With its school shooting connotations, frontman Mark Foster said it might be time to retire the hit.
How often does a band's debut single reach No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and get a Grammy nomination?
Almost never, which is part of what made "Pumped Up Kicks"—the first song Foster the People ever officially put out—so special when it reached the charts in 2011. When the idea of the song struck him, frontman Mark Foster was working as a commercial jingle writer, which explains the song's infectious hook. But the track also has some pretty obviously dark undertones; it's about a kid named Robert who gets his hands on a gun, which led many listeners to believe "Pumped Up Kicks" was about a school shooting.
"I think people filled in the blanks that it was about a school shooting, but I never say anything about a school in the song," Foster said in a 2010s feature for Billboard. "It's really more about this person's psyche."
But as the song grew in popularity and news of school shootings became more common, the perceived message of "Pumped Up Kicks" proved dangerous. Because of the song's connotation and ties to recent school shooters, Foster says he's debating retiring the track for good.
"it's still our most-known song," Foster said. "So it's something that I'm really wrestling with, but I'm leaning towards retiring it, because it's just too painful. Where we're at now, compared to where we were 10 years ago, is just horrific."
Foster The People - Pumped up Kicks (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com
Though a band retiring their biggest hit might come as a surprise, "Pumped Up Kicks" bears a gruesome weight: the shooter in Parkland, Florida, reportedly often pretended to fire a gun in his home as the song played in the background, and Foster noted in the interview that a shooter in Brazil had made it his anthem.
"Pumped Up Kicks" was pulled from some radio stations after the Sandy Hook shooting, and Foster the People have already hinted at no longer including it in setlists. They opted out of performing "Pumped Up Kicks" at Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas, around the anniversary of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival that left 58 concertgoers dead in the same city. Instead, they closed their set with a theatrical cover of "Hey Jude."
"I'm proud that a three-minute song created so much conversation about something that's worth talking about, and I think that every artist dreams of making something that holds its value," Foster explained. "I really feel like I made the earth pause for a second and bend down to hear what I was saying. And I'm proud of that. But I think it might be time to retire it."
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Animation is lame and live-action is awesome.
Everybody loves Disney live-action remakes.
In a world plagued by racism, disease, and a seemingly endless bounty of spiraling misfortune, at least we can all agree that Disney knocks it out of the park every time they dredge up an old, animated movie for a live-action makeover because cartoons are for babies.
Sure, some of us thought the original Beauty and the Beast was fine, but could lame, 2D Belle ever hold a candle to 3D Emma Watson? And yeah, the original Lion King was okay, I guess, but there's nobody in the world who preferred cartoon Scar's rendition of "Be Prepared" to the incredible feat of getting a real lion to sing it in the live-action remake.
Being a Disney fan can be hard sometimes, as you have fond memories of beloved childhood movies but also don't want people to make fun of you for liking cartoons. That's why, out of all the corporations in the world, Disney is undoubtedly the most selfless, willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to bring their old, outdated movies into the modern age—all for the fans.
After Halle Berry walked back her consideration of playing a transgender character, we look back at how Hollywood has repeatedly fumbled trans representation.
Halle Berry has made headlines this week after turning down a role in which, had she gone through with production, would have represented a transgender man.
Berry, an Academy Award-winning actress known for roles in films like Monster's Ball, Catwoman, and Gothika, took to Twitter Monday night to apologize for considering the role. "Over the weekend I had the opportunity to discuss my consideration of an upcoming role as a transgender man, and I"d like to apologize for those remarks," Berry wrote. "As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role, and that the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories."
The post continued: "I am grateful for the guidance and critical conversation over the past few days and I will continue to listen, educate and learn from this mistake. I vow to be an ally in using my voice to promote better representation on-screen, both in front of and behind the camera."