Steel Sharpens Steel
by k-os

Album: Can't Fly Without Gravity (2015)
  • K-os says that this is his favorite song on Can't Fly Without Gravity, the Canadian rapper's sixth album.

    The title comes from a verse in the Bible: Proverbs 27:17, which states: "Iron sharpeneth iron; So a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

    In our interview with k-os, he explained: "It's a sentiment of a man and woman's relationship: 'steel sharpens steel' is another metaphor that you sharpen another knife with a knife. Just like steel sharpens steel, one person's wit sharpens another person's wit. So it's a positive look at two people who hang out, who are both strong people, but they make each other smarter."
  • This song has very interesting dynamics, blasting in with a barrage of guitars before dipping downtempo as k-os croons a quiet storm chorus:

    I am still in love with you for always
    And me pretending not to be
    Is just a game people play


    Talking about this loud-quiet-loud model, K-os told us: "That song has very much of a two-faced element to it, where when you listen to the verses, it's guitars and it's like a motor just zesting after you. And then when you get to the chorus, there's this release, it's almost like Supertramp or Air Supply or something from '70s rock. Operatic a little bit. And then it goes right back into the hard stuff.

    So that's why I love it: because it's hard to achieve that in a song. Usually if a song is going one way, it kind of forces you to stay in that personality. But if you can arrange it in the right way and if you're genuine in what you're trying to put across, you come across a musical situation, a musical landscape that allows you to explore the super-macho side of rock & roll, and also the super feminine side of rock & roll. Because I think everyone from Robert Plant to Mick Jagger to anyone that we've loved in rock had a macho side, but they also had a feminine side, too."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TVSong Writing

Shows like Dawson's Creek, Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the way songs were heard on TV, and produced some hits in the process.

Grateful Dead CharactersMusic Quiz

Many unusual folks appear in Grateful Dead songs. Can you identify them?

Jethro TullFact or Fiction

Stage urinals, flute devices, and the real Aqualung in this Fact or Fiction.

Artis the SpoonmanSong Writing

Even before Soundgarden wrote a song about him, Artis was the most famous spoon player of all time. So why has he always been broke?

Jim McCarty of The YardbirdsSongwriter Interviews

The Yardbirds drummer explains how they created their sound and talks about working with their famous guitarists.