Go Ahead and Tell Everybody, I’m THE MAN

Could it be that patriarchy is entering into mainstream popular secular culture? I think so, I think it is. I have been a fan of popular music for a long time and I noticed a little catchy tune with the encouraging refrain “I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the maan” and I was intrigued. There was so much confidence in the refrain, so much pride; pride in being a man. I wondered, what is going on here? Is this a song with a positive message about manhood, about being a man? It hardly seemed possible. Pride in being a man is never advocated publicly, is it?

So, I went to the Youtube video of the song to study it more carefully to see what it really said and see what its message was, if any. I must tell you I was very pleasantly surprised, shocked even.

Here are the main lyrics of what is to my knowledge the first pro-patriarchy song to make it big in secular mainstream American pop culture:

Aloe Blacc Lyrics – “The Man”

Well you can tell everybody
Yeah you can tell everybody
Go ahead and tell everybody
I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man
Yes I am, yes I am, yes I am
I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man

[Verse 1:]
I believe every lie that I ever told
Paid for every heart that I ever stole
I played my cards and I didn’t fold
Well it ain’t that hard when you got soul (this is my world)
Somewhere I heard that life is a test
I been though the worst but I still give my best
God made my mold different from the rest
Then he broke that mold so I know I’m blessed (this is my world)

Stand up now and face the sun
Won’t hide my tail or turn and run
It’s time to do what must be done
Be a king when kingdom comes

. . .

[Verse 2:]
I got all the answers to your questions
I’ll be the teacher you could be the lesson
I’ll be the preacher you be the confession
I’ll be the quick relief to all your stressin’ (this is my world)
It’s a thin line between love and hate
Is you really real or is you really fake
I’m a solider standing on my feet
No surrender and I won’t retreat (this is my world)

Look over the lyrics carefully and you will see, this is a prideful song, this is an assertive song, this is a man proudly proclaiming himself to be a man and centering his identity and sense of purpose around being a man. He is not merely male, he is “The Man” and he proclaims “Go ahead and tell everybody, I’m the man I’m the man I’m the man; Yes, I am yes I am yes I am.” Here he is asserting himself to everybody, self-confidently, boastfully even, that he is “the man,” that he is in charge and taking responsibility, that he is asserting himself against all comers and all detractors.

There is nothing remotely related to “gender equality” in this song. He says “this is my world” and “I’m a solider standing on my feet, no surrender and I won’t retreat” and “won’t hide my tail or turn and run, it’s time to do what must be done, be a king when kingdom comes.” Again and again, strident assertion is what this song is about, men taking responsibility and putting themselves in charge.

The song also places an emphasis on masculine ethics. The song says “Somewhere I heard that life is a test, I’ve been through the worst but I still give my best” and “It’s a thin line between love and hate, is you really real or is you really fake.” In addition to these general ethical principles there is a series of lines in the song particularly directed at service to and protection of others, particularly women judging from the official Youtube video where a woman stands up to cheer and dance after the lyrics are sung. I am referring to these lyrics here:

I got all the answers to your questions
I’ll be the teacher you could be the lesson
I’ll be the preacher you be the confession
I’ll be the quick relief to all your stressin’ (this is my world)

These lyrics are about guidance, teaching, comforting in a masculine way as through confession, and protection and support as “quick relief to all your stressin’.” Then at the end is the masculine assertion “this is my world” indicating that the man is able to do all these things on behalf of others, in particular on behalf of women, because he is in charge, because “this is my world;” that men taking charge is something to be proud of because men taking charge is about service to others.

This is the message of this song; this song is stridently confidently and heroically patriarchal. Absolutely amazing. Also, the song is completely secular with no religious references of significance. In this way the song is “mainstream” and because of that has a much bigger audience listening to it than an explicitly religious song would be able to get.

Also noteworthy, Aloe Blacc as he sings the song in the official Youtube video is dressed up in a suit, in a bow tie, with a cap on. His dress is very formal and he is lively, confident, and in good spirits. The women around him participating in the song are also modestly dressed. How people are dressed and the overall atmosphere looks like the 1950s or something. Not only is the song itself culturally conservative but the presentation is also conservative with a respectful presentation of women and Aloe Blacc presenting himself in a trustworthy confidence building respectable way.

