“Kick Push” by Lupe Fiasco
Jeannette Walls once said, “The most important thing in life is learning how to fall”. Throughout our lives, we will have many moments where we will fail and have hardships. We get better at improving our lives by getting back up from these hardships and learning from our past mistakes. This quote can be related to the song “Kick Push” by Lupe Fiasco. In his song, he addresses topics of ambition, fitting in, and determination.
Throughout the song, there is a theme of ambition. Lupe uses skateboarding to tell his story, which can be compared to life in general. In his first verse, he talks of the first time he stepped foot on a skateboard. He slips and falls and busts his lip. Even after that experience, he doesn’t quit. He says, But shorty didn’t quit there was something in the air
Yea, he said it was something so appealing
He couldn’t fight the feeling, something about it
He knew he couldn’t doubt it, couldn’t understand it
Despite his minor injury, he still finds something intriguing about skating, and he gets back up on his skateboard and keeps on practicing. He doesn’t let it get in the way of his wanting to progress at learning how to skate. Many people these days try something once, but fail and never try it again. I think that Lupe is trying to show us that even though we fail, we still have a chance to improve and get better at whatever it was that we failed at doing in the first place.
In the second verse of the song, Lupe Fiasco mentions love. He doesn’t let it get in his way from skateboarding. His ambition was keeping him from the girl that he loved. He says, “Uh, he said I would marry you But I’m engaged to these aerials and varials”. He chooses his love for skateboarding over his love for his girlfriend. He was to devoted to skateboarding and determined to progress his skills. Another example where Lupe incorporated the theme of having ambition is showed through each of his verses. He ends each verse with a scene of him being kicked out of a place to skate. This shows his ambition to continue skateboarding, even though he is continuously getting kicked out. Lupe ends each verse with “there’s no skating here”, but then he continues with, “And so he kick, push, kick, push…”. This shows that continuously being rejected will not keep him from skateboarding and getting to where he wants to be.
Lupe Fiasco incorporates a theme of fitting in. He talks about struggling to fit in as a rebel in this society, and finding the freedom he wants in order to skateboard, despite the opinions of other people. Growing up in Chicago, Lupe Fiasco is exposed to crime and drugs in the streets of the city. Despite all the influences that surrounded him, he sticks to skateboarding. Instead of trying to fit in with his friends, or other people doing illegal or unlawful things, he finds an alternative to their lifestyle. He says, “Just a rebel to the world with no place to go”. He is a rebel to the other people in his community. Though he is staying clean and away from crime, he is still persecuted. Whenever Lupe ends his verse with the line, “There’s no skating here”, I think that he could be using that as a metaphor for people being rejected because of their certain interests, or their lifestyles. People are being rejected and persecuted because they are different than everyone else. In his last verse, he finally finds a group of friends who have a similar passion for skateboarding. They all have found an alternative lifestyle from the drug dealers and the criminals, but they are still being chased off by security guards and they can never skate in peace. They find a way to stay clean, but society won’t allow them to pursue the only hobby that is keeping them off the streets.
The last theme that Lupe Fiasco addresses, is a theme of determination. He did not let anything slow him down from progressing his skills as a skateboarder, and to live a different lifestyle than everyone else. As he first started to learn to skateboard, his neighbors began to get annoyed by the constant sound of his skateboard hitting the ground. He did not let them stop him from learning how to skate, so he was forced to go to the skate park. He would spend so much time at the park that it would reach the time of day where he would get kicked out. Lupe refers to himself being, “labeled a misfit, a bandit.” Despite the criticism, he kept doing what he enjoyed. It was something keeping him away from the negativity in the world. As he got older, love was appearing in his life. He had a girlfriend who he loved, but he loved skateboarding more. He says, “And I don’t think this board is strong enough to carry two”. He says this as another excuse as to why he cannot be in a relationship. I think he says this because he feels that he cannot improve his skills as a skateboarder and support his girlfriend at the same time. Even love cannot stop his passion for skateboarding. And again, he continues to get kicked out of spots over and over again, but he keeps on going. He doesn’t care what people say or think about him, he just wants to do something that he loves.
In today’s society, many people feel rejected or persecuted. It can be because of what they look like, how they dress, where they’re from, or how they live their lives. They can feel like they don’t fit in or they don’t belong. Lupe Fiasco uses skateboarding to show his ambition, how he fit in, and his determination. Many people do things that they enjoy but they may think they do not fit into society because of these things. They then begin to stop doing whatever it is they are doing, and then they try to do what they think will make them fit in whether it is lawful or legal, or not. Lupe shows that even though there are alternative hobbies or activities that can be positive, but they can be unacceptable to society.