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Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc. Lyrics 6 years ago
I remember watching this video and listening to the song a long time ago when I was younger, and I remember loving it for some strange reason even though I had no interest in the genre nor the group at the time.

But now that I'm older I revisited the video on Youtube and read the comments here, and I've finally come up with what I think this song and video really mean.


So the video begins with a scene of a dismal, dark, rusty city plagued by the sound of police sirens and helicopters, and you even hear a gun being shot. Then, there's a cloud layer, Above that layer is the Feel Good Inc. tower.

I assume this little clip is showing how the violence and killing is very separated from the tower of pleasure/cheap thrills/etc... Everyone in the tower is cut off from the reality below. Literally, their heads are in the clouds.

Then we are shown the inside of the tower. Dead bodies are everywhere and the only one that stands out is 2D. Then, he raises his head a mutters, "Feel Good". Then he starts to get out of the chair. That screen with the rapping guy (symbolically the media, I assume) is in the background.

2D is stuck in this 'dead' place, and suddenly begins to realize that something isn't right. He finally understands that he's trapped within the guy on the screen's "spell". All the dead people are symbols for the majority of society that's already died from the "spell".

Then 2D pops in with a microphone, telling everybody something:

"City's breaking down on a camel's back."
From research, I've found out that a camel traditionally represents humility and the willingness to serve. So basically, the city is breaking down on the people's willingness to serve them and to not think beyond what they're told.

"They just have to go 'cause they don't know whack"
I assume this is 2D quoting the corrupting leaders who tell them not to think for themselves and telling them that anyone who does, doesn't know "whack". AKA, they don't know what they're talking about.

"So all you fill the streets it's appealing to see"
I think this line is 2D telling them that them going with the flow of the leaders is funny; he thinks it's ridiculous.

"You won't get out the county, 'cause you're bad and free"
This is a weird line, but I'm gonna guess that it's 2D mocking the leaders once again; I assume in the past the leaders have told them that they can't escape just because they're 'misbehaving' and trying to be free.

"You've got a new horizon It's ephemeral style."
2D is now telling them that what they're working toward is ridiculous; that it's ephemeral, meaning only lasting one day. Basically, their goals are cheap thrills that are short and stupid.

"A melancholy town where we never smile."
This is his opinion of the state of the society they live in; they never smile.

"And all I want to hear is the message beep."
He admits that he's still under the "spell", that he still wants to follow the leaders' messages, he's falling again.

"My dreams, they've got to kiss, because I don't get sleep, no"
Basically he's saying that his dreams have to kiss his ass, or say goodbye, because he can't reach them without sleep.

An interesting part of this segment is that 2D's eyes are red, the same as the color of the rest of the dead people. AKA while their entire bodies are already tainted by the red, only his eyes (his soul) has been. The red starts to fade from his eyes.
Another cool thing is how the word "Owl" is on his microphone. Owls symbolize wisdom, AKA 2D is speaking through wisdom.

Then comes the first chorus, where 2D looks out the window onto a skyscape full of bright, soft colors and only the windmill appears above the clouds. I assume that the windmill represents the state of mind/land he wants to live in, but there's that glass window/barrier that keeps him stuck. The windmill goes beneath the clouds AKA out of his mind, and the bright colors switch to dark and the helicopters appear once more.

"Windmill, Windmill for the land."
Windmills turn air, correct? Traditionally, air represented intellect, ideas, and most of all freedom. That windmill on that island is generating that freedom. AKA the intellect and new ideas are bringing forth a new freedom.
Windmills also have been thought to symbolize bringing about a transformation; from a hard grain that can only be used to reproduce into flour that can support and feed people. I assume that 2D is like the grain, wanting to become useful and not just a sex-obsessed slave.
He wants this thought process, the windmill, to be 'for the land' AKA he wants everyone to have this better thought process.

"Learn forever hand in hand"
He wants to society to keep learning more and more and not be stuck in one mindset. When one doesn't learn, they cannot understand. He wants them all to learn and understand together 'hand in hand'.

"Take it all in on your stride"
2D wants them to use this philosophy in their stride AKA their lives.

"It is sinking, falling down"
2D's either commenting on the windmill falling or society falling, or even maybe his strive for that new way of living is fading.