I do believe Aloe Blacc’s song “The Man” represents something new in mainstream popular culture; that is a positive cultural message aimed specifically at men taking pride in being men and teaching men positive values about what it means to be a man.

Oddly enough I am not aware of this song being widely condemned as being sexist or anything, it is like people are blind to the obvious patriarchal message of this song and it is interpreted as simply being wholesome or good music or a catchy tune. Why are the feminists so silent on this? Shouldn’t any song advocating that men take pride in being men be roundly and vociferously attacked by the feminists? I think that a song with a patriarchal message presented in a secular context to a mainstream audience is just too foreign to people so that they don’t recognize what’s going on, what’s really being said in the song. It’s like if everyone pretends that the song is not pro-patriarchy then nobody will see or recognize that the song is indeed pro-patriarchy. I however, keeping a sharp eye on such things, can clearly see the positive patriarchal cultural message in the song. Such a song being produced by a popular artist and becoming a hit is a good sign that a hunger for positive cultural messages contrary to feminism is widespread in the land.

Two other popular songs with a clear pro-patriarchy message have been released recently that came before this new hit by Aloe Blacc but they were both explicitly Christian songs sung by Christian rock bands. The first song of this type was released on March 9, 2010 by the band Sanctus Real titled “Lead Me” as part of the “Pieces of a Real Heart” album. The second song of this type was released on July 19, 2011 by Casting Crowns with the title “Courageous.” Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” song was released on January 10, 2014 based on when it was first posted on Youtube.

The religious pro-patriarchy popular songs are different from Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” secular song in that the religious songs are more explicitly pro-social with a higher moral purpose for men being taught. The song “The Man” does communicate a kind of positive self-identity for men and suggests men being in service to others but the religious songs are clear and direct regarding men’s duty to uphold the family and fix society and serve ones wife and children.

The song “Courageous” is more political and more about men fixing the “big picture,” explicit reference to family duties only being mentioned in passing. The song “Lead Me” is much more personal focused entirely on the man’s duties to his wife and children. The structure of the song is based on the plea “lead me” where first the wife pleads to her husband to “lead me,” then the children plead to their father (their human father) to “lead me,” and then finally the man himself pleads to The Father (God) to “lead me” so that he can lead his wife and children and give his wife and children what they need.

Here is a sample of lyrics from the song “Courageous” by Casting Crowns:

We were warriors on the front lines
Standing, unafraid
But now we’re watchers on the sidelines
While our families slip away

Where are you, men of courage?
You were made for so much more
Let the pounding of our hearts cry
We will serve the Lord

We were made to be courageous
And we’re taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we’ll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

In the song “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real there is a plea directed to the man by both his wife and his children, his wife and his children repeating the same call to the man, to “lead me.” The wife and children plea to the man:

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can’t
Don’t leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?

Show me you’re willing to fight
That I’m still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

In response to the man receiving this plea from his wife and children the man then calls out to God, “Father” referring to God:

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I’m called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won’t You lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can’t
Don’t want to leave them hungry for love,
Chasing things that I could give up

I’ll show them I’m willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me, ’cause I can’t do this alone

Father, lead me, ’cause I can’t do this alone

So we have three songs here with a positive patriarchal cultural message. The secular song “The Man” is getting much more attention judging by the total number of views of the official video of the song on Youtube; 11.5 million views as of March 19, 2014 a little over 2 months (since January 10, 2014) after first launching on Youtube. The official video of “Courageous” has 4.2 million views since launching on Youtube on June 21, 2011 and the official video of “Lead Me” has 3.1 million views since launching on Youtube on September 24, 2010.

The moral message of “The Man” is weak I would say compared to the Christian songs, the “agenda” of “The Man” song is less clear and less directly spelled out. The song however is a song of pride and self-respect and valuing oneself as a man, seeing the good in being a man. Also the song does embrace a kind of heroic mission of manhood with an emphasis on service to others and facing challenges head on and asserting oneself against opposition and difficulties. It is a song easy to identify with as a fellow man that sort of gently nudges one along on the road to righteousness with encouragement and a little guidance.

It would have been nice if “The Man” song could have placed the man within his overall context better; namely found some way to place the man under God and in need of God’s help and assistance like the Christian songs clearly make reference to. It does need to be kept in mind that the man is under God with a duty to fulfill His (God’s) mission; that the man is not simply doing his own thing or asserting himself simply on behalf of himself.

