Pumped Up Kicks

Topics: Poverty, Wealth, High school Pages: 3 (1276 words) Published: May 8, 2012
The song, “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People tells the story of a boy who is driven through domestic abuse and bullying to take a gun to school. He tells all the kids with the “pumped up kicks” to try and outrun him and his gun. The artist says it’s to bring awareness to bullying and the possible consequences. This is a good message and is generally assumed to affect the middle and high school population. However it can be taken further than just schoolyard bullying. Bullying happens in post-school life, and if you interpret a little deeper and on a grander scale into the song’s lyrics, you might find something else embedded.

Firstly, what are pumped up kicks? Pumped up kicks refers to a brand of sneakers known as Air Jordans. You could pump them up with air which would help you play basketball, but were incredibly expensive for shoes. A similar interpretation could mean expensive clothing in general. So in essence he is telling all the rich kids with their designer shoes and clothes to run away from him, the poor kid with no happiness and an abusive father. The world we live in values money and status symbols, such as Air Jordans, spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on fancy clothing, while other people live in abject poverty. It is almost an expected outcome that those with less will turn against the ones with more when they flaunt their wealth and do nothing to help the truly desperate. It doesn’t make it any more right, but when one flaunts their wealth and are cruel to those with none, there can be consequences.

Now that we know that pumped up kicks refers to Air Jordans, we can think back to when they were the height of fashion, the eighties and nineties. It is a sad, but true fact that during these two decades people were murdered for their shoes. For example, on May 2nd of 1989, Michael Eugene Thomas was found in the woods, his shoes taken, and his life extinguished. He was murdered by his basketball buddy, the motive being to take...
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