No-one seems to take up the chase, and with the familiar faces fresh in his mind he moves into a reconstruction of his old life, above ground - Too much time was one thing he didn't need, so he used to cut through it with a little speed. He was better off dead, than slow in the head. His momma and poppa had taken a ride on his back, so he left very quickly to join The Pack.

I see faces and traces of home back in New York City -
So you think I'm a tough kid? Is that what you heard?
Well I like to see some action and it gets into my blood.
The call me the trail blazer - Rael - electric razor
I'm the pitcher in the chain gang, we don't believe in pain
'Cause we're only as strong, yes we're only as strong,
As the weakest link in the chain.

Only after a spell in Pontiac reformatory was he given any respect in the gang.

Let me out of Pontiac when I was just seventeen,
I had to get it out of me, if you know what I mean, what I mean.

You say I must be crazy, 'cause I don't care who I hit, who I hit.
But I know it's me that's hitting out and I'm, I'm not full of shit.
I don't care who I hurt, I don't care who I do wrong.
This is your mess I'm stuck in, I really don't belong.
When I take out my bottle, filled up high with gasoline,
You can tell by the night fires where Rael has been, has been.

Now, walking back home after a raid, he was cuddling a sleeping porcupine.
That night he pictured the removal of his hairy heart and to the accompaniment of very romantic music he watched it being shaved smooth by an anonymous stainless steel razor.

As I cuddled the porcupine
He said I had none to blame, but me.
Held my heart, deep in hair,
Time to shave, shave it off, it off.
No time for romantic escape,
When your fluffy heart is ready for rape. No!
Off we go...

Your sitting in your comfort you don't believe I'm real,
You cannot buy protection from the way that I feel.
Your progressive hypocrites hand out their trash,
But it was mine in the first place, so I'll burn it to ash.
And I've tasted all the strongest meats,
And laid them down in coloured sheets (laid them down in coloured
Who needs illusion of love and affection
When you're out walking the streets with your mainline connection?

As I cuddled the porcupine
He said I had none to blame, but me.
Held my heart, deep in hair.
Time to shave, shave it off, it off.
No time for romantic escape,
When your fluffy heart is ready for rape. No!

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by Undinal

"Back in N.Y.C." as written by Michael Rutherford Anthony Banks

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Back in N.Y.C. song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI think the part at the end about shaving Rael's "fluffy heart" is the hardest metaphor/symbol to understand on the album. Everyone seems to have different interpretations of what it means. Personally, I think hair represents emotions, and shaving it would mean getting rid of emotion, becoming harder and tougher and cooler. (I relate this to a scene in the movie Pink Floyd: The Wall, which is entirely different concept album, where the main character shaves off all the hair on his body.) I think Rael needed to become tougher to survive in New York City, and that this incident happens after he is released from the Pontiac, so I naturally assume that the reformatory made him this way. Another interpretation of mine that's similar is that the shaving is preparing him for living in an extroverted world- New York is an extremely extroverted city, in my opinion, and it's not really the right place for an introvert to survive (I know my soul would die if I lived there). I think that despite Rael's bragging about being a tough kid, he is really a sort of quiet, introverted person who doesn't like attention (in the first song he yells at women for staring at him, and later in the story for Chamber of 32 Doors, he immediately runs off to a quiet corner of the room after the people notice him). So all in all, the shaving of the heart represents a survival mechanism. I have no clue what the porcupine could possibly mean, though... I don't think it's supposed to be a real porcupine...

    Anyway, the rest of the song provides some much-needed backstory on this character, and I think makes him more sympathetic. It's a useful song in terms of the story, but I don't really like listening to it because the music doesn't seem to fit the lyrics until the end.
    EnduringChillon July 03, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe meaning of the verses are quite simple: are all memories of Rael's life in New York.
    I think the most interesting part of the song is the chorus and the porcupine's part. In my opinion the act of shaving his heart means that Rael tries to leave his emotion behind him in order to get accepted by his gang (for this he obtain the name of "electric razor"). The porcupine, who is a animal with spikes which doesn't let others attacking him, is a symbol of Rael's need of protection, which is archieved with the absence of emotions.
    Although, Rael is not satisfied of his new situation: in the chorus a voice repeat "No" at the line "when your fluffy heart is ready to rape", and in my opinion the meaning is that he feels this situation like a rape for himself, becouse he can't live without feelings.
    I think this song is deeply connected with the needing to find a group and adfirming himself in it, and it's the reason I love it so much.

    One more thing: I don't think Rael had never burnt something or raped someone like parberoo said. The rape mentioned in the chorus is, as I said before, only a metaphore, and the part "When I take out my bottle, filled up high with gasoline,
    You can tell by the night fires where Rael has been, has been." is referred with the habit of Rael of writing his name on the wall with a spray bottle, to make know his name (very poetic, in a strange way). There is a verse with almost the same words in the first song of the album.
    Masettoon September 08, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRael takes the time to justify his existance and the things hes done on this track. Sets the scene for his past with fighting, arson and rape on the list... lovely bloke. Thinking about the porcupine, i spect thats his conscience which he cant let go of poking a bit of guilt or sense into him and therefore bringing about the decision to shave his heart of its hair... perhaps a metaphor for his new found run in with emotions.
    parberooon May 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove the way the song builds - so powerful
    nagromnaion July 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"You say I must be crazy, 'cos I don't care who I hit, who I hit."

    floreon October 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI first heard this song when I was 17. It was awesome, rebellious, even when taken out of the album's context
    "They call me the trail blazer - Rael - electric razor"
    so kewllll ......
    The Seekeron May 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song sends me into a fit of rage. A good rage. Peter belts this song out better than any metal head. I love this song,because it gives you an idea of who Rael is or was. Speaking of Rael, is it just me or do you sense that at the very last song of LLDB that Rael discover he's dead
    kamakiriadon February 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI'm mostly interested in the phrase "progressive hypocrites" since it's probably the only soluble line in the whole album. I suppose there are white progressives (like the Meathead in All in the Family) who try to understand PR youth like Rael, but the "hypocrites" part isn't so obvious. Maybe being white, middle-class and aloof, Rael doesn't relate to them (as minorarities tended not to relate to the Meathead) thus he thinks them hypocritical.
    Anguson August 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionIs perhaps Rael the complete opposite of Real (as in imaginary or make-believe)? Think about it next time you listen to it...
    Motozappaon June 22, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment7/8 time. That is all.
    slarti1105on November 13, 2014   Link

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