Behind the Lyrics - Aloe Blacc: "The Man"


(Photo Credit - Zach Bell)


Welcome back!

I teach. I am always on the hunt for songs that empower and motivate because school can be such a hard, challenging place.

The other day, YouTube took over and played "The Man" by Aloe Blacc. A room filled with active kiddos started bobbing their heads and putting pencils to paper. I was frozen, captivated by both the focused activity in the room and the beauty of this song.

Let's dig in:

"The Man" Aloe Blacc

"Well you can tell everybody Yeah you can tell everybody Go ahead and tell everybody I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man Yes I am, yes I am, yes I am I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man I believe every lie that I ever told Paid for every heart that I ever stole I played my cards and I didn't fold Well it ain't that hard when you got soul (this is my world) Somewhere I heard that life is a test I been through the worst but I still give my best God made my mold different from the rest Then he broke that mold so I know I'm blessed (this is my world) Stand up now and face the sun Won't hide my tail or turn and run It's time to do what must be done Be a king when kingdom comes Well you can tell everybody Yeah you can tell everybody Go ahead and tell everybody I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man Well you can tell everybody Yeah you can tell everybody Go ahead and tell everybody I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man Yes I am, yes I am, yes I am I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man I got all the answers to your questions I'll be the teacher you can be the lesson I'll be the preacher you be the confession I'll be the quick relief to all your stressin' (this is my world) It's a thin line between love and hate Is you really real or is you really fake? I'm a soldier standing on my feet No surrender and I won't retreat (this is my world) Stand up now and face the sun Won't hide my tail or turn and run It's time to do what must be done Be a king when kingdom comes Well you can tell everybody Yeah you can tell everybody Go ahead and tell everybody I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man Well you can tell everybody Yeah you can tell everybody Go ahead and tell everybody I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man Yes I am, yes I am, yes I am I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man I'm the man Go ahead and tell everybody what I'm saying y'all I'm the man Go ahead and tell everybody what I'm saying y'all Well you can tell everybody Yeah you can tell everybody Go ahead and tell everybody I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man Well you can tell everybody Yeah you can tell everybody Go ahead and tell everybody I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man Well you can tell everybody Yeah you can tell everybody Go ahead and tell everybody I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man Well you can tell everybody Yeah you can tell everybody Go ahead and tell everybody I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man Yes I am, yes I am, yes I am I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man"

This song is strength, joy, and self-love before these phrases were gaining momentum in the media. The music itself is timeless, but the message it sends resonates with so many people from different backgrounds, but importantly, it represents black love and joy, which is hidden away from mainstream media.

It also contains thought-provoking statements like "It's a thin line between love and hate". Both require passion. That is why when it comes to making change -- both the love side and the hate side have to be motivated to fight until the last breathe. This song is regaining popularity because look at the current events around us. Emotions, tensions are at a high and lives are at stake.

Another nugget that resonates with listeners is "Is you really real or is you really fake?" Are you willing to keep your head down by not be true to yourself or are you going to fight for your right to be "the man"? Are you going to "be a king when kingdom comes"?

This song reminds us that there are issues worth fighting for. Being able to be happy is worth fighting for. Joy is worth fighting for.

So, when writing lyrics, don't feel like you have to focus on sad things. Empowerment and reminding people of their joy are just as important and giving them space to mourn. Help others reconnect to their happiness.


Until next time.

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All