Tie My Hands<br />Lil Wayne ft. Robin Thicke<br />
Tie My Hands Lyrics<br />1 We are at war<br />With the universe<br />The sky is falling<br />And the only thing that can save us now<br />Is sensitivity and compassion<br />But I know one thing's for sure<br />I'm gonna get my kicks before it all burns down<br />9 Some say tragedy is hard to get over<br />But some time that tragedy means its over, soulja<br />From the academy league of rollers<br />I deny being down though they seem to hold us<br />My shoulders are strong, I prove them wrong<br />I ain't doing nothin but movin on, let the truth be known<br />But they talk that freedom matters, and didn't even leave a ladder, Damn<br />16 I work at the corner store<br />We all got problems problems<br />No one's gon to fight alone<br />No one's gon save us now<br />How you feel, you're not alone<br />We're all just jealous jealous<br />We don't reach the sky no more<br />23 We just can't overcome no<br />(Chorus)<br />1 Tie my hands<br />What am I gonna be<br />What have I done so bad<br />What is my destiny<br />Tie my hands<br />What am I supposed to see<br />What have I done so bad<br />What am I gonna be<br />24 I knock on the door hope isn't home<br />Fates not around, the lucks all gone<br />Don't ask me whats wrong, ask me whats right<br />And I'ma tell you whats life<br />And did you know?<br />I lost everything, but I ain't the only one<br />First came the hurricane then the morning sun<br />Excuse me if I'm on one and don't trip if I light one, I walk a tight one<br />They try to tell me keep my eyes open<br />My whole city under water, some people still floatin<br />Then they wonder why black people still voting, cause your presidents still chokin<br />Take away the football team, the basketball team<br />Now all we got is me to represent New Orleans<br />No Governor, no help from the Mayor<br />37 Just a steady beatin heart and a wish and a prayer<br />38 These friends they come and go<br />but I got family family<br />These kids so fast they grow<br />They learn so quickly now<br />But there's no way to go,<br />but there's future future<br />Don't make this seem so low<br />43 That we can't overcome<br />(Chorus)<br />44 And if you come from under the water then there's fresh air<br />Just breathe baby, Gods got a blessing to spare<br />Yes, I know the process has so much stress<br />But its the progress that feels the best<br />Cause I came from the projects straight to success<br />And your next, so try they can't steal your pride it's inside<br />Then find it and keep on grinding<br />Cause in every dark cloud theres a silver lining<br />I know...<br />Right now we just riding on love<br />And shining dark, we ainttryin'na do nothing be at the heart<br />We need love, that's all now<br />(Chorus)<br />You tie my hands, what am I gonna be<br />What have I done so bad, what is my destiny<br />You tie my hands, what am I going to see<br />What have I done so bad, what am I gonna be<br />Born right here in the USA<br />But due to tragedy, looked on by the whole world as a refugee<br />So accept my emotion, do not take it as an offensive gesture<br />It's just the epitome of my soul<br />And I must be me<br />We got spirit y'all<br />We go spirit<br />We got soul y'all<br />We got soul<br />They don't want us to see, but we already know<br />
We Dodged A Bullet!<br />The last dam has finally been breached, and the citizens of New Orleans are left defenseless against the wrath of Poseidon. Decaying bodies float by, and families huddle together on a piece of driftwood, screaming for help, praying for a miracle, and dying from starvation. Everything they've worked for is drowning before their eyes, and all they could do was float hopelessly as their lives are washed away. Why hadn't they been told to evacuate? Why hadn't anybody come to help yet? Everyone in New Orleans knew the dams were unstable, so why did over a thousand innocent people drown?<br /> Lil Wayne asked these very same questions when he free-styled the song "Tie My Hands“; questions that are still left unanswered today. On the morning of Monday, August 29, 2005 almost a week after forming, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city of New Orleans (“Hurricane Katrina” par. 1). The United States Government was taken completely off guard, or worse, was apathetic. The former head of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association) Michael Brown reported that he told the government about the complete devastation the hurricane was wreaking on New Orleans (Kay, par. 6). However, twenty-four hours after the hurricane hit New Orleans, President Bush was quoted as saying that New Orleans had "dodged a bullet", as dams continued to fail, and the water level rose (Kay, par.7). How come managing this natural disaster ended in such a devastating failure? Were communication errors at fault, or was it something darker and more sinister? <br />
