I have redescovered this song like a few months ago, after I listened on repeat when it first appeared.
The song, created as a collaboration between Tinie Tempah and Eric Turner, is part of the debut album of the British rapper, reaching number one in the UK Singles Chart and UK R&B Chart after beating famous “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars and “Let the Sun Shine” by Labrinth (for the ones who don’t know him, you can remember him as singing “Genius” with SIA and Diplo).
The song attracts attention first of all because of the energy that transmits. Tinie Tempah has that specific style that transmits emotions, like he really feels what he is singing. On the other side, Eric Turner’s contribution with the piano looks so enthusiastic, but at the same time so alive. He looks like he and the piano are one, like they were created together, thing that reflects into the song as well.
The mixture between rap and rock makes the song so different, so attractive and so catchy. You listen to it and you just can’t help start singing. It’s beat awakes you, gives you hope, makes you get up and keep going.
But as energetic and happy the beat and rythm seem, as sad the lyrics are. Eric Turner and Tinie Tempah, among others, managed to create an emotional story, one that would touch our hearts and make us more aware and more happy with what we have.
The song tells the story of a child who lives in a poor family, having a life for which privileged is the most inappropriate description possible. His family had to work hard to pay taxes, and he was forced to turn to illegal deeds. He lost his faith, and although he knew that money are the cause of all evils, he could not think about it when hunger ate him inside out, when he felt like nothing was left for him. This song reflects best the fact that sometimes money do bring happiness, and that we do need them in a society in which without money you are nothing.
In the light of all the uncertainty, sorrow and the hardships of life, the child managed to create a dream, but chasing it had no use, cause “everyone’s a kid that no-one cares about” so any work you do will result in failure. But what happens if you scream loud enought? Well someone in the end will start hearing you. Someone will be sick of hearing you scream again and again and help you just to shut up. These lyrics are not to be taken literally, but they tell us that you have to go on, follow your dreams no matter what, cause in the end you will manage to go up and fulfill them.
The lyrics talk about the power of hope, fight and faith. They tell us that these are the three pillars of success, that without them we will never get where we want. Without them we will remain “that kid that no one cares about“.
The parallel between “I used to be the kid that no one cared about” and “Everyone’s a kid that no-one cares about” sends to the idea that It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be, as was J.K.Rowling saying in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The idea of that kid seems to be a burden in this song, as it is found in both rap sections of the song. It is the main idea, the one that it is the most important, the one that people must remember when thinking about the song.
The chorus of the song tells us that we have a destiny that is written, that is established a million miles away, meaning that we have to follow our destiny, we have to keep going in order to fulfill it. And although time passes season after season, you don’t have to change. You have to keep your motivation strong and keep the path that was destined to you, otherwise you will remain “the kid that no one cares about“.
The video of the song depincts a child having more or less the same life as the one reflected from the song. He and his mother have a very low financial income and have to fight the vicissitudes of life. His mother dedicates herself to prostitution in order to have some food to put on the table in the evening. The boy spends most of his time with a notebook in his hand, writing something in it, something that might be connected with his dream: maybe writer, composer, director, or maybe something else. But by the headsets that he is always wearing on his ears, my guessing would be that he is into music. Music is that dream he once had, the one he felt was going nowere for. But while occupying his time with his notebook, he is bullied by his mates, which he has to face and support. The bullying might be connected to the fact that he is poor, but also because of the fact he is black, as rasism is unfortunately still a valid subject on the table.
Although Tinie Tempah states that the song video and lyrics weren’t the story of his life, he probably can’t deny that it reflects his way towards success. It is never easy to get on top. You have to work hard, and sometimes you are bullied, discouraged in your road. Only your fighting will help you overcome all the obstacles that stand in your way.
Complete song lyrics here.