Alicia Keys – HERE To Witness, Gather And Inspire (Lyrics Explained)
“Here we go, here-here, we go again” – Common
“Here we are now!” is what you end up saying when you witness the reality of your environnement, and when you face its truth, its gospel truth.
“Here we are now!” is what you say when you brace yourself for the fight,
And embrace your flaws for the sake of self-love,
Until you finally find a beauty in your struggle;
The darker the place the brighter the light.
Her album HERE suggests many layers, many lectures, many pictures. Storytelling genius, this album addresses:
- her love for New York, pictured here all raw, without theglam and lights and with a little wink to Nas (1 Luv),
- The pains of poverty (The Gospel) and addiction (Illusion of Bliss),
- The price of life (Pawn It All), self-depreciation against self-love, emotional break down,
- Soul searching, with songs that sound like prayers and therapy, crying at the piano (Hallelujah),
- Womanhood, implying feminism, motherhood,
- As well as Blackness (You Glow) and Black Girl Magic, to highlight the beauty of these girls grown women in Queens,
- Humanism and consideration for war and refugees (Let Me In project, Holy War).
If you ain’t in the battle how you gon’ win the fight
Woke activist, Keys stands here to battle and win all kind of battles and to witness the bloom of a new beauty, in a her life, in her city and community; in the world
Her short films Let Me In and The Gospel suggest all that in the following chapters:
ALL GOD’S CHILDREN
‘So we all got children, products of the ghetto’
In the first chapter you witness children wondering about their prospects.
They’re the one who need to feel important and to believe in their abilities to positively impact their own future.
Too many kids wander with no goals to wake up to :“You go to sleep one day, you wake up the next, then you’re 30… wow” and then you wish you could start your life over again (Pawn It All).
As would say Common, “we’re the children of a better God”.
She grew up in Brooklyn
She grew up in Harlem
She grew up in Bronx
She know she was a queen
She lived in Queens
[But she don’t really care]
Young men and young women need to know who their worth, know who they are and remember where they come from:She lived in Somalia, Her parents from Egypt, She was a queen in Cairo.
She Don’t really Care_1_Luv is an anthem for black girls from Queens, a poem for Black womanhood in New York: be proud of that Black Girl Magic, let your light shine.
“You are not niggers, as a matter of fact you are not really even black,
I’ll prove it to you, I’ll put every last one of y’all in a row, put some Vasoline and baby oil in your face and look in the mirror.
Look my beloved, you glow.”
And so it persists
Like a bottomless kiss
An illusion of bliss
This chapter exposes the idea of love and all the consequences it can influence
This recalls what has been questioned in The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
You know, right now I miss someone that I love
Or fell in love with
I don’t wanna cry or nothing but
I’mma just get straight to the story
I’m a 29 year old addict
Ain’t Got No, I Got Life – Nina Simone
Bad love can turn into bad addiction, and ruin your life.
Yet life is a gift, even though you get the feeling the course of your live is nothing but curse.
Life is such a precious gift, when you have nothing else but life, this is what you hold on tight, like if you’re tipping on a tightrope, to prevent yourself to be a fallen angel.
The price of Life no one can estimate, and Freedom has no price, you know.
Sometimes you wish you could start over your life, to repair and curate the only gift you were given.
This is how may feel the everyday person and this is also how may feel the criminal in prison or the prostitute in the street, or even the one fallen for addiction.
Songs like Pawn It All or Illusion Of Bliss, Hallelujah, are songs of Soul Redemption,
Emotional burst, the songs to break down before building yourself up again, and avoid self-destruction.
First love is the very first romance (Akua Naru), so love yourself first, know your worth, and live your life.
WHAT GATHERS US
We all have feels In Common, we’ve all been here.
We’re all messed up to someone’s eyes or to our own eyes we all fight similar battles.
One more reason to gather under 1 Luv.
We can choose to fight for something that gather instead of something that divides #HolyWar.