Overall however I am very pleased with this new song “The Man.” It indicates that patriarchy is starting to emerge as a positive cultural theme not just in religious music but in mainstream popular secular music as well. I couldn’t be happier with such a development in the popular culture.

Here are the Youtube videos of these three uplifting pro-patriarchy songs that have made it into popular culture that I have referred to above:

Aloe Blacc – The Man (Official Lyric Video)

Casting Crowns – Courageous (with Lyrics)

Sanctus Real – Lead Me (Lyrics)

About Jesse Powell TFA

Anti-Feminist, MRA, Pro-Traditional Women's Rights Traditional Family Activist (TFA)
This entry was posted in Patriarchy, Religious Instruction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Go Ahead and Tell Everybody, I’m THE MAN

  1. The Radical One says:

    Oh dear Lord, I love this song. I hate mainstream music and don’t listen to it much but occasionally there are some gems you find in the midst of garbage. The message is clear and we are not the only ones who see it. Look at one of the comments where someone says this song should be blasted at every feminist rally (and, predictably, another commenter “you don’t know feminism”). The message is subtle but to those like us it is obvious. This is just what I needed to cheer me up. I’ve been hormonal and emotional (and yes I feel this way because I’m a woman and different from a man) and it seems like every feminist message out there has been beating me up lately but this just gives you hope.

    This show that cultural change is upon us. Nothing in life lasts forever and all great empires fall eventually. When everything crumbles, patriarchy will return once again. It’s already happening. Cultural change happens slowly but one day you wake up and it is upon you. This earth is littered with the remains of civilizations who thought they would reign forever.

  2. The Radical One says:

    Hey notice too the message of patriarchy is still clear on the official video as well. Notice around him when he’s walking. At first women pass him then he’s walking though a riot the whole thing is very political all the way through. At the end he’s walking past police and government officials then stands with other men at the end and then there’s more signs being held up at the end (although you can’t really read them). What is clear is that he’s saying he’s the man and revolution is happening. He’s walking through like he owns the place, very confident, because “this is my world.” He’s saying its “time to be a king when kingdom comes” the message is clear for men to take charge and stand up tall because it’s a mans world. Also too the message is clear that he is admired for being a man as well as he is admired throughout the video and the paparazzi are shooting pics of him as he walks through tall and proud. I didn’t see one woman in a position of power either in the video as notice he is walking with men and it is men as officers, not women. He’s not joining an equal number of females in power he is joining with other men in positions of power to take charge. I could hardly believe my eyes. I actually cried watching it as it was plain as day. For a traditional woman in today’s egalitarian world of “courtesy, not chivalry” world seeing a man so blatantly take charge in a way that doesn’t hurt women but protect them is like a Christian seeing the coming of Christ himself.

  3. The Radical One says:

    Ok, one last thing. Last comment I promise! Look closely at the cell phone in the beginning. One of the things the woman scrolls through says “starting a revolution.” Coincidence? I think not… Maybe that’s why I’ve been bombarded with so much feminist bs in the mainstream lately. They know they’re time is up and they’re doing everything they can to hang in desperately.

  4. The Radical One, glad I could brighten your day there. 🙂 I am actually surprised a pro-patriarchy song showed up in the secular non-religious sphere so quickly; I thought it would take 10 years or something. Even popular religious songs such as “Courageous” and “Lead Me” which are clearly pro-patriarchy and about men “leading” or “taking charge” is a very new thing. I’ve listened to Christian music on the radio for a long time and I can tell you that “man in charge” themes even in Christian music were verboten until just recently; the song “Lead Me” being the first example of such a song. Now this “The Man” song appears almost immediately after the first similar Christian songs appear indicating approval of patriarchy in popular culture is showing up virtually simultaneously in the Christian sphere and the secular sphere at the same time. The Christian sphere is still more “ideologically developed” let us say but the underlying drive for patriarchy is evident and emerging for both religious and non-religious alike. Also given the popularity and success of this “The Man” song you can bet that other artists will “copycat” the theme to get a piece of this “patriarchy market” in music themselves.

