the bastard son i spit non fiction
in exile for a while now with raw friction
never be a pawn the boomerang be upon you
i'm like Fela with my heart in Venezuela
its a world favela so fuck the novela
i'm out of the cellar with a blade and some cheddar
for the whole new world order you to bow down
to the now sound of slavery the era be
terrible terror filled terrified
why would we ever let a few white christian fiction's
shape our tomorrow followers them
cause tomorrow got a gun to its head

time is coming
rising like the dawn of a red sun
if you fear dying then you're already dead

i'm in with the spirit of Ali Touré
as I target more heads than a priest on ash wednesday
paid and hungry you pigs on gold ropes
have the mic or the heater but you can't hold both
you could snatch one and catch the blast of the other
i'm Chicano soprano high off my pitch ammo
i'm a put a crack in your diamond pimp cup
so vest up i'm your cross turned right side up
i'm the press leak that downed you aide
i'm the orange jump suit thats taylor made
i'm the crescent, the sickle, so sharp the blade
i'm the flick of the shank that opened your veins
i'm the dusk, i'm the frightening calm
i'm a hole in the pipeline i'm a road side bomb

time is coming
rising like the dawn of a red sun
if you fear dying then you're already dead

Lyrics submitted by gueroson

If You Fear Dying song meanings
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  • +1
    Song Meaning"If you fear dying, they you're already dead."

    This is not a throwaway as GaiusJulius implies. It's a throwback to the "Tire Me" song. Although, it's subtle in text, it is incredibly deep. I think Zack was influenced by the song "You're Already Dead" by the Crass.

    "If you fear dying" refers to an individual who fears rebellion and the struggle. This person enjoys their complacence.

    If you are silent, an observer, keeping in line or doing "what you're told," being passive and content as long as you get yours, choosing to sit idly, instead of seeking the truth, speaking out and acting against injustice then you're already dead. You are just a number, branded X, a vegetable, a drone.

    truthaddicon November 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFUCK YES!
    jakeordieon August 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    * and all i have is hatred... and all i have is hatred...*

    sounds gnarly i must knoww
    Joscerb55on December 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationHere is my full interpretation of the first verse:

    First of all, to convey his message, I believe de la Rocha is addressing what he believes are the criminal leaders of international was, like George Bush, Tony Blair, Angela and also we the listener.

    "The bastard son, I spit non-fiction/
    In exile for a while now with raw friction"

    His reference to the bastard son probably refers to the fact he is the member of Rage Against the Machine that's been furthest out of the limelight since their breakup, while the others formed a "family" in their pet musical project such as Audioslave. The "exile" refers to the same thing. Zach lets us know immediately he's here to spit the truth with fire and heat.

    "Never be a pawn the boomerang be upon you/
    I'm like Fela with my heart in Venezuela"

    Addressing those criminals and the "weak", he lets us know he's not a pawn - instead, like a boomerang, THEY are pawns, bitches, whatever. Kinda like that childhood thing where you say, "whatever you said bounces of me, and goes back to you!"

    The next line refers to Fela Kuti, a famous Nigerian artist who was internationally recognized for promoting his style of African-music globally. Similarly, Zach's got love for Venezuela. You'd think this was his home, but in fact de la Rocha is probably referring to his support of the Chavez regime which is supposedly implementing "Bolivarian socialism", which is obviously one of his pet causes.

    ..."it's a world favela so fuck the novela/
    I'm out of the cellar, with a blade and some cheddar"

    Zach says to all the rappers who fake being hard, fuck outta here, he grow up in the slums (favela), and he has no time for their BS stories. He came up from the bottom (the metaphor "cellar"), and on this track his lyrics are gonna bite, be incisive, and sting (metaphor of "the blade"). Cheddar probably refers to both the bare survival you gotta endure in the streets, and maybe also refers to the money he made as a member of RaTM.

    ..."for the new world order you to bow down/
    to the loud sound of slavery; this era be/
    terrible; terror filled, terrified"

    Continuing that thought from the previous paragraph, he's coming with raw heat for the new world order of imperialist America and her allies. But, then Zach comes up with a sick lyrical trick and starts a second thought with the same word, and "orders you to bow down". Goddamn, son! Who knows if he's referring to criminal leaders or asking us to give props to the sick skills he's showcasing.

    They're skills like alliteration and consonance (look it up in Wikipedia!) he uses "terrible", "terror filled", "terrified" all following one another, and notice they are similar word forms. Zach also expresses his feelings about the effect that American's actions in its wars have on us, the world's people, comparing it to "slavery".

    "...why would we ever let a few white Christians', fictions/
    Shape our tomorrow following them"

    Notice the consonance with the "w"s again. Nice.
    de la Rocha now makes an explicit reference to the Bush Administration, and the group most influential in electing them, social conservatives (white Christians). Why would we go to war in the Middle East, which affects all our futures, who started the Iraq War following their apocalyptic beliefs about Armageddon (found in the Bible of the book of Revelation).

    "cause tomorrow got a gun to its head"

    Zach answers his own question in the next line. He personifies "tomorrow", and makes it clear that people aren't resisting because of American military might. Imperialists like Bush Administration and their enablers are holding our futures hostage.

    Now a brief interpretation doesn't acknowledge all the cool things Zach does in the first verse. Notice that there is a constant rhyming on the "f" sound throughout - "fic", "fela", "vela", "fuck", "followers" get the idea. Same thing with the "v" sound after "Venezuela": "vela", "-very", "ever". It helps that the "f" and "v" sounds go well together, too. There's also a ton of internal rhyme that you can find; rhyming on "ion", rhyming on "ela", rhyming on "ow". That's something all good rap has to do - but pay attention to the skill of the transitions, which one defining characteristic of the great ones. You take a syllable from some line you've spit, and play upon it in the coming bars, like a game.

    And that's not mentioning how my dude switches up the flow. When you switch to a different syllable, for example, you can switch to a different flow. When you have closely spaced consonance, you can switch up the flow. See for example how the spacing of the rhymes of "son/fiction", "now/boom-" "Fela/vela", "cellar/cheddar" changes to the sing-song "bow/down", "loud sound", "slav-ery, era be" in one of his most obvious change-ups.
    GaiusJuliuson March 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat Song! Never be a pawn be a boomerang, to me means, not to be a sheep but be a shepherd! Like soldiers are pawns for the new world order. I'm glad Zach mentioned the NWO in his song. Ali Toure is a Malian singer and guitarist who used his music to inspire so many people and did a good deed with the money by becoming mayor of a town and fixing the roads, and having electricity in the poor town. I think this song is about Zach trying to wake the people up and not to be scared cuz if you're scared then you're already dead! RESIST THE NWO!!
    xpawel18xon May 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"rising like the dawn of the red sun"

    Red sun may be in reference to Puka Inti which in Quecha (a Native American language) means "Red Sun." Puka Inti is a very small Maoist guerrilla organization known for bombing several government buildings in Ecuador during the 1980s.
    voiceofveritason November 01, 2009   Link
  • -1
    General Comment"..time is coming
    rising like the dawn of a red sun
    If you fear dying then you're already dead"

    He's basically asking the people of the world to resist and to have courage. If he's really being nasty he could be insinuating that America's time will come, through things like the suffering the US endured in WWII by the Japanese in the Pacific Theater. The red sun present on their flag is often used to refer to them.

    The chorus is the only "throwaway" thing in this song. There's nothing wrong with it; it's just plain and doesn't really hype the rest of the song like the rest of the lyrics.
    GaiusJuliuson March 05, 2009   Link

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