Get Out of Your Own Way
by U2 (featuring Kendrick Lamar)

Album: Songs of Experience (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • Bono told Rolling Stone regarding this jubilant-sounding track:

    "There's a song called 'Get Out of Your Own Way' where I've tried to use some biting irony to reflect the anger out on the streets."
  • Kendrick Lamar supplies a spoken word piece over the sounds of The Edge's electric guitar at the end of the song, returning the favour for U2's guest appearance on his "XXX." track off the Compton rapper's DAMN album. Speaking with Rolling Stone in August 2017, Lamar revealed the two collaborations happened around the same time.

    "We had a (different) record we were supposed to be doing together," the hip hop star said. "He sent it over, I laid some ideas to it, and we didn't know where it was going. I just happened to have an album coming out, so I just asked him, like, 'Yo, would you do me this honour of letting me use this record, use this idea that I want to put together because I'm hearing a certain type of 808, a certain drum to it?' And he was open to it."
  • Lamar's outro is inspired by the Beatitudes, a series of eight blessings for the downtrodden that Jesus preached in Matthew 5:3-11. The Compton MC's version goes:

    Blessed are the arrogant
    For theirs is the kingdom of their own company
    Blessed are the superstars
    For the magnificence in their light
    We understand better our own insignificance
    Blessed are the filthy rich
    For you can only truly own what you give away
    Like your pain... [Get on your own way]


    Kendrick Lamar has often woven spiritual themes into his work and one of the themes that runs throughout DAMN is the rapper's identification of the suffering of Black Americans with the trials and tribulations of the Old Testament's Children of Israel.
  • The Beatitudes contrasted worldly values and rewards with those of the kingdom of heaven. They were part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, which took place on The Mount of Beatitudes, a hill in northern Israel. Want some more songs inspired by the Beatitudes? Here's four (including another Kendrick Lamar-featuring Songs of Experience track:

    "American Soul" by U2 featuring Kendrick Lamar

    "Enchanted Voices" by Howard Goodall

    "Crowning Of The Poor" by Ian Brown

    "The Doomed" by A Perfect Circle
  • U2 performed the song as anti-war and anti-racism placards were handed out during the World Stage event as part of the MTV EMAs 2017. The concert was staged by MTV at London's Trafalgar Square on November 11, 2017, ahead of U2 receiving the Global Icon award at the ceremony.

    "Protesting, in the end, works. It gets things done, slowly and surely," Bono told the 7,000-strong crowd as the cameras showed the banners displaying protest slogans. "This song is like a protest song against yourself, really, because it turns out some of the biggest obstacles we encounter on the way to a better world is often ourselves."
  • U2 debuted the song at their 30th anniversary tour opener in Vancouver on May 12, 2017.
  • The politically charged animated video was created by the four members of the Israeli graffiti collective, Broken Fingaz Crew. The clip uses a variety of provocative imagery, such as Ku Klux Klan members marching past the White House as a paper doll version of President Trump watches from the Oval Office.

    Broken Fingaz Crew said in a press release, they were prompted by the rise of white nationalism during 2017 to make a statement that reflects the global urgency to rise up against it.

    "The video addresses the current political situation," they stated. "2017 for us was the year fascists worldwide felt confident enough to raise their heads again, encouraged by Trump and other world leaders, who use people's fear to build more walls and segregation. The song is both a personal letter and a clarion cry to the global situation, and in the same way, we've combined our psychedelic pop style with political imagery; shot entirely analogue, using paper cut and stop motion animation techniques in collaboration with Adam Albo, who edited the video."
  • U2 performed this song at the Grammy Awards in 2018 in front of the Statue Of Liberty. They were introduced by Camila Cabello, who talked about the "dreamers" - a group that came to America as children illegally but have been vetted. Their protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act (DACA) was in question at the time, as it was a hot-button political issue. U2's performance was a strident statement of support for this group.

    U2's performance was recorded two nights earlier from a barge on the Hudson River.

Comments: 1

  • Shawn from CaliforniaGreat Song! I am enjoying U2’s new musical direction! I have one beef though...the use of the word fascist in the description of our president and his administration. Just because he’s a nationalist doesn’t make him a fascist in the least. Ghandi and Mandela were nationalists but no one is calling them fascists. Fascism is a facet of socialism and this president is anything but socialist! History clearly shows the direct connection of fascism to socialism of the nineteen 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. But this generation is lightweight on world history, to the glee of the left. This is another glaring example of how the media and talking heads from the left can simply repeat an untruth and it will be repeated and accepted without question. What’s probably an even sadder reality, is that those who know better, are quiet because they don’t want to make waves or sound like haters. This makes me so sad.
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