    You pointed out some things in another video of this song:

    Aloe Blacc – The Man (Official Video – Explicit)

    You are right, this other version of the song does keep to the patriarchy theme. The video is very political and is actually more explicit and clear regarding the “men should be in charge” theme than the video that seems to be the “official” video in the sense of having the most views that is characterized as the “official lyric video” on Youtube. In particular starting at 3:18 in the “official video – explicit” you see Aloe Blacc portrayed as the leader with all sorts of reporters asking him questions like at a press conference or something. Then the scene shifts to Aloe Blacc walking through some kind of government building with soldiers escorting him and flanking him. Then the scene shifts to 5 men all in suits walking arm and arm forming a kind of human chain of brotherhood and solidarity with Aloe Blacc in the middle. In this series of 3 scenes all communicating authority everybody is a man; Aloe Blacc is a man, the reporters are all men, the soldiers are all men, and the community leaders walking arm and arm are all men. This is about 30 people all together in these 3 scenes and every single participant in the scenes is a man. Then finally at the very very end of the video there is a “common people” or “community” scene where everybody is relaxed wearing ordinary casual clothes the women mostly wearing casual dresses believe it or not. This series of scenes clearly indicates men being in charge and being serious and wearing suits that then “governs” the community of men and women where because of the governing class of men the ordinary people and the women can relax and wear casual clothes and just be themselves under men’s protection.

    This is “in your face” political incorrectness; quite refreshing to see. 🙂

    The Radical One, this is a great line:

    “For a traditional woman in today’s egalitarian world of “courtesy, not chivalry” seeing a man so blatantly take charge in a way that doesn’t hurt women but protects them is like a Christian seeing the coming of Christ himself.”

    I similarly am full of wonderment and amazement; though not as poetically inspired as your brilliant comment on the matter I’m afraid. 🙂

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who appreciates the “secret meaning” of Aloe Blacc’s new smash hit “The Man.”

    • The Radical One says:

      You know something else interesting about the official video is that in the riot the signs look like they were from the past. There are signs saying things like “get the hell out of Vietnam” and “love not war” and then a topless woman wearing nothing but paint flies across the screen (a stab at women’s lib perhaps)?

      • The Radical One says:

        Also it looks like at the end “we march with Selma” presumably symbolic of the civil rights riots in the 1960s. Interesting indeed but I didn’t see this song as being about race or anything of that sort.

  5. Pingback: The Return of Patriarchy in Mainstream Culture? | What's Wrong With Equal Rights?

  6. It’s a bit hard for me to interpret the demonstration scenes in the “official video – explicit” video. They seem a cross between anti-war demonstrations and civil rights demonstrations of the 1960s. I think they are meant to communicate “disorder” and “black struggle” in a general sense. At the very beginning of the video are various men running around with a cop car pulling up implying the cops chasing after criminals in a black neighborhood or ghetto, this being a portrayal of the unending disorder in black communities due to chronic high crime. So both the political demonstrations of the 1960s and the chronic high crime in black communities can be seen as “disorder” which “The Man” and men together as a collective must fix. The very end of the video is a tranquil scene implying the disorder symbolized by political demonstrations and high crime has been solved by men coming together and taking charge. That is how I would interpret the chronology of scenes in the video.

    Also the video has a mixture of political scenes and symbolism combined with romantic / social scenes. The video is not entirely political, a man has both a personal / family role and a political role to play and the mixture of political scenes with romantic / social scenes reflects this. “The Man” is to “take care of his woman” and establish overall social order both.

    I think the racial issue is interesting here. I suspect this song being sung by a black man in a soul or rhythm and blues style of music, a recognizably black style of music, does make the message of pride in being a man easier to swallow. I think people would be much more “offended” and vocally critical if a white man in a white style of music sung a similar song with the same kind of lyrics. The fact that the song is “black” makes people more comfortable with the male assertion theme, after all everybody knows black men have been beaten down so it’s not so bad for a black man to assert himself as a man. A white man asserting himself as a man however? That’s outrageous! How dare he!

    If you actually focus on the lyrics however there are no racial references in the lyrics whatsoever. There are plenty of gender references and a few rather clear romantic references but there are no racial references in the song. Also, looking at the “official lyric video” which has by far the most views that video is almost entirely white, especially the crowd scenes that Aloe Blacc is apparently singing to, so clearly the message is supposed to be that the spirit or theme of the song is meant to be non-racial or applicable to all races.

