Friday, January 4, 2013

Girl on Fire

Alicia Keys has been around for awhile. Though I've heard of her, I hadn't  heard her until I listened to 'Girl on Fire' after reading Grace, Gold and Glory, a autobiography by two-time Olympic gold winner, Gabby Douglas. When Keys performed this song at the VMAs, Gabby did some flips during the second half of it. Why? You'll find out soon.

This song is about the determination, the independence, the passion, the strong wiliness, and the hotness, of woman.One of the inspiration of this song was giving birth to her son, Egypt, but the main inspiration was when she interviewed a woman named Amber Rose. She read the interview over and read a line that said, "She's like a girl on fire." Right when she read that quote, she knew she had to write the song. "It just spoke to everything I am feeling and was feeling at the time. You know, it was energy of finding your light, finding your space, and finding and claiming your own path.... and the way that the chorus is like screaming at the top of my lungs, 'I am!' and 'You are!' You just feel like 'I can' and I mean, 'I will'," Keys said at an interview.

There are three versions of this song actually. I've only heard two, and those are the ones I will be talking about in this review.

 The normal version begins like this: "She's just a girl and she's on fire," Keys' powerful voice sings. "Hotter than a fantasy/Longer than a highway." She speaks of her appearance. Notice that word: hot.

"She's living in a world and it's on the fire/Feeling the catastrophe/But she knows she can fly away," she speaks of this woman's determination. "She's got both feet on the ground/And she's burning it down/She's got her head in the clouds/And she's not backing down."

"This girl is on fire!" Keys almost screams powerfully. "She's walking on fire/This girl is on fire!"

The second verse has a lot of big talk. It speaks more about the powerful presence of this girl. (Whoever, she is) "She looks like a girl/But she's a flame/Better look the other way/You can try, but you can never forget name/She's on top of the world/Hottest of the hottest girls say/We got both feet on the ground... and we're not backing down."

"Everybody stands as she goes by/Cause they can see the flame in her eyes/Watch her when she's lighting up/No one knows she's a lonely girl/And it's a lonely world/But she's going let it burn, baby, burn," she sings.

There's not much more to this version of the song that that. This song shows the meaning of 'girl power.' Speaking of girls, we are not treated like men are. The reason for is we're not like guys. God created us differently in His own special way. Girls are sensitive and do things differently than guys. I wouldn't say that guy aren't sensitive, but they're sensitive in a different way. My point is that women because are treated differently, we tend to write songs like this. Why? Sometimes we feel like we need to 'prove' ourselves to guys. In certain times, this is necessary, but others times it isn't. The truth is that we are created equally, but we are also created differently.

The music video shows that women can take of themselves and their family with a man. Half of revolves around a young single mom and part of it is Keys lying on a couch with a shirt  that only came up to her chest. In it, the single mom (played by Keys) lives in a small house and does everything to keep her family safe and sound. She takes care of her kids and a elderly woman, while everything else even though there is a man living in the house. The guy and her sit on a couch together. Then, the man wraps his arms around her and tries to kiss her. She pushes him away. Through the video, we see how much this woman cares for her family. Instead of putting her own desires first, she rather puts her family's safety and desires first. This is a good example for single and married women everywhere.

The idea that a woman can take care of a family is true. Woman are capable of taking care of a family, but really a family always needs a Father. A family can survive without a earthly father, but in truth, it cannot survive without a Heavenly Father. Because the music video and the song lacks this message, no surprise, it crumbles.

Warning: This part of my review contains something that's a lot different... and weirder.

Now, the second version (known as the 'inverno' version) is  different. First of all, it features the rapper, Nikki Minaj who adds a very weird and interesting verse into the song. The inferno version starts out with Minaj rapping a very strange, yet victorious verse. It is somewhat like the ending of Frank Peretti's amazing novel, This Present Darkness. (an old book, but I know some of you have read it, so you know what I mean)

"Spirit of Marilyn/Calling me," she begins, referring to the actress, Marilyn Moore, who supposedly committed suicide. "Said she would never leave /Continued to torture me/Tellin' me to come with her/Underneath my comforter/Pills and some her rum with her/Tip me on the balcony/Tellin' me to jump with her."

Yes, I know. This is very strange. Bear with me.

This is where hope and Gabby Douglas comes in as Minaj concludes: "Hey, I'm in the ghost/But I ain't doing stunts with her/I ain't trying to be that/Haters wanna see that/But I got 'em aggy/'Cuz I win the gold like Gabby."

I have never heard sometime like this, but then again, I don't listen to rap music (expect for Lecrae), and I've heard that a lot of it is like this. (Well, intense, like this, I mean) The saddest part about all of this is that it's real. Well, maybe not the ghost part, but the part about suicide. Not a lot of people like to talk about this, but suicide isn't uncommon. Why, you ask? Because a lot of those people don't see the point life. Because a lot of people are overloaded with the problems in their life. Because many people don't have God.

The message that Minaj presents is, though very strange, encouraging and hopeful. Even though the verse does not mention God, Minaj later does... some of it in a even weirder way. Her prayer is half okay and half really weird. She "Dear God/If you're here, God/Make the fire disappear when they stare, God/Do you fear, God?/'Cuz I fear God." The thing she asks of God could be connected to the pressure that every star goes through. Then she rambles on about something that I don't understand. "And in my backyard, there's a deer, God, and there's a horse ranch." Then she asks for, what Plugged In says, flattery from her fans. "And to my core fans/Keep reppin' me/Doing to the death me/X in the box/'cuz ain't nobody checkin' me." It's funny how she can't rhyme with God.

Confused? As am I.

Every woman goes through trials. Every single person comes to a point in their life where they ask themselves, "Who am I living for? Whose standards am I going to go by?" How we answer this question is what matters the most. We have to deal with a lot of stress, pressure, and tragedy. There's a lot of lies and evil out there. We can come to the assuring conclusion that with God, we can survive it all. Jesus will never fail you and He will take care of you. He will NEVER leave you to fend on your own.

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