Wait, I Thought Everything Was Fine?<br />Before digging any further into what really happened, it is necessary to understand what messages Lil Wayne is trying to portray through "Tie My Hands". The most obvious and meaningful poetic device in this particular song is the repetition. The name of the song, "Tie My Hands", is repeated at the beginning of each stanza in the chorus. At first glance, this line might go straight over the listeners head. After further investigation, one would learn that back in the days of slavery, slave owners would tie the hands of their slave before administering a whipping. The repetition of this line symbolizes two things: How the person responsible for the flooding had tied the hands of everyone in New Orleans affected by the tragedy before the whipping that the hurricane administered. Also, it could symbolize how Lil Wayne feels helpless to prevent the destruction and is unsure what to do, leaving his hands tied. Another instance of repetition is Lil Wayne freestyling about something that "they" do toward the end of every verse. In the first two verses, what "they" do is tell New Orleans what they should do while "they" don't offer any assistance themselves. The third verse shows "them" trying to actually cheat and attack the people of New Orleans. But Lil Wayne’smessageis clear that their efforts are futile if the city can stick together. The final verse's reference shows how "they" are trying to beat the people down, but it doesnt work. They already have the tools to rebuild with or without outside help because of their resiliance and unity as a people. So who is the they that is continually referred to? The same people who tied the hands of New Orleans and Lil Wayne. Another poetic device Lil Wayne successfully utilizes is personification. One line in particular that stands out is "I knock on the door, hope isn't home, fate's not around, the luck's all gone." ("Tie My Hands" lines 24-25)By using hope, fate, and luck as figurative people, Lil Wayne promotes his stance that those in authority that could possibly have helped to save them "isn't home" and frankly doesn't care. <br />
Someone Should Really Do Something About This<br /> Lil Wayne also uses literary devices to express complex emotions through song. He uses symbolism to express complex emotions in a creative way. He says "They talk that freedom matters, but didn't even leave a ladder"("Tie My Hands" lines 14-15). The symbolism is in the word ladder. The ladder mentioned seems to be an escape from the destruction of Katrina; the ladder that "they" failed to provide. A ladder that brings them up out of the murkiness of Katrina and into freedom. There are also a few lines which establish the tone of the song. There are two themes in the song: The first is the beginning and middle of the song, where the theme is betrayal and abandonment. The second is towards the end where Lil Wayne encourages the victims of the hurricane and lets them know that if they can work together, they can rebuild and become stronger than they were before. The very first line of the song is "We are at war with the universe.“ (“Tie My Hands” line 1). This line sets up the us-against-them tone carried on through the rest of the song. The first time a "they" is identified comes in the second verse when the line "And they wonder why black people (are) still voting, because your president is still choking."("Tie My Hands" lines 33-35) Lil Wayne alludes to a possible mishandling of the Katrina situation on the part of President Bush. Not only that, but he shows how the black community has disowned the president. The final tone-defining line of the song is the very first line of the last verse, "And if you come from under that water then there's fresh air, just breath baby God's got a blessing to spare." (“Tie My Hands” lines 44-45)This line sets the tone for the third verse by instilling hope into the survivors that even though their lives are in tatters, the gift of life is the greatest gift of all. If there's no one else to turn to then turn to God because He can get you through anything. Last of all, the line that best sums up the mood of the song displays elements of both hope and despair, "No governor no help from the mayor, just a steady beating heart and a wish and a prayer.“ (“Tie My Hands” line 36). It points at the government's apathy as a cause for the damage and instills hope in a broken community. It gives them a sense of hope to know that even when no one will have their back and help them through my roughest times, they still have a steady beating heart and a wish and a prayer.<br />