    So I would say the song itself is non-racial with the message being men asserting themselves as men as a positive social good but the wider social context of the song is racial in that people can comfort themselves that this is a “black song” and is therefore OK because it is black men who are being encouraged to assert themselves rather than men in general. This is how people will interpret the song in social context even though the song itself is completely non-racial and even though the main video for the song is explicitly multi-racial with Aloe Blacc as a black man singing to an approving white audience.

    I don’t think it’s an accident that the first pro-patriarchy song in mainstream popular culture is being sung by a black man, that a black man will face much less heat for producing and singing such a song, but it is still an important breakthrough for a clearly pro-patriarchy song like “The Man” to be as successful as it is in mainstream non-religious popular music. As of March 22, 2014 the number of views on the “official lyric video” version of “The Man” is at 12.3 million (up from 11.5 million on March 19, 2014).

    • The Radical One says:

      I kind of interpreted the same thing as well. I didn’t see this song being about race even though he is a black man. Race issues are the most sensitive these days. Just mention the word race and somebody gets offended. But clearly some of the lyrics he is talking about being a man and even referencing women. Although there are many ways one could interpret a song this song and video especially clearly communicates the men in charge scene without a doubt. He is clearly asserting himself as an authority figure and in service to lead guide and comfort others. It starts out with a black neighborhood in disorder and in the end there is peace when the men come together and then disperse around the crowd gathered calmly now. Symbolic of men taking charge and putting things back in order! It’s funny how most people are blind to all of this and I think it’s because people don’t even know what patriarchy is. If he would have changed the lyrics from I’m *the* man to I’m a *man* people would see it as pro-patriarchy or if there were women in the kitchen in 1950s outfits serving men dinner they might see it that way. Most people see patriarchy how they’ve been trained to see it by the mainstream, as something oppressive. The fact that patriarchy is a common good is foreign to everyone. Besides most people don’t stop to think about what a song means. They can sing the lyrics over and over and not even know what they are singing. Look at the comments on YouTube and see everyone thinks this song is about being true to yourself and uplifting etc… It is that but he’s clearly talking about being a man, being responsible and clearly being in charge. Videos take a long time to make and lots of editing and lots of people working together to make scenes come out right. It’s not an accident that all authority figures and everyone out there working and in charge are men. If they were trying to promote “equality” then great pains would have been taken to show men and women working side by side or something like that.

      It’s just a song, sure, but it signifies cultural change and that’s why it’s so exciting and so important.

  7. I think you make an interesting point about how people don’t even know what patriarchy is without stereotypical feminist invented caricatures being employed such as a man beating his chest saying “I am a MAN” or a woman cooking dinner and then “serving” her husband his meal. Yet for me I can tell that, judging by the lyrics at least, this song is 100% pro-patriarchy from beginning to end. Yes this song is about being “true to yourself” (if you’re a man at least) and it is definitely uplifting (for both sexes I would say) but the entire theme is masculinity; masculinity being what Aloe Blacc is proud of possessing and what represents his “true self” that he is then being true to. The title of the song being “The Man” might give people a clue that the song is indeed about being a man; not a woman or a person but specifically a man; but yes, most people still aren’t quite ready or able to connect the dots on the whole thing.

    I suspect this song makes people feel good, that that is why the song is so popular and is taking off, but that people don’t know why the song makes them feel good. The song is uplifting and positive and self-affirming and it is also at the same time caring and protective so of course this song makes people feel good. What people don’t get is that patriarchy itself is uplifting and positive and self-affirming and also caring and protective. That it is patriarchy that is the positive feel good message of the song and it is patriarchy that people are feeling warm and fuzzy about when they listen to the song. So people respond to patriarchy well at the emotional level as long as they don’t know that it is patriarchy that they are responding to. So the trick behind “The Man” song which is making it so popular is that it sends a message of patriarchy which makes people feel good and therefore like the song while at the same time not activating conscious awareness that the song is indeed about patriarchy because if people were aware consciously that the song was pro-patriarchy then suddenly the song would become “bad” and “sexist.”

    So I guess my purpose in writing about “The Man” as a clearly pro-patriarchy song is that I want people to be aware that a song advocating patriarchy is indeed making it big in the popular culture to show that patriarchy is not something bad and scary but is instead something that people are drawn to on a large scale even if only at the subconscious level. In time the subconscious yearning for patriarchy will become more conscious and more clearly perceived and understood by people and that is when real progress in healing the culture will come to be. For now however this first step of a pro-patriarchy song entering into popular culture and meeting with success is definitely an encouraging development.

