While updating my Ultimate Pop Playlist the other afternoon (UH OH! Someone ring the cool kid alarm!), I noticed I'd put “It’s Gotta Be You” by the Backstreet Boys directly before “It’s Gonna Be Me” by ’N Sync. Upon realizing this, I laughed out loud. (UH OH! Gotta ring the cool kid alarm again!) When I read the rival boy bands’ song titles back-to-back, I imagined someone pointing his or her finger at someone else authoritatively, and then pointing his or her thumb at his or herself, all while clenching his or her jaw. Both song titles are so aggressive!
After I listened to the tracks, something dawned on me: the similarities run deeper than assertive titles. "It's Gonna Be Me" is definitely the unofficial sequel to "It's Gotta Be You". "It's Gotta Be You" is about the early stages of a crush, and "It's Gonna Be Me" is about carrying a torch for a crush for a long time. It's "Unrequited Crush, Part 1" and "Unrequited Crush, Part 2".
And yes, I have the evidence to support my conclusion.
Backstreet Boys' "It's Gotta Be You Vs. 'N Sync's "It's Gonna Be Me"
LYRIC MATCHUP #1
"It’s Gotta Be You": It's gotta be you/All the way/It's gotta be you/Everyday
What this means: It's almost as if the crusher is convincing his/herself that the crushee is who he/she wants to be with.
"It’s Gonna Be Me": There comes a day/When I'll be the one, you'll see/It's gonna-gonna-gonna-gonna-gonna/It's gonna be me
What this means: The crusher definitely knows he or she wants to be with the crushee. No need to convince his/herself anymore. The exasperated crusher is now trying to convince the crushee that the crushee wants to be with the crusher.
LYRIC MATCHUP #2
"It’s Gotta Be You": I can't control it anymore/I've never felt like this before/Mmm, you really make me lose my head/My hungry heart must be fed
What this means: The crush is new. The crush is strong. The strong feelings for the crushee have overwhelmed the crusher.
“It’s Gonna Be Me”: Every little thing I do/Never seems enough for you/You don't wanna lose it again/But I'm not like them/Baby, when you finally/Get to love somebody/Guess what?/It's gonna be me
What this means: The strong feelings have left the crusher exhausted. The crush has remained unrequited for too long. But the crusher will not lose hope. Not yet.
LYRIC MATCHUP #3
"It's Gotta Be You": Now I know why I was born/You feel my feelings one by one
What this means: Thanks to the crushee, the crusher understands why he/she was born. The crusher understands the meaning of life.
"It's Gonna Be Me": You've got no choice, babe/But to move on, and you know/There ain't no time to waste
What this means: The crusher is worried about running out of time. The crusher is worried about life ending. The crusher is feeling especially mortal.
LYRIC MATCHUP #4
“It’s Gotta Be You”: Can't see the world I'm walking through/'Cause baby I see only you, oh yeah
What this means: The crusher is blinded by the crush.
“It’s Gonna Be Me”: You're just too blind (too blind), to see/But in the end, ya know it's gonna be me
What this means: The crusher has determined the crushee is the one with the vision problem.
SEE WHAT I MEAN? "It's Gonna Be Me" is totally the unofficial followup to "It's Gotta Be You". All of those links are indisputable. The evidence speaks for itself. I grasped at a grand total of zero straws. I didn't make any wild leaps. My argument is incredibly airtight.
"It's Gotta Be You", aka "Unrequited Crush, Part 1":
"It's Gonna Be Me", aka "Unrequited Crush, Part 2":