Pumped Up Kicksploitation


Valued Senior Member
This pop song really gets my goat.

If you don't know, it's called "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People. It's about a kid who plans to shoot up a school. Here's the core of the lyrics:

In his dad's closet hidden oh in a box of fun things, I don't even know what
But he's coming for you, yeah he's coming for you

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet


Don't get me wrong - it doesn't have my goat merely because it's a pop song about a very dark subject. There's plenty of those. The most obvious being "I Don't Like Mondays" by the Boomtown Rats.

Music is a way of bringing a festering issue to light and promoting awareness and discussion. This is ultimately a good thing.

But by his own account, the artist of Pumped Up Kicks wasn't really doing that when he decided to write it.

Here's what he says:

He explained: "I really didn't have anything to do that day. I was standing there in the studio, and this thought came in my mind like, 'I'm going to write a song,'... and then I was like, 'I don't feel like writing. I don't want to write a song.' I was a block away from the beach, and it was a beautiful day. I kind of just wanted to just be lazy and go hang out at the beach or whatever. But I just forced myself to write a song... By that time the next day, the song was finished.

Reflecting on the lack of inspiration he felt when writing the song, Foster said, "I've heard a lot of other artists talk about this as well, like, 'I'm not inspired right now. I've got writer's block. I'm just not really feeling anything.' And I've felt that way, too, just not being inspired and wanting to wait for inspiration to come before I wrote. But I wasn't inspired when I wrote 'Pumped Up Kicks,' and that's what came out.


In other words: no deeper driving motive, just that he decided he needed a song and he forced himself to write one - in a day.

So, this song is just straight up exploitation of a tragedy.

And that's what really gets my goat.

Also, I'm too cowardly to post this on Facebook .
"Do you want to go viral and have your life ruined? Because that's how you go viral and have your life ruined."

After writing this, I looked around to see if anyone else has weighed in on the song. Here's a similar take:
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I like the beat but yea, the lyrics are reckless.
Better to have an outlet for such sentiment than have it fester in the dark. Doesn't matter the motive behind it if it accomplishes the same thing, promoting awareness and discussion.
In writing the song, Foster wanted to "get inside the head of an isolated, psychotic kid"[6] and "bring awareness" to the issue of gun violence among youth, which he feels is an epidemic perpetuated by "lack of family, lack of love, and isolation."[10][11] The song's title refers to shoes that the narrator's peers wear as a status symbol.[12][13]

The issue of youth violence is a matter close to the group. Foster was bullied in high school, while bassist Cubbie Fink has a cousin who survived the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. Fink said of his cousin's experience, "She was actually in the library when everything went down, so I actually flew out to be with her the day after it happened and experienced the trauma surrounding it and saw how affected she was by it. She is as close as a sister, so obviously, it affected me deeply. So to be able to have a song to create a platform to talk about this stuff has been good for us." wiki