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Meaning of the song ‘Fighting For?’ by ‘Roots Manuva’

Released: 2015

In “Fighting For?” by Roots Manuva, the London-based rapper postulates the struggles of living – the fight for existence, for meaning, and against the oppressive aspects of life. It’s a contemplative look at the battles we face inside our own heads and the ones we physically engage in the world around us.

The repetitive hook “it feels like fighting for/ Wasting away fighting for” posits the cyclical and seemingly futile nature of the struggles we engage in. This mirrors the gut-punching exhaustion we all feel as we strive to navigate our daily lives.

The artist’s lyric “Should’ve been, could’ve been, ain’t so why bother with/ No time to tolerate the constants of horridness” touches on the sting of missed chances and unfulfilled potential. It’s a call to cut loose the regrets and negative influences that hold us back, to not bother with the “constants of horridness” – those relentless troubles that keep us stuck in a rut.

Roots Manuva employs vivid imagery with phrases like “Knives shall be plunged deep into the flesh/ Of them that were happy to least expect it,” emphasizing the unexpected and often brutal nature of life. He warns that conflict and adversity often come without warning, and the only thing left to do is fight.

Lines like “Blood may well be thicker than water/ But war will arrive with no word of warning” mix familial bonds with the inevitability of strife. Note that the reference to blood being thicker than water; the traditional adage used to prioritize family loyalty is juxtaposed with war – perhaps a statement on internal family conflicts or a metaphorical representation of how societal and personal battles can disrupt even the most fundamental relationships.

There’s a constant theme in this track of existential struggle. “The life of the little, the life of the great deal/ Life taking life, death making space for life” address the cycle of birth, life, and death – a fight we’re all a part of, regardless of status or wealth.

Roots Manuva stresses the importance of self-awareness towards the end of the track “Choosing the right, battle recognizing the foe/ At the end of the road that leads to a road from/ Out of the blows, no news is bad news”. This is a reminder that understanding the nature of your ‘enemy’ – be it internal demons or external challenges – is key in choosing the right path in life.

In summary, “Fighting For?” is Roots Manuva’s exploration of life’s constant struggles – both internal and external. It’s a call for self-awareness and resilience, a hard-hitting reminder that the fight is never over, but also an assertion that there’s more to life than just fighting. It’s a complex and intense lyrical ride, but one that ends with the hope of illumination and a better tomorrow.

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