Got The Life
by Korn

Album: Follow The Leader (1998)
Charted: 23

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds lead singer Jon Davis questioning whether he really wants all this fame. This was a common theme for his songwriting at the time, as Korn had released two successful albums and was under increasing pressure from their record company. The band delivered a #1 album with Follow The Leader thanks in large part to this song, which was one of just two singles released from it (the other was "Freak on a Leash").
  • The entire band contributes to Korn's songwriting, and they share the composer credits equally. In our interview with their guitarist Brian "Head" Welch, he explained that this track materialized quickly, but its disco leanings were a serious concern. "I was stoked, because I lived in Redondo Beach at the time. The studio where we wrote was about 15 minutes from my house," he said. "We were going in there for like eight hours a day. We wouldn't take that many breaks, we were just going at it.

    And I remember when 'Got the Life' happened, he [drummer David Silveria] did that disco beat. All of us looked at each other. It's a haunting guitar line and melody, but the drums were a little happier than metal. And so we were like, 'Is this good or is this kind of cheesy?' Because it's kind of like a disco beat.

    So we were kind of scared of it. We were like, 'I don't know if our fans would like this.' It was so unique, and the more we sat with it and added to the song, we were like, 'Wow, this is crazy different. Let's go with this.' It ended up being one of the biggest hits. You've got to be open to try new things in music is what that proved."
  • Korn bassist Reginald Arvizu came up with the concept for the music video. "I would give my car to a bum. I thought Tre from Pharcyde could play the bum. I wanted to blow up cars and other fancy material things in the video as a way to show that we didn't care about those things. We could end the video with a shot of a big backyard party with all of [their] friends. In addition, I wanted to put two lowrider bikes in the scene and make it look like we were all down in Mexico, partying and having a good time."

    When the band brought the idea to Joseph Kahn, who directed their "A.D.I.D.A.S.." clip, the director told them "That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard." Korn then sought McG, the man behind the four videos from their debut album. The future filmmaker (Charlie's Angels) embraced Arvizu's idea and created the most requested video on MTV's Total Request Live until the clip was retired in January 1999.
  • Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, Sam Rivers, and Wes Borland, along with rapper WC make cameo appearances at the end of the video. Sharp-eyed viewers may also recognize a pre-famous Eminem.
  • Jonathan Davis explained the background to this song about the mixed blessings of fame:

    "It's about how everything's always handed to me, how I look up to God and say I don't want this anymore. Like I want something more out of life than all this. And I've got everything I really need, but sometimes I don't like it and I don't know how to explain it. I have to sit through the songs more to actually get into what I write. I really and truly know the meanings of the songs... almost. But it's like I'm haunted by demons that influence my writing. It's a give or take of that. I mean I love being a rock star, I love all that it entails, but I hate all the pressure and all the bulls--t's that involved. And I'm asking God, you know, take this away and make me happy. But he's telling me, 'hey, you got the life. You get to see the world, you get to do this, you get to be in a great big band.'

    My mindset when I was writing the song was that I was really down on everything. It's like I'm sick of this bulls--t, all the stress and the pressure. But if it were all gone, I'd be in even more hell."

Comments: 14

  • Zero from The Abyss, NjAlso, this is one of the best known examples of KoRn using the "Bungle Chord".
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjOne of the first songs I learned on the drums. KoRn was really the band that got me into playing drums, since their music is so rhythm-oriented and the drums and bass are what drives the music. Even though classic rock had better guitar playing I think modern rock has better drumming IMHO.
  • Austin from Smallsville,new England, --This song has a sick bassline. The song has everything a korn song should have. The frantic vocals(with a lil rap),slapin bass,poundin drums,big chorus,creepy bridge,and some wierd guitar wrap it up.
  • J from Gp, TxI grew up with Follow the leader. Still have the CD i bought nearly 10 years ago all nicked up lol (still works fine). Korn was actually the first heavy metal band I listened to. They were and still are a band i can relate to. Music I can turn to when I am having a tuff time in my life. This is a really good song.
  • D from Lenoir, NcJon is actually bashing himself because he is so miserable that the misery is blocking out the fact that he has Got The Life
  • Nattydread from Not Yet Zion, Australiai think its be about sorta like you already gotta life an gold ain't life, money an fame dont make you live, you already got life, so to people wantin more, you got life, what else you want? im probly wrong though. to answer you question james from adelaide, yeah, that was a techno remix, ive heard it afore. really, if it has no words and is techno, you can pretty much assume its a remix.
  • James from Adelaide, Australiai didnt even know there were lyrics to this song. I have the version off of Triple J hottest 100 and I think its a remix or something coz its this really cool techno remix thing which sounds awesome and not much like the korn stuff i ahve heard. I was surprised when i found our it was korn, can some1 shed some light on this??
  • Kevin from Independence, Mogood point jake, too bad that 3 albums were released after this one. So if there was a dedication song it would have been on a later track than this one.
  • Jake from Houston, TxActually, if you heard what Head has been saying after leaving the band, you could say this song was wrote after him. o_O
  • Anonymousgreat great song. to bad you dont know the lyrics
  • Josh from El Paso, TxWhen i got the chance to meet KoRn backstage (contest winner), I asked Jon about Got The Life and he told me that he wrote the song while the band was battling THE MAN (their management co.). THE MAN wanted them to be what they're not and it pissed off THE MAN and threatened to pull the plug on FOLLOW THE LEADER if they didn't play ball and Jonathan said "Go ahead. We don't need your B.S. contract and money! It's all about the music!!" For better reference, look at the video for the song. They are performing in front of record companies and they walk off all disgusted. Brilliant!
  • Hunter from Atlanta, GaIn the beginning of the video, you can hear the beginning of their song "It's On" also on follow the leader.
  • Nick from Paramus, NjHead said that he can't even remember filming the video becuase he was so drunk when he made it.
  • Brad from Manteca, CaThe video for this song did well on TRL, and was one of KoRns Biggest Songs in the Mainstream Video Arena
see more comments

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