express a longing for true connections in the midst of the fake world of stardom.

11. “Acting Funny” by LADELE

“Acting Out” by Ashley Tisdale is a pop song that talks about breaking free from expectations and showing a different side of oneself. It’s about embracing individuality and not conforming to what others might expect.

In the lyrics, the singer expresses a longing to be liberated from constraints and take control:

“I’m letting go of what you know

Let me out this cage, I’m not gonna hold back

I’ma break these chains, I’m taking control now

Gonna give you something to talk about

It’s another side of me I’m acting out”

The chorus emphasizes the singer’s determination to reveal another side of herself by “acting out” and shedding the expectations imposed by others:

“It’s another side of me I’m acting out

Set me free, I’m ready to show you this is what I need

It’s time to get dirty, I’ma show you what I’m talking about

It’s another side of me I’m acting out”

The repeated phrase “another side of me” suggests a multi-faceted identity that is ready to be unveiled, while the call to “get dirty” implies a willingness to embrace a more authentic and perhaps unconventional self.

12. “The Actress” by Roy Orbison

“The Actress” by Roy Orbison is a sad song about love as a show. In the song, the singer thinks his partner is really good at pretending – like she could be an actress. The lyrics talk about how well the partner acts, making it seem like she truly loves, but the singer can see that it’s just a act. Here are some lines from the song:

“Well, you should be an actress

You play your part so well

Your act is so believable

That no one else can tell”

The idea of acting and faking emotions is a big part of the song, making it feel kind of sad as the singer realizes he’s not really loved.

13. “Acting Bad” by Sean Hampton

“Acting Bad” by Sean Hampton is a rap song that exudes confidence and portrays a luxurious lifestyle. The lyrics depict the artist’s bold attitude, fame, and his ability to live extravagantly. Hampton talks about acting bad, spending money rapidly, and being in his element, commonly referred to as being in his “bag.” He sings:

“Tell niggaz we acting bad

Tell them hoes we acting bad

Spending fast we got the bag

So tell them niggaz we acting bad”

These lines emphasize a brash demeanor and a carefree approach to life. The mention of telling others that they’re “acting bad” implies a deliberate choice to flaunt their success and live on their terms. The reference to having “the bag” suggests financial success and the ability to spend freely.

“I’m acting baddddddd

That’s why im in my baggggggg

I hop in the booth and spazzzzzzzz

That’s why you niggaz maddddddd”

In these lines, Hampton proudly declares that he’s “acting bad” and attributes it to being in his element or feeling confident. The mention of hopping in the booth and spazzing suggests that his musical talent contributes to his bold persona.

14. “Acting Very Strange” by Mike Rutherford

“Acting Very Strange” is a song by Mike Rutherford, best known as the guitarist/bassist for the band Genesis. It is the title track from his second and final solo album, released on September 7, 1982.

The uniqueness of this album lies in Rutherford taking on the role of lead vocalist, a departure from his instrumental contributions in Genesis.

The song explores a sense of alienation and emotional disconnection. In the lyrics, the singer expresses a feeling of being alone and witnessing a change in someone’s behavior.

The repeated refrain of “You’re acting very strange” suggests a noticeable shift in the person’s demeanor, leaving him puzzled and concerned.

15. “Acting My Age” by The Academic

“Acting My Age” by The Academic talks about growing up and learning from mistakes. The singer admits to past goof-ups but wants to change and act more mature. The line “It’s time I should start acting my age” sums up the main idea.

The lyrics show that everyone messes up sometimes, and the singer owns up to his past slip-ups. Even though he’s made “silly things” and mistakes before, there’s a strong sense of taking responsibility and wanting to fix things. He wants to make things right by saying, “I wanna make it up to you, I just gotta start acting my age, my age.”

The song looks back on the past and shows a willingness to take responsibility, making “Acting My Age” a powerful piece about finding yourself and growing up.

16. “Moviestar” by Harpo

“Moviestar” is a song by Swedish singer Harpo. He wrote it for a friend who dreamed of being an actor. The song talks about someone who thinks they’re a big movie star like Steve McQueen and James Dean. But in reality, they’ve only been in a TV ad. The lyrics mention movie producer Ingmar Bergman and poke fun at the person’s inflated self-image. Harpo sings:

“You feel like Steve McQueen

When you’re driving in your car

And you think you look like James Bond

When you’re smoking your cigar

It’s so bizarre, you think you are”

17. “The Actor” by Moody Blues

“The Actor” by The Moody Blues is a song that delves into the theme of self-reflection and escapism. Released on their 1974 album “This Is The Moody Blues,” the lyrics narrate a scene where the curtain rises on a play, symbolizing the unfolding of life. The singer contemplates the desire for freedom and escape from the mundane aspects of everyday life.

One notable aspect of the song is its exploration of the role of acting. The lyrics mention the descent of the actor, representing the singer themselves. This suggests a connection between one’s own life and the performance on the stage. 

“The curtain rises on the scene,

With someone chanting to be free.

The play unfolds before my eyes,

Descends the actor who is me.”

From theses lines, we can see the theatrical nature of life, where the singer perceives himself as both the audience and the actor in the unfolding drama. The use of the word “descends” implies a sense of introspection, as if the singer is observing his own role in the play of life.

18. “You Can’t Be Acting Like That” by Paris James

“You Can’t Be Acting Like That” by Paris James is a song that delves into the frustrations of dealing with someone whose behavior is inappropriate and troublesome.

The lyrics depict a situation where the person in question has committed acts like stealing a Mastercard and a new guitar, as well as engaging in other irresponsible behavior. The singer expresses discontent with the person’s actions and emphasizes the need for them to change their ways. He sings:

“You can’t be acting like that

You can’t be acting like that

You got to back it off baby

You can’t be acting like that”

These lines serve as a recurring chorus which highlights the singer’s insistence that the person needs to modify their behavior. The repetition underscores the frustration and urgency in the message.

19. “I’m in Love with a German Film Star” by Passions

“I’m in Love with a German Film Star” is a song by a British band called The Passions. They released it as a single in 1981, and it got to No. 25 on the UK Singles Chart – their only hit.

The song is all about the singer being super into a German film star. The lyrics describe the star hanging out in a bar, not dressed perfectly, and avoiding the usual poses for photos. It paints a clear picture of this intriguing film star in a glamorous world.

The lyrics talk about the theme of acting, with the singer saying the German film star plays a troublemaker in a movie. The line “Playing the part of a real troublemaker” suggests a difference between the character on screen and the real person. This adds a layer of complexity to the emotions expressed by the singer.

The singer keeps saying “It really moved me” over and over, stressing how much the film star’s performance affected her.

20. “Imitation of Life” by R.E.M.

“Imitation of Life” by R.E.M. is a song that delves into the theme of putting on a facade and acting to conceal one’s true emotions.

The title itself refers to the concept of imitating or pretending to live a certain way, drawing inspiration from the 1959 film of the same name by Douglas Sirk.

The lyrics explore the idea of performance and disguise, particularly in the context of trying to act as if unaffected by challenges or emotions. 

“Charades, pop skill

Water hyacinth, named by a poet

Imitation of life

Like a koi in a frozen pond

Like a goldfish in a bowl

I don’t want to hear you cry”

These lines suggest the idea of playing games or putting on a performance. However, the words “Like a koi in a frozen pond, like a goldfish in a bowl” imply that the singer actually wants to break free from these restrictions. 

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