"L.E.S. Artistes" as written by John Hill and Santi White....
What I'm searching for
To tell it straight, I'm trying to build a wall
Walking by myself
Down avenues that reek of time to kill
If you see me keep going
Be a pass by waver
Build me up, bring me down
Just leave me out you name dropper
Stop trying to catch my eye
I see you good you forced faker
Just make it easy
You're my enemy you fast talker

I can say I hope it will be worth what I give up
If I could stand up mean for the things that I believe

What am I here for
I left my home to disappear is all
I'm here for myself
Not to know you
I don't need no one else
Fit in so good the hope is that you cannot see me later
You don't know me
I am an introvert an excavator
I'm duckin' out for now
A face in dodgy elevators
Creep up and suddenly
I found myself
An innovator

I can say I hope it will be worth what I give up
If I could stand up mean for the things that I believe

Change, change, change,
I want to get up out of my skin
Tell you what
If I can shake it
I'm 'a make this
Something worth dreaming of


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings

"L.E.S. Artistes" as written by Santi White John Hill

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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L.E.S. Artistes song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentTo me, this song is about her striving for musical success. it's stupid, but no matter where you go, in the black community there will always be a few misfits in the crowd who decide to break the mold, and for this they aren't respected as much.

    "I can say I hope it will be worth what I give up
    If I could stand up mean for all the things that I believe"
    she gives up her respect for everything she holds true.

    "I left my home to disappear is all
    I'm here for myself"
    she's left the lower east side because she didn't feel she needed to be there anymore; it was her decision, and no one elses.

    and finally,
    "Change, change, change,
    I want to get up out of my skin
    tell you what
    if I can shake it
    I'm 'a make this
    something worth dreaming of"

    she demands change. change in musical standards and the opinions of her earlier day peers. she'd like the view of the Modern Black artist to change from the standard hip hop to whatever the person decides. she wants to make her music and the career of creating music open to whoever wants to try. she is disvaluing herself by doing this, of course, but she'd want it. so do i, i suppose.


    maybe i just saw this and related it to my own life, i dunno. i'm mixed, i've always gotten picked on for that, but when you listen to a different genre of music than everyone else, and wear all the different clothes and even speak diferent than your neighbors do, it's easy to become disliked, but it doesn't matter, by that time you've realized that not letting it get to you, you're a better person. but in the back of your head, you want to prove to them that you're better, and make them wish that they'd never treated you the way they did, and you separate your wolrd from theirs.

    "to tell it straight, I'm tryin to build a wall
    Walking by myself
    down avenues that reek of time to kill
    If you see me keep going
    be a pass by waver
    Build me up, bring me down
    just leave me out you name dropper
    Stop tryin to catch my eye
    I see you good you forced faker
    Just make it easy
    You're my enemy you fast talker"
    iread247on July 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe song is about her frustration with the lower east side "artistes" as well as the depression dealing with her dad's death. After her dad died she moved back to the L.E.S. and found a lot of hipsters who wanted to create a bohemian persona, when really they were nobodies.
    rmutton May 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have to concur with

    rmutt on 05-09-2008 @ 05:27:52 PM
    the song is about her frustration with the lower east side "artistes" as well as the depression dealing with her dad's death. After her dad died she moved back to the L.E.S. and found a lot of hipsters who wanted to create a bohemian persona, when really they were nobodies.

    And add. Taking into consideration the songs video. Put out by Santogold. She is an artist with a very specific vision of herself and her art. I think she is making a statement about the civil rights movement with the video more than the song. But both fit into each other well, the work together speaks of the ways we catagorize people and the ways that the upcoming election will change the U.S. The video is a chilling, artist representation of the very real threat of violence that CHANGE threatens. Weather it's changing your stereotype of black women in the media, music or the nations understanding of itself and its violent history and oppression of people of color. CHANGE is not as pretty or clean, easy or artsy as optimists might believe. She had to fight, with her horse and army of black girls, paving the way, to get where she's gotten. And to lead others into the fight. FUCK THE HIPSTERS and all the pigeon holing FUCKS of the world.
    Jose Gueyon August 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt sounds like she is walking away from LES and doesnt want to be associated with them. She became an artistes from LES and she still doesnt need anyone, she is just trying to "make it".
    NoNoNo!on December 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationAs a film maker and a collaborative artist this song holds great weight for me. If you want to make a successful film (or any art piece) you often have to push people away if they're not helping the piece. You want to be your co-worker's friend, but you also love the work you're doing and know that if you don't do everything you can to make it the best it can be, you'll hate yourself.

    And so you push people away. Sometimes it's impossible to the responsible thing in terms of professionalism and in terms of your own personal life. It really hurts and it's hard for your friends to forgive you and even harder to forgive yourself.

    I think she's saying that as a creator she has had to give up things, including some relationships, but what's ultimately more important is the work she's doing (music) and getting out her message.


    She only hopes that the art she creates and the lives she changes will be worth the things and people she's had to give up personally.
    MFWNYUon May 11, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is actually about the popular band "Vampire Weekend."
    If you listen to the back music of "L.E.S Artistes" Then listen to the song "Oxford Comma- Vampire Weekend" you will actually find that they are almost identical sounding.
    oliviacussenon January 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningMy brother says this to me: "I think most song writers don't know what a song is about long after they write it." A lot of songs are written, at the time, to emote and particularly in a way to make a good document on which to tour on. {I mean if it's more than just you, a bottle of vodka, and a youtube camera.) Songs, perhaps, are written more to elicit emotion than identify and express it. That being said: this is a great song.
    AlexTurnerMShadowsSunglasseson May 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLOVE this song! I think it's about giving up a lot for somebody or opportunity, and hoping it was the right thing to do, if it was worth it
    dejavulaon September 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFanfuckingtastic!
    Zunkon February 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf Pat Benetar and Souixie Sue had a baby, she would sound like this. I want more.
    Miggityon February 25, 2008   Link

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