"The Wrong Way" as written by and Babatunde O Adebimpe David Sitek....
Wake up in a magic nigga movie
With the bright lights pointed at me
As a metaphor
Teachin' folks the score
About patience, understanding, agape babe
And sweet sweet amour

When I realized where I was
Did I stend up and testify
Oh, fist up signify
Or did I show off my soft shoe
Maybe teach 'em a boogaloo
Busy playing the whore

Oh loiterers united
Indivisible by shame
Hungry for those diamonds
Served on little severed bloody brown hands
Oh the bling drips
Oh the bling drips down
Fallin' down just like rain

I don't wanna cast pearls to swine
I don't wanna march peacefully
No no no no no no no no no
New negro politician
Is stirring
Is stirring
Is stirring inside me
No there's nothing inside me
But an angry heart beat
Can you feel this heart beat?

Oh fear we're fallin' off
Oh terror we're pained
Oh hunger we're stavin' off
Roasted vermin sustain
This shit will have to sustain

Shootin' doves from off balconies
They wanna shackle the lame
By now you know their game

Little niña arose
Went to stand by her payphone
Waited for her caller to ring, said
Ask me anything

I just asked for Her
I just asked for her say so
And with permission
I'm gonna take liberty
And I'm tellin' you to take it too
'Cause it's right there in front of you

Hey, desperate youth
Oh, blood thirsty babes
Oh your guns are pointed
Your guns are pointed the wrong way
Your guns are pointed the wrong way

Lyrics submitted by aliforsale, edited by monomania

"The Wrong Way" as written by David Andrew Sitek Babatunde Omoroga Adebimpe


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The Wrong Way song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think the message of this song is similar to the Mos Def album cover that has him wearing blackface. The narrator of the song wakes to find himself as not an individual, but as a black stereotype. The song lists quite a few of them, the acceptable roles for black entertainers in a white society. The narrator rejects these identities, and takes on a highly political one. However, the narrator doesn't take on a peaceful, Martin Luther King-esque political stance; he's not here to:

    [Teach] folks the score
    About patience, understanding, agape babe
    And sweet sweet amour

    Instead, he calls for a more radical stance, and tells the "desperate youths" and "bloodthirsty babes" that the energy they have could be a powerful weapon were they not destroying themselves by living within the confines of white stereotypes. He calls on them, therefore, to turn their guns the other way. The final message reminds me of a line from radical African American poet, Amiri Baraka:

    'We have awaited the coming of a natural
    phenomenon. Mystics and romantics, knowledgeable
    of the land.
    But none has come.
    but none has come.
    Will the machinegunners please step forward?"
    sammy salamion March 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think Ego tripping and acid rain could not be more incorrect in their analysis. This song is also about White cultures misunderstanding of back culture, as well as the unwillingness to want to learn or accept the culture.

    The narrator is not taking on the roles mentioned in the song. He is very clearly rejecting them with out trying them on. He does not need to try the roles because he finds them racist and disgusting upon first glance. The racism of lowered expectations is obvious and he will not conform.
    bxjaiaidhon December 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song fucking blows my mind.
    Empirer85on October 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree. I am amazed. I don't know why so few people have interesting in it.
    bright_eyes13on May 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIm guessing this song is a critisiscm of "black" culture, and there willingness to play the roles society has given them.
    acidzombiieon March 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIm guessing this song is a critisiscm of "black" culture, and there willingness to play the roles society has given them.
    acidzombiieon March 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's trying to find an identity as a black person, i think. the narrator it taking these roles one by one, the 'magic nigger' of a movie, the soulful churchgoer, a 'loiterer' hungry for bling. it's more than just criticism because, although each role is rejected, the idea of moving from one to another illustrates a searching for what defines oneself. in the end, he comes up with something stronger and more independant than any of these cookiecutter roles. faced with a culture 'shooting doves from balconies' and 'shackling the lame,' he's gonna take liberty (the permission he's asking is of niña, a non-english word for 'girl.' the use of non-english indicates she is not white)
    egotrippenon April 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis has got to be my favorite song by this band.
    Vocalitieson October 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentblood diamond trade?? it's gotta be - served on severed bloody brown hands -- it's gotta be the blood diamonds
    brandnewentenduon December 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnina, taking her liberty... maybe a reference to mexican immigrants coming to America in search of better jobs and a better way of life and taking it by being here illegally.
    cmhitmanon January 12, 2007   Link

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