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Meaning of the song ‘100 Feet Tall’ by ‘Aesop Rock’

Released: 2023

In “100 Feet Tall,” Aesop Rock delivers a heartfelt homage to his childhood encounter with the cultural icon, Mr. T, and breaks down moments from Mr. T’s life as metaphors for life lessons. The song contrasts the larger-than-life perception of celebrity figures we build in our minds, highlighting the humanity behind the fame.

The track takes off with Aesop Rock recollecting his childhood encounter with Mr. T – a man he equates to a “superhero.” He paints a vivid image of the excitement and awe he felt when he saw Mr. T in person, enveloped by his incredible presence. When he raps “Looked up and seen the rings, each its own yellow moon,” it’s as if he’s conveying the magnitude of Mr. T’s presence and influence – akin to a celestial body. The line “Feather hanging from the ear, gear that say don’t mess with you” touches on Mr. T’s iconic feather earrings, an essential part of his flashy machismo persona.

The repetitive hook, “No fools, no suckas / Be good to your mother,” is a reference to Mr. T’s catchphrase, “I pity the fool,” while adding advice to respect mother figures. This, Aesop suggests, is a blueprint for navigating life’s rough terrain.

The song continues as Aesop recounts his father acknowledging Mr. T, cementing the notion that they were really in the presence of this monumental figure and not just witnessing some holographic illusion. Mr. T’s warmth and friendliness are highlighted, showing that celebrities are just regular, down-to-earth people when the cameras aren’t rolling. The interaction they share over the restaurant’s famously massive sandwiches portrays Mr. T as an authentic individual who can engage ordinary people.

Aesop later iterates the profound effect of this encounter, confessing that even four decades later, the memory still holds strong. He delves into Mr. T’s backstory, particularly his rise to fame – including his days as a bouncer, his appearance in Rocky, to becoming a renowned actor and a proud cancer survivor who dedicates his life to spreading the message of living right.

Overall, Aesop uses “100 Feet Tall” to explore themes of celebrity, perception, influence, and the passage of time. His experiences and observations are relayed through a nostalgic lens, helping paint a humanizing portrait of Mr. T, a hulking, gold-chained figure who left an indelible mark on a young Aesop Rock.

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