In the landscape of contemporary music, songs often serve as vessels for artists to convey powerful messages, emotions, and social commentaries. “Blood // Water” by grandson (Jordan Benjamin) is a prime example of such a song, with its evocative lyrics and intense melody sparking discussions about societal issues, personal struggles, and the complex interplay between power and morality. Released in 2017 as part of his debut EP “a modern tragedy vol. 1,” the song garnered attention for its thought-provoking lyrics and genre-blending sound, fusing elements of rock, pop, and electronic music. In this analysis, we delve into the deeper meaning behind “Blood // Water.”
Power Dynamics and Corruption
At its core, “Blood // Water” seems to address the themes of power dynamics, corruption, and the consequences of unchecked greed. The opening lines, “We’ll never get free / Lamb to the slaughter,” evoke a sense of entrapment and submission. This could symbolize individuals being led to their downfall, much like lambs led to slaughter. The imagery of being powerless in the face of a system or authority figure is palpable. The metaphorical “blood in the water” suggests impending danger or disaster, hinting at the idea that actions driven by selfish desires will eventually lead to dire consequences.
The subsequent lines, “The price of your greed is your son and your daughter / What you gon’ do when there’s blood in the water?” directly point to the destructive nature of greed. The song implies that the pursuit of personal gain, without regard for the well-being of others, will eventually lead to the downfall of one’s own family. This speaks to the broader consequences of systemic corruption and how it can erode the very fabric of society.
The lyrics “When the last tree’s fallen, the animal can’t hide / Money won’t solve it / What’s your alibi?” hint at environmental concerns. The imagery of the last tree falling and animals unable to hide underscores the urgency of addressing environmental degradation and the impact of human activities on the planet. The reference to money as an insufficient solution highlights the inadequacy of financial wealth in the face of ecological crises. By asking for an “alibi,” the song raises questions about accountability and responsibility for the state of the environment.
Empowerment and Resistance
As the song progresses, there’s a shift from vulnerability to empowerment. Lines like “Beg me for mercy / Admit you were toxic / You poisoned me just for / Another dollar in your pocket” reclaim agency from those in power. The personification of the oppressed as the “violence” and the “sickness” challenges the narrative that marginalization equates to weakness. Instead, it portrays them as forces to be reckoned with, capable of resisting and seeking justice.
The lines “I am the people, I am the storm / I am the riot, I am the swarm” amplify this theme of empowerment. Here, the song envisions the oppressed as a powerful collective force that can shake the foundations of corrupt systems. The imagery of a storm, riot, and swarm emphasizes the strength in unity and the potential for change through collective action.
Personal Struggles and Redemption
On a more personal level, “Blood // Water” could also be interpreted as an introspective exploration of individual struggles and the journey toward redemption. Lines like “Look me in my eyes / Tell me everything’s not fine / Or the people ain’t happy / And the river has run dry” suggest an internal conflict between putting up a facade and facing one’s true emotions. This can reflect the internal battle between personal desires and moral convictions.
The plea for forgiveness in the lines “Beg me for forgiveness” could symbolize the desire for redemption and a fresh start. This narrative mirrors the broader themes of societal change and transformation, suggesting that even those responsible for harm can seek to rectify their actions and contribute positively.
“Blood // Water” by grandson is a multifaceted song that delves into various layers of meaning, from societal critique to personal struggles and empowerment. Its lyrics are rich with metaphors and imagery that convey a message of accountability, resistance, and the potential for change. The song reminds listeners that the consequences of unchecked greed and corruption are universal and can affect both individuals and society at large. Ultimately, “Blood // Water” stands as a call to action, encouraging us to confront our own roles in systems of power and to work collectively for a better future.