Primeau Power Point Tie My HandsPresentation Transcript
Tie My Hands Lil Wayne ft. Robin Thicke
Tie My Hands Lyrics We are at war With the universe The sky is falling And the only thing that can save us now Is sensitivity and compassion But I know one thing's for sure I'm gonna get my kicks before it all burns down Some say tragedy is hard to get over But some time that tragedy means its over, soulja From the academy league of rollers I deny being down though they seem to hold us My shoulders are strong, I prove them wrong I ain't doing nothin but movin on, let the truth be known But they talk that freedom matters, and didn't even leave a ladder, Damn I work at the corner store We all got problems problems No one's gon to fight alone No one's gon save us now How you feel, you're not alone We're all just jealous jealous We don't reach the sky no more We just can't overcome no (Chorus) Tie my hands What am I gonna be What have I done so bad What is my destiny Tie my hands What am I supposed to see What have I done so bad What am I gonna be I knock on the door hope isn't home Fates not around, the lucks all gone Don't ask me whats wrong, ask me whats right And I'ma tell you whats life And did you know? I lost everything, but I ain't the only one First came the hurricane then the morning sun Excuse me if I'm on one and don't trip if I light one, I walk a tight one They try to tell me keep my eyes open My whole city under water, some people still floatin Then they wonder why black people still voting, cause your presidents still chokin Take away the football team, the basketball team Now all we got is me to represent New Orleans No Governor, no help from the Mayor Just a steady beatin heart and a wish and a prayer These friends they come and go but I got family family These kids so fast they grow They learn so quickly now But there's no way to go, but there's future future Don't make this seem so low That we can't overcome (Chorus) And if you come from under the water then there's fresh air Just breathe baby, Gods got a blessing to spare Yes, I know the process has so much stress But its the progress that feels the best Cause I came from the projects straight to success And your next, so try they can't steal your pride it's inside Then find it and keep on grinding Cause in every dark cloud theres a silver lining I know... Right now we just riding on love And shining dark, we ainttryin'na do nothing be at the heart We need love, that's all now (Chorus) You tie my hands, what am I gonna be What have I done so bad, what is my destiny You tie my hands, what am I going to see What have I done so bad, what am I gonna be Born right here in the USA But due to tragedy, looked on by the whole world as a refugee So accept my emotion, do not take it as an offensive gesture It's just the epitome of my soul And I must be me We got spirit y'all We go spirit We got soul y'all We got soul They don't want us to see, but we already know
Creative Title 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? 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. 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 end in such a devastating failure? Were communication errors at fault, or was it something darker and more sinister?
Song Analysis Title (Creative) 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". Many messages are hidden in a song poetically. The most obvious and meaningful poetic device in the 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 just go right over the listeners head, but after further investigation, one would learn that back in the days of slavery, slave owners would tie the hands of their slave before administering the whipping (citation needed). The repetition of this line symbolizes two things: The slavery reference symbolizes how the person responsible for the unnecessary flooding has tied the hands of everyone in New Orleans affected by the tragedy before the whipping that the hurricane administered, assisting in the crime. 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 free-styling about something that "they" do toward the end of every verse. In the first two verses, what "they" do is tell someone what they should do while not offering any assistance themselves. The third verse shows "them" trying to actually cheat and attack the people of New Orleans, but gives hope that they can't. The final verse's reference shows how "they" are trying to beat the people down, but it doesn’t work because they already have the tools to rebuild with or without outside help because of their resilience and unity as a people. So who is the they that is continually referred to? The same people who tied the hands of the people 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." (citation needed?) By using hope, fate, and luck as figurative people, Lil Wayne promotes his stance that those in authority that could possibly help to save them "isn't home" and frankly doesn't care.
Song Analysis Continued Lil Wayne also uses literary devices to express complex emotions through song. A great way to accomplish this is by using symbolism. The best example of symbolism is the line "They talk that freedom matters, but didn't even leave a ladder"(citation needed?). 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 the people of New Orleans. 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 verse, 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." 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 till choking." 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." 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 and that if there's no one else to turn to then turn to God because He can get you through anything. 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." It points at the government's apathy and instills hope in a broken community. It gives them a sense of hope that even when no one will have my back and help me through my roughest times, they still have a steady beating heart and a wish and a prayer.
Backstory Section 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 kill more people oversees. Instead of saving the lives of our own people, our government decided taking the lives of people in the Middle East was more important than saving lives of our own people. If the Bush Administration knew how bad the levee system was in New Orleans because of their frequent rejection of plans to rebuild them, you would think that if one of the strongest hurricanes of the 21st Century was heading straight toward New Orleans, they would have sent out a Federal Order to evacuate the city immediately. There was no evacuation plan for the people of New Orleans, no chance for the impovershedand homeless to evacuate the city. When the hurricane did strike, the devastation was immediately evident. The former head of FEMA testified a week after the hurricane that he personally told White House officials that the consequences of the storm were catastrophic (citation needed). 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 nowhere to be found. Nagin even went as far as to encourage false reports stating that rape and murders were occurring all over the town (citation needed). And to add insult to injury, when asked about Katrina's effect on New Orleans, he stated that New Orleans had "dodged a bullet” (citation needed).
Political/Cultural Climate 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, and 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 and locate and destroy weapons of mass destruction. Despite the nobility and good intentions of these actions, the Bush Administration was overlooking internal issues and pouring federal funds into the war. The levees in the city of New Orleans were sketchy, and the city petitioned thrice for financial aid to reconstruct the faulty dams, but each time 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 black have disowned President Bush. Kanye West was so fed up with the administration that he was doing a live commercial when he flat out said "George Bush hates black people" (citation needed). This impromptu rant against the president left our nation flabbergasted that someone had such passionate dislike for the president 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."(citation needed). With this line, Lil Wayne has completely dissociates the black community from the president. So on the political side, the government was putting a bit too much emphasis oversees and not enough on protecting what we already have here in the United States. On the social side, the relationship between the black community and the Bush Administration was volatile at best.
Modern-Day Connections The song "Tie My Hands" by Lil Wayne featuring Robin Thicke never grabbed the attention of main stream music. However, it was released on the album Da Carter III, which sold 1.5 million copies in its first week in stores. It was not an ultra-hyped song like "Lollipop" or "A Millie", but it is an inspirational song that rallied the people of New Orleans and helped them rebuild back into the vivacious, charismatic city we loved and cherished. And for the other 1.5 million people who bought the album, they also had the chance to embrace his words and message of hope to carry them through some of their darkest times. And when it seemed like nobody cared, they were inspired to never give up and keep persevering.