Wait, That’s What Happened?<br />Three times. Three times the city of New Orleans asked the government for money to fix possibly faulty levies. Three chances to save over 1,800 people from dying. Three chances to prevent the complete submersion of the largest city in Louisiana. Each time, however, funding was denied in order to wage war oversees. (Kay par. 3) Instead of saving the lives of our own people, our government decided taking over a foreign country on a wild goose chase in search of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction was more important. The Bush Administration was obviously aware of the sketchy levees because they rejected reconstruction petitions so frequently. With that being the case, one would think that if one of the stongest hurricanes of the 21st Century was heading straight toward New Orleans, the government would have sent out a Federal Order and a clear plan of action to evacuate the city immediately for all socioeconomic levels. There was no evacuation plan for the people of New Orleans, no chance for the impovershed and homeless to evacuate the city. <br />When the hurricane did strike, the devastation was immediately evident. The former head of FEMA Michael Brown testified a week after the hurricane that he personally told White House officials that the consequences of the storm were catastrophic (Kay par. 8). Still, no government warning to evacuate the city was issued. No help was offered from the White House. And to make matters worse, Governor Kathleen Blanco and Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin were too shell-shocked to even react. Nagin even went as far as to encourage false reports stating that rape and murders were occuring all over the town (par.8). And to add insult to injury, when President Bush was asked about Katrina's effect on New Orleans, he stated that New Orleans had "dodged a bullet” (par. 4) as levees were pulverised and the Atlantic Ocean conquered the once proud city of New Orleans.<br />
We’re Still Cool, Right?<br />On August 25, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans. But what was going on during this time? 2005 was the beginning of George Bush's second term of presidency. It was right in the middle of the war against terrorism in Iraq. The government was pouring money into overseas efforts to protect the rights of our citizens by locating and destroying weapons of mass destrucion. Despite the nobility and good intentions of these actions, the Bush Administration was overlooking internal issues and focusing federal funds into the war. The levees in the city of New Orleans were mediocre at best, and the city petitioned thrice for financial aid to reconstruct the faulty dams. Each time, however, it was denied on the basis that the money would be better spent on The War on Terror. This did not sit well with the black community, and there are many black pop culture icons who voice how the blacks have disowned President Bush. Kanye West was so fed up with the administration that when he was supposed to be reciting the words typed on the teleprompter during a live commercial, he scrapped the impersonal tone of the advertisement and said "George Bush hates black people" (West par. 2). This impromptu rant against the president left our nation flabbergasted that someone had such passionate dislike for the president that he/she would, on live television, say some very bold things about our president. In the song "Tie My Hands", Lil Wayne says, "And they wonder why black people still voting, because your president is still choking."(“Tie My Hands” lines 33-34). With this line, Lil Wayne has completely dissociated the black community from the president, and there is a legitimate point to be made. By looking away from foreboding signals for internal security, the government cut themselves off from the black community.<br />
What This Means Today<br /> The song "Tie My Hands" by Lil Wayne and Robin Thicke never grabbed the attention of main stream music. However, the song was released on the album Da Carter III, which sold 1.5 million copies in the first week in it was in stores. (“Tie My Hands” Songfacts, par. 3) It was not an ultra-hyped song like "Lollipop" or "A Millie". However, it is an inspirational song that rallied the people of New Orleans and helped them rebuild back into the vivacious, charismatic city we love and cherish. The non-New Orleans citizens who bought the album also had the chance to embrace their words and message of hope. With a message and so simple and powerful, this song can carry anyone through their darkest times. Even when it seems like nobody cares, these words inspire people to never give up and keep persevering.<br />
Works Cited Page<br />Tommy Works Cited Page.docx<br />
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