Music feeds the soul, rock nurtures the devil lurking inside. Every beat, every strum of the guitar brings you one step closer to Nirvana. An immaculate feeling that seeks to redeem you, a popular band in the 90s tried to recreate this feeling through their music. Nirvana the rock band, formed in 1987 has been enlightening teenagers and young adults alike for generations. The song that I would like to appreciate through my article is, “Rape me”, album: In Utero. This song has been critically acclaimed for its ‘problematic’ lyrics, however, I side with Cobain.
Cobain’s stand on this controversial lyrical epidemic remained a symbol of solidarity for women and against the violence enacted against them. He further explained how the song was a by-product of how he felt being probed by the media, particularly Vanity Fair and MTV. He wrote this song from the perspective of the victim, which was a reverse narrative of their song, “Polly”, written from the perspective of the rapist. What I personally adore about the band is how they were never afraid to lay out their views on an issue, even if it meant creating a disastrous butterfly effect that could possibly destroy their careers.
Ironically enough, it was their rock-hard stand that made them so popular and loved by the youth. They became the voice of many, an emblem of justice of sorts. This song holds significance to me because my abuser introduced me to this song. The lyrics ring in my ears to this day, “Rape me, my friend”, “I’ll kiss your open sores”. Personally, the song isn’t limited to its literal meaning, but the lyrics transcend into a realm of possibilities. A reality where criminals get what they deserve. It isn’t absolution, but solace for the bruised.
What makes music so beautiful is the various interpretations you can make to its lyrics. Each lyric can resonate with its listeners differently based on their versions. I love how one particular rock song can be dissected into a million different ones. That’s the power of rock. The song can also be interpreted in the metaphorical sense as well, life is complicated as it is, we don’t need external conditions adding to those troubles in life. There is a metaphor that has become my motto to bring peace in my existence. Life is like a rollercoaster, there will be ups and there will be downs. When you go up, you have great moments in your life, when you go down, you tend to have bad moments in your life. However, what goes down will always come up.
This song is sort of an amalgamation of that feeling, it caps the very essence of how life and its turgidity make us who we are. Rock gives me that edge, the need to drive myself for betterment. I will forever have a special place in my heart for this genre. Simply because of how misunderstood it is, everyone thinks the music is all about head banging and violent mosh pits, but what it’s really about is bringing people closer together. All in all, rock will live on in the hearts of true fans.