"Love forever love is screaming"
Because of their fickle and physical obsessions, love has been forgotten.

"Let's turn forever you and me"
As I said before, he wants to become the windmill, as in wanting to live in that new way and transform other 'grains' into 'flour'. He's telling the viewer that they both should turn and make others realize what's happening.

"Windmill, windmill for the land"
Same as above.

"Is everybody in?"
He's asking everyone if they want to follow this new way with him.


Then the rapper 'leader; appears on the screen and starts speaking to 2D. 2D instantly turns around and his attention is captured. Then as the rap goes on he keeps moving robotically, as if he is programmed that way.
As it goes on, 2D starts getting that red hue on his skin again. Then he starts the "Feel Good" chant once more.

"Laughing gas these hazmats, fast cats,"
Hazmats are hazardous materials or substances, laughing gas is a drug that makes people laugh, and fast cats I assume mean just things that move fast like modern communication, cars, technology, etc... This is what the leaders use to trap people.

"Lining them up-a like ass cracks,"
The leaders are saying that the people line up the stuff mentioned above and take them all in excess.

"Ladies, homies, at the track"
Ladies means sex appeal, homies means things that are seen as cool, and the track is the mainstream media; all they're shown in the media are those drugs, sex stuff, things considered 'cool' etc.

"It's my chocolate attack."
Chocolate, when eaten, makes people release feel good chemicals in their brains. The leaders are saying that letting these people do all these bad things is the leaders' way of attacking them; trapping them with the feel good chemical.

"Shit, I'm stepping in the heart of this here"
The leader is mad that he just revealed the way he traps people.

"Care bear bumping in the heart of this here"
He's saying that this matter doesn't mean much; it's just soft care bear bumping. He's not doing anything terribly bad.

"Watch me as I gravitate, ha ha ha"
He's telling 2D to watch as he pulls more people in, then laughs because he knows 2D can't do anything about it.

"Yo, we gonna go ghost town,
This Motown, with yo sound"
He's telling 2D that his ramblings are bringing the supposedly 'lively' town down.

"You're in the place
You gonna bite the dust
Can't fight with us
With yo sound, you kill the INC."
He tells 2D that he's stuck, he's going to get snuffed out, he can't fight against it, and that his ramblings are killing the bad society.

"So don't stop, get it, get it
Until you're jet ahead.
Yo, watch the way I navigate, ha ha ha"

He tells 2D don't stop listening to him, keep striving for the cheap thrills and media and to keep following him.

Then the windmill returns with Noodle on the very edge of its island, playing her guitar. She seems carefree and doesn't even notice 2D or the tower at all. That windmill, that way of thinking and living, is what is keeping her island and freedom up.
2D sings the chorus again, looking very depressed and tired, and looks down from the window. Then in the last part of the chorus, Noodle is singing at the same time as him.
It's as if he's watching her and imitating her, wanting to be like her and where she is, but is stuck.

Then the island flies by, the light leaves, and darkness shadows the window. 2D becomes red again and starts to fade and sits back in his chair, the leader laughing at his futile attempts at freedom.

Basically, overall, here's the symbolism:

CITY BELOW THE TOWER: Reality. What's really going on. Violence, decay, evil.

CLOUD LAYER: Separates the tower from the city. Separates reality from society.

TOWER: The manufactured and fake happiness, a prison, keeping people from independence and freedom. Corruption. Stuck in the clouds as in stuck in fantasy.

WINDMILL: Generating intellect, freedom, free thinking, etc. Transformation from grain to flour AKA reproductive goals to something that benefits society.

DEAD/ASLEEP PEOPLE: People who have no chance; not only is their soul dead, they're physically dead.

RED: Corruption of the leaders/media. 2D's eyes start from red, to black, to red, and then his skin becomes red.

ISLAND: Place of freedom, love, new ways, thought.

SCREENS: Brings the message from the bad leaders to the people, keeps them under control.

Overall, I think the song means what everyone else has been saying; the media and our leaders are corrupting society and benefiting from it. When someone tries to stand against it, they're brought down. Eventually their soul decays from all these sins; sloth, lust, gluttony, etc.... sex without love, drugs, and fake things, basically.

Whew! Sorry that it's so long, lol.

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