  8. sany1980 says:

    as a feminist I find the song harmless but absurd at the same time there is no positive message in being a liar or in celebrating your mistakes what kind of manhood is he celebrating exactly , ppl don’t care because its catchy .. is it an inti feminist song ? I wrote ( I am the woman ) under the vid and here is the replaying comment ( shut up you feminist bitch ) lol

  9. jacklabear says:

    Yes, it’s just a matter of time till the feminists have songs like these and web sites like this outlawed as “hate speech”.

    Jesse, the mission you are on is a lost cause. It’s too late. Western man has failed the huge culture-wide shit test that feminism is.

    In the end, feminist western culture will collapse because the feminists are failing to reproduce. Because men are starting to realize that the laws and culture are so heavily stacked against them in favor of women, they are less and less wiling to marry. And their rampant misandry and narcissism makes it increasingly unpleasant to have relationships with these women, so men are becoming unwilling to do so. In response to the State forcing men to support these unpleasant women without getting anything positive in return from them, men will gradually become unwilling to maintain the infrastructure. Then the feminists will no longer be able to drive to their cushy jobs spreading feminist propaganda on the internet. Only then will women again be willing to exchange something of value for men supporting and protecting them.

    So you might as well just enjoy the decline while you can: http://www.amazon.com/Enjoy-Decline-Accepting-Living-United/dp/1480284769

    Interestingly, the Swedish feminists are largely silent on the fact that 75% of rapes (of Swedish women and children) in Sweden are being committed by Muslim immigrants. Some folks interpret this as a manifestation of women’s instinct to submit to male authority. http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1300

    Islam, like all other religions of significant civilizations, knows better than to let women run feral. Since the Muslims are reproducing much faster than those in feminist cultures, most likely they will inherit the West including the US. Eventually, especially in Europe, even the feminist women will end up wearing burqas so that they don’t get attacked on the streets.

  10. I must say, I am more hopeful than you regarding prognostications about the future. Actually, some culture wide positive things are happening such as the labor force participation rate of women being in long term decline since 2000 in the United States. Also many social indicators are getting worse at a slower rate than they used to. Conservative religion is actually growing fast across the board now as well so support for patriarchy is growing. Considering the growing patriarchy subculture throughout society, both religious and secular, it is not so surprising for a patriarchy friendly song like “I’m the man” to show up and become popular.

    As far as the quality of women in the romantic marketplace, things are actually quite good for men in the particular niche I occupy of traditionalist men either explicitly religious or pseudo-religious who embrace the breadwinner role and also seek to assert themselves as authority figures. The number of women seeking a traditionalist man is significantly greater than the number of men seeking traditionalist women in my experience. The romantic marketplace is actually improving rather quickly for men like myself I am happy to say. The infrastructure to support traditional minded people is growing as well (mostly in the form of the growing conservative churches).

    You made the comment I feel I need to respond to:

    Only then will women again be willing to exchange something of value for men supporting and protecting them.

    Chivalry, men’s duty to “provide for and protect” women, is not dependent upon women being “willing to exchange something of value” at all. The duty of Chivalry is unconditional; it is not part of any kind of reciprocal agreement. A man can be Chivalrous regardless of the woman’s response to him so therefore a man must be Chivalrous regardless of the woman’s response to him.

  11. wundermonkee says:

    This song isn’t about Aloe being sexist or arrogantly boastful at all. It’s not even about him. He’ dressed up as famous black men in history who stood up proudly for civil rights and proudly proclaimed that they are a MAN, not a boy. He is also telling this generation of black men what it mens to be The Man. It takes believing in something with so much tenacity, you’re willing to die for it. It’s about such little things such as dressing smart and not like little boys in jerseys and sagging pants. Our black heroes dressed well and behaved with dignity. When the video first came on, a girl with a droid smartphone move to her playlist titled start a revolution. It is clear to the viewer that the scene is an anachromism as she steps into a the 1970’s and Richard Roundtree’s Shaft appears to begin the song. For the rest of the song he becomes famous male black leaders. I can spot Marvin Gaye at the piano, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and I believe Barack Obama. Before he becomes another MAN, he becomes a snap shot of the pioneer as they were known in iconic photographs in history. I can’t figure out all of them, but look at the video again and see if you can recognize the pictures. Oh and I love “Lead Me”. As a husband and father I refer to this song alot in prayer.

