That year was such a lonely and depressing year. One filled with self-realization, learning where I fit in, and deciding how I was going to take charge of my own life. I had this underlying feeling that I was the only one noticing certain human behaviours. I had been made to feel as though I was crazy. I felt as though I was feeling something about human nature and about human feelings that no one else my age (at that time I was 15) was ready to acknowledge or cared to even think about. I was climbing into my life and new realization. So now I bring to you, Mos Def’s  “Climb”, and what it means to me.

People climbed into the night like space suits
People stepped into the night like moon boots
Marching like moon troops
In their zoot colored zoot suits

To me, this represents people who have covered themselves in materialism, marching into a space they feel they should go, together but individually colored. They’re trying to be individuals while conforming to the same action and the same state.

People climbed into the night like cool wells
Shiny bottles in their hands
Drinking their new selves
They say it’s their true selves

These lyrics give me a vision of people naturally and what seems like purely climbing into the night, drinking what they feel will make them pure. Most likely because someone told them to. They’re hoping to gain self-assurance, telling themselves that this drink is making them brand new. “I am brand new. Or am I?”

People climbed up in the night like green trees
They were hanging from the night like green leaves
Buzzing like queen bees

This represents people’s real intentions and coming into a space so naturally and hanging so naturally, yet buzzing, gossiping, overflowing, insecure, unsure, unable, uncommitted. Not fully present.

People climbed into the night like space suits
People stomped inside the night
Stomping and stomping and stomping and stomping and stomping
Where are they going?
What’s the rush?
Everybody’s embraced but so out of touch

This is by far one of my favourite lines in the song. A light goes off in my head every single time I repeat that line to myself. Where are they going? What’s the rush? Everybody’s embraced, but so out of touch. This screams out to me. It tells me what I see on a daily basis. We’re all in this rush to get somewhere and we seem so close, but we couldn’t be further away from each other. We couldn’t be any less present then we are at this moment.

Night-time is when the things get heavy
You feel alone and you want somebody
Loneliness whispers desperate measures
And your frantic all by yourself
Night-time is when the things get heavy
You feel alone and you want somebody
Loneliness whispers desperate measures
Baby don’t make no fast moves
Baby don’t make no fast moves
Baby don’t make no fast moves
Baby don’t make no fast moves- Tonight

This is an accurate lyrical portrayal of what most of us do, when we are by ourselves in an emotional state. The night time represents the moments when you have to think and be with yourself. The first thing a lot of us do is yearn to be with someone. Taking space for oneself can be very hard. A lot of us are just plain uncomfortable with the idea of sitting with ourselves. Within that loneliness, with no one to give you advice and no one to paint your picture, sometimes we get desperate and do things impulsively. Slowly getting hectic by ourselves, they beg not to make any fast moves and to think about what we are doing and to be okay with just sitting with ourselves.

People stomped inside the night
Let me climb into the night…
Let me climb…

Mos Def has a way of telling you the truth in a way that makes sense and even though it may seem like it crosses boundaries, it’s still comfortable. These lyrics mixed with the beat and garnished with the vocals made me have very many emotional moments. I mourned for the way humans treat themselves. I took pride in the fact that there are people out there who realize different human cycles and behaviour and it allowed me to see a side of my own self that I wanted to change. It feels good to know that Mos Def can you make you feel good about uplifting the black race, he can smell bullshit from a mile away, and he can get real about how we treat each other and ourselves. This song is a blessing. Enjoy it!


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