The dichotomy of “A Friend A Fan A Kid” is so simple at the surface but so complex once you dive into the meaning of the lyrics behind the song. Arian Foster or Bobby Feeno in his stage name masterfully tells three stories of three perspectives of people that influenced his life during his playing career. Foster’s music could be compared to a young J Cole, someone with a penchant for story telling and just an appreciation for quality hip hop.
The struggle that celebrities and athletes have keeping genuine relationships with their day 1 friends must be so difficult. In this verse Feeno raps from his friends perspective, a somewhat scorned relationship between Foster and this friend has taken over.
“When the line between brothers and enemies getting blurred, Some shit just should never occur, You had my word, but words is losing merit, for sureYou out in Paris secure, You keep grinding, you’ll inherit the Earth, That’s what they sell it like, but I never knock progression, Not the jealous type, Man, you living your dream, that shit is hella’ tightBut you can call me back, n!?$&, Remember when I had your back, n$&@$, In fact I think you owe me a few, You ain’t holdin’ me down, What kind of hollywood shit got has got a hold of you now?You sell your soul to them folksThey ain’t know you was broke?They don’t know you a n$&@$?They don’t know that you smoke? And now you hide it, and fight itAnd all you say you provide it, but you know niggas indicted, And plus the hood is dividedSwear we was all excited, ’til you decided to changeBut I promise I ain’t doing the same, still got love for you”
People change, that’s part of the narrative here but it’s deeper than that. Foster’s Friend genuinely wants him to succeed. “You keep grinding, you’ll inherit the earth, but I never knock progression that shit is hella tight.” The Friend feels slighted though through missed calls and his view of Foster selling out.
This person clearly has a lot of feels about Foster not exactly projecting his real personality while being in the NFL which I think we can all relate to. In most careers you can’t be 100% your real self, raw and vulnerable do not work at most jobs unfortunately. Ironically this friend has the perspective that he should show people the real real him for better or for worse.
This perspective irked me a little as an NFL fan but it is probably the most truthful thing I have ever heard from an athletes prospective. He puts his neck out on the field and all the fan can think about is how he changed in his eyes. When the fan didn’t know the real Foster he loved simply the way he played and when he gets to know the real Foster he doesn’t like what he sees.
“You used to be better, Man, you used to be bad, You was my favorite player, you just lost you a fan, cause now you think you the man, That money got to your head, Them women got to your bed, Plus you ain’t making it spread, You just an arrogant punk, that’s just lucky you jump and run better than most, your whole image a hoe, Yo paycheck not earned, those figures are gross, And do not say a word, you n!??@ is jokes,Just perform for the crowd and muzzle your mouth, Break yo neck, while I sit here on this comfortable couch, All of ya’ll are the same, just wanna scuffle and shout, And what the fuck you gonna do when all your muscles run out? And all that money is gone, ’cause you just threw it away. You won’t be smiling then. What are you gonna say? And what are you gonna do? And where are you gonna go? It’s probably something you knew, I still thought you should know, that I got love for you.”
The line “Just perform for the crowd, and muzzle your mouth, break your neck, while I sit here on this comfortable couch” This just speaks volumes to his experiences. These sharp words just pierce through me as fan of the NFL. “You just an arrogant punk, that’s just lucky you jump, and run better than most.” The fan just doesn’t understand how hard Foster worked to get to that level. In his eyes Foster is his jester and he wants him to just shut up and run and jump and “cover the spread”. The subtle racism through this fans words really speak volumes about how we as the fans view professional athletes.
This perspective is much easier to figure out and I think anyone who cares about their family can relate. Foster’s son is growing up while Foster is away and how much he misses him. There is always a feeling that your parents are heroes doing heroic stuff to provide for you and I think that with Foster’s son that is only exponentially magnified with him being a professional athlete, on TV, playing a dangerous sport for a living.
“Papa I drew you a cape, cause you a hero to us, I hate you always away, doing heroic stuff, that’s why I drew you like that, that’s why you up in the sky, what kinda hero is that, if he doesn’t fly.”
This song is so great because it shows the point of view of an athlete and the pressures they live with day to day. Most of us can’t relate, but sympathizing with having haters and the way life changes can resonate with anyone. There will always be people to bring you down, and those who will pick you up.
One of the most interesting parts of this song are the choruses, he chose a snippet of Jay Z where he talks about what it’s like having fame and how people are dumbfounded when they meet someone who knows him, like he’s a “mythical character.”
The other chorus is Kanye West talking about being a slave to his fame, and looking at a homeless person and thinking they are more free. His commitments and fame have crippled his freedom to the point where he envies a homeless person.