Tank & The Bangas – Meanings For Green Balloon – Lyrics As Poetic As Ever

Drink more, Water plants, Feed seeds, Eat more veggies
Seek Vital, Squeeze lethal, Choose wisely
Don’t you be so dumb, Go find your freedom
Go Search the Kingdom
Don’t you get too high, Low down your ego
Slow down your horses, Swallow now your pride
Shadow not the child, Inside of your eyes
Inside of your Soul, Fill in your cup
Feeling yourself, Full of yourself, Fooling yourself
Fleeing yourself, Fearing yourself, Fraying new ways
Prayin for days, Curving hips, Hop of Faith
The steps you made, The lane you paved, The path you ran
Despite the pain
The Dream you draw, The Wish you wrote, The goal you got
Follow your Truth,
Flip of a coin, Flick of time,
Quickest changes always amaze
Colors not the same

Tank & The Bangas might have released their most beautiful body work, their best project to date, Green Ballon, an introspective album that speaks volume with many layers. This second full-length body of work talks on self-awareness, and compiles topics that go from guilty pleasures, fantasies of a better living, childish moods to self-confidence and shortcomings of one individual. Besides, the project questions the idea of Love and womanhood – you can appreciate the philosophy and the poetry throughout the lyrics.

Green Balloon pictures also the different versions of one person (Colors Change). Doing so, this project could have been titled Shades of Green too.

“I want to appreciate every moment and not feel entitled to the things that people do for me
Then it hits me
Do more kind things” – In London

Tank does multiple references to Kendrick Lamar along the project. From singing the “Ayayaya” theme from Peer Pressure in a track featuring Robert Glasper (Lazy Daze), to quoting a line from Hood Politics (“Obama said what it do”).

And as Kendrick used to rap in To Pimp a Butterfly (Wesley Theory), you might act a fool when you get signed, and lose it when new money hits you, you might appreciate a new lifestyle, get all the nice things you’ve been longing for. Though the more you satisfy your selfish pleasures, the more you may inflate your ego too and feel entitled. 

This album is then a reminder to be selfless for others, be gentle and do more kind things.

SPACESHIPS pops up as a hyperbolic crave for money. It pictures fantasies of “How being rich might feel amazing” with irony and self mockery from the band. As a lead single, this modern hip-hop track sounds like a banger, quite like NICE THINGS, another playful tune that sound like a childish wishlist.

“You should do some nice things for me
Nice things for me
Gucci purse, Gucci watch
That’s what’s up, buy my love
You should buy some ice cream for me
You should do some nice things” – NICE THINGS

Follows DOPE GIRL MAGIC with the envy to feel like a star, to upgrade and do better and feel confident and no more insecure.

However, superficial selfish desires can’t fill empty holes, may they be tiny as black ANTS. From now on starts the reality check for Tank. Full of herself at first, to the point to be unince to her surrounding, she tries to reflect and put ego aside, as she enters in a phase of self-awareness.

I’m prettier than a Sunday
On Mondays I be trippin’
My mama want me to wash the dishes
While she make my brother lazy and distant
Fuck it, I’m movin’ at eighteen
Fast-forward ten years later
It’s the same routine
And I’m complaining – ANTS

My ego go wherever I go, oh, friend of mine (That’s my friend!)
Ocean wave high, the current currently got me
Sun greets us like waves do
Emotions come in waves, too
Feelin’ wavy like oceans do
Feelin’ blue (Blue) 
Feelin’ blue for you, oh, hey
Don’t you go too soon (Don’t go too soon) – HOT AIR BALLOON

After reality check, after putting aside ego, she goes from selfish feelings to selfless intentions

Two songs ago, Tank was singing she be trippin on Mondays and here again, she admits how forgetful she can be.

Childlike songwriting, lyrics sound like the words you say to your kids that forget to do elementary and picture Tank confessing how much she can be a mess. She strives for better and claims self-motivational thoughts.

FORGETFUL

Don’t forget to brush your teeth and wash your face
Take a bath if you ain’t do that yesterday […]
Don’t forget to tell yourself that you’re a winner (You’re a winner)
Self-motivate

She confronts her guilt to smoke and get high, her frustration about laziness, her entitlement and pride.

Love is also a common theme throughout the album. Poetress and songstress Tank reflects on unanswered questions about real love and naive one, and how to handle a relationship.

“I know you’re afraid to be
Someone easy and unsure but […]
There’s no wins and doubt, no shortcut route to love” – MR LION

.

Tank breaks down her meaning for Green Balloon:  Every song resonates to each person I was in my life up until now. I’ve been “green” with envy, green with naïveté; I’ve bought green and gotten High, I’ve felt like a balloon…full of myself and floating away and also held down. And like all green things…I’ve also changed, and I’ve grownGreen Balloon is every version of myself that I’ve met so far.”

This album is a mirror for the singer in front of which she faces all of her humbling shortcomings and desires, embracing it and be empowered through it.

The more she faces it, the more she learns to know herself, love herself, and feel fly no matter what – self-appreciation.

Actually, Green Balloon, is a funny and poetic picture to each person Tank grown into from childhood to adulthood. That’s why you can navigate from childish lyrics to mature and collected thoughts

Talking influences and connections, besides Kendrick Lamar, the project also recalls the spirit and the inner-reflection from CARE by Saba as well as the titles Selfish, Best Me, Empathy and Grateful by Sylvan LaCue.

The play of the keys, which sounds like metronome, with the drums kicking on a laid-back tempo, recalls the Robert Glasper style. As the band has worked with him, recording Get Up, In London and Lazy Daze, you can imagine the conversation they must have shared in the studio about the idea of Colors  and Womanhood. These are two topics Glasper addressed in his latest project, Collagically Speaking, indeed..

This album could so be read as a manual to understand a woman’s mind and woman’s worth.

[…] Or did my ocean consume you?
“Did my waves not behave?
Did I confuse you at how I could be a sea for you and land for him?
I was both of these women, I am, I is […]
Too fast food for you
Too ready, too weighted
Too window open
Too side door swingin’
Too woman?”  – COLORS CHANGE

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