In Flobots' “Handlebars”, the lead singer answers the question of whether nature, nurture, or both affect human development by showing two best friends who went their separate paths and turned into two completely different people. The music video and song shows and tells the experiences that shaped both friends and ultimately caused the demise of one, if not, both of them. However, within this song and video the power of the government, namely the American government and politics is criticized; also power plays a big role in what occurs within the video. In Flobots' “Handlebars,” the use of illustrative lyrics, reflective instrumentals; and detailed images helps show how your surroundings and your choices could effect human development.
Flobots is an American rock/ hip-hop band that was created by Jamie Laurie in 2000 in Denver, Colorado. Before the group was really known worldwide they had already produced “Handlebars”; they became very successful in 2007 after their major label debut Fight with Tools (2007), which had the song “Handlebars” which was originally produced in 2005. Flobots is a group that really combines to different genres to make a more influential tone. They combine alternative rock with hip-hop to create songs that make the listeners think in ways they have not thought in before. This is really exhibited in their song “Handlebars”. The lead singer said he created the song based off of being able to learn how to ride a bicycle without using the handlebars; he felt so accomplished, but at the same time sad because he realized while he was doing this America was in a war and was bombing countries killing people (MTV). This shines through a lot in the song and video. The video was created and written by Olly Moss, who was the creative producer and senior designer at We Are Social, a social media/ marketing agency that is an independent started in June 2008. He enjoyed working on projects that had a social impact; which makes sense because “Handlebars” showed how the society could affect a person and how that person's choices could affect society.
Since the song was originally written in 2005, and then re appeared in the Fight With Tools album it makes sense that the song would by influenced by the war America was fighting in Iraq at the time. In 2003 the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq, and from then on until the present many Americans and non-Americans have died as a result of wartime violence. Even though the war went on many Americans really started to question the reason why the war was still going on if the weapons of mas destruction were already found, the reason given for the invasion of Iraq. Some also questioned the entire reason for the war; according to a MSNBC Documentary, “Some of the most senior officials in the U.S. government, including President Bush himself, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, asserted these claims in public with absolute confidence, even while privately, ranking U.S. military officers and intelligence professionals were voicing their doubts”(“ How the Bush Administration Sold the Iraq War”). However, the people did nothing and the war continued. The song was meant for people who wanted to change what is happening around them; for the people who do not wield all the power; for everyone because we all have the possibility to change the world based on the choices we make in life. I know this because in the video the more peaceful friend at 2:04-2:14 gathers everyone to help him fight back the more corporate friend. The song really informs its listeners about conflict, power, and war. It teaches the listener about how power can change someone, and how it could also lead to good and bad things. Additionally, it touches upon the ideas of having power, but choosing either to ignore that you have power or not using the power and its effects in the long run. Besides the informational part the song is still entertaining with its instrumentals, and its rhymes.
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