  12. This song isn’t about patriarchy, or the feminist movement. It is an anachronistic portrait of what it used to mean to be a black man. If you watch the video, you will see a young woman using a droid smart phone, moving to her play list entitled “start the revolution”. As the music begins the world turns into the 1970’s and she’s wearing hip hugger bell bottoms. Aloe then appears as Richard Roundtree in “Shaft”. I don’t recognize every black icon, but I do see Malcolm X in his famous “press photo”, Marvin Gaye in his “at the piano” photo, Barack Obama surrounded by the military and the secret service, and Martin Luther King in his famous ” arm in arm ” photo from the civil rights movement. As Martin walks alone to join the front line of the march, the viewer understands that his “dream” is unfulfilled as he joins people from different races marching together. The message is about what it means to be a man. People use the term ” I’m the man” so loosely in this generation. But this video shows that to be “the man” you have to have the tenacity to die for what you believe in. You even have to be conscious as to how you dress. Men in the past dressed with dignity. They didn’t wear Jordans and saggy pants. So how can you be “the man” and still dress like a child? The video basically says, in order to fulfill the dream and honor the past the, revolution didn’t die with Martin and ultimately, these black icons desired equality; working together with all races and marching together against the evils of society.

  13. Rodriguez says:

    absolute utter fucking bollocks. So what about all the songs empowering women? Little Mix’s Salute comes to mind. Jesus Christ you feminists are so fucking stupid it hurts. Your thinking literally holds back the entire human race from advancing in all aspects of life, ESPECIALLY in equality terms. Instead of concerning yourself with a song that simply promotes a man feeling good to be a man (if a song was about the opposite sex and same lyrics, would you be angry? Would you fuck) why dont you feminists tackle actual issues that affect women in Islamic countries e.g. female genital mutilation and constant oppression. Check your privileged you fucking whores

  14. Bob Fish says:

    Wow, you all are really oblivious. This video is about the civil rights movement and the individuals who were important to black culture at that time. In the video he dresses as and pays tribute to Marvin Gaye, war protesters, Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Muhammad Ali, Soul Train, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., the events of Bloody Sunday and the salute of Black power at the Olympics (in that order). This video is not about patriarchy, its celebrating black culture of the 60s and 70s and paying tribute to those who brought African Americans to where they are today. Things like this are why people think that you all are idiots.

  15. Rancid94 says:

    This song is the bomb. Any hoe that don’t agree will face the wrath of my huge veiny sausage.

  16. Jean Stacey says:

    Everyone always jumps to “man” as opposed to “woman” and in this case totally misses the message. The message is NOT that “he is a man not a woman and that he will dominate women”, the message is that he is a man not an animal. Our society treats most male men of color worse than they treat their animals. I think this is a song about reclaiming one’s manhood as in “human dignity”, an era coming of minorities not being treated like animals or like dirt anymore. In my view he represents both women and men of color as being “human” more than as being “man”. That view is inclusive of both men and women, on an equal plane, so it won’t be appealing to anyone (of either sex) who wants one sex to dominate another ….but I see this far more as people of color being elevated back to huMANess.

  17. chris says:

    No, this song says nothing about him being the man, have you watched the video??? You see the chaos going on around him??? How no-one is treating him like the man??? Yet he walks with his head held high, he is not trying to change anything to make it (world) better. He is arrogant. He is all for himself. Notice the cameramen BEHIND him taking pictures? He wants to be seen ny everyone. Which in almost every scene he is performing (beacuse performers are seen by everyone). He is so into hisself, that he doesn’t notice what is going on around him. Those who are asleep will see the topical part of this video. Those who are awake (like myself) will see what he really means by I’m the man. Now REALLY read the lyrics, and REALLY watch the video. Then you tell me if he’s “the man”. Wake Up!

  18. Chia maria says:

    Yeah, sorry to say Jesse, but as much as I’d like to believe that this song is about patriarchy, to be honest, it could go either way. Other commenters’ interpretations of the video clip had just as much validity. I’m all for patriarchy (of the non-corrupt kind, of course), but I’m not sure this song actually has this as its central theme.

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