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I Cry
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
12/06/2012

Dynamic ImageThe Song: I Cry by Flo Rida

Main Point: We don’t have to lose heart when evil abounds because our trust and our hope is in the Name of the Lord our God.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: (The following should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.)

  • IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Youth Ministry believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce teens to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most teens, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos. Thanks to YouTube, MTV.com, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away.

  • This song comes from Flo Rida’s fourth studio album entitled Wild Ones. Yet again, Flo Rida has taken the lyrics and beat from another song and turned them into a hit for himself. Part of Flo Rida’s version of I Cry comes from this song originally performed by the Bingo Players.

  • I Cry is about Flo Rida’s journey back to the mean streets of Carol City, FL (Miami) to hang out with the kids in the inner city now that he’s rich and famous. The song talks about his struggles and what he had to do to overcome, but the song also paints a much bigger picture of the struggles the world faces, in general.

  • Aside from one or two mild profanities, the song is free of the vulgarity and sexual innuendos that is found in much hip hop music (including Flo Rida’s last hit single, Whistle).

Introducing the Music Video:
I Cry has made it into the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 as well as iTunes Top Singles, so I’m pretty sure we’re all familiar with this song by Flo Rida. The song and video focuses on a return trip to his hometown of Carol City, FL (in Miami) to hang out with inner city kids to share his “rags to riches” story with them. But the music video shows much more than just Flo Rida’s suffering; it references the suffering that all of us go through. Throughout the song, Flo Rida tells us that he cries at what he sees. Make sure you take a good look at the lyrics handouts; he raps so fast, you’ll need it!

The Music Video: The video can be found on YouTube at the following link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLuWHr6-0YQ



Song’s Lyrics: I Cry
I know
Caught up in the middle
I cry, just a little
When I think of letting go
Oh no
Gave up on the riddle
I cry, just a little
When I think of letting go

I know you wanna get behind the wheel Only 1 Rida
Eyes shut still got me swimming like a diver
Can't let go I got fans in Okinawa
My heart to japan quake losers and survivors
Norway no you didn't get my flowers
No way to sound better but the killer was a Coward
Face just showers, the minute in a hour
Heard about the news all day went sour
Lil mama got me feeling like a limit here
Put you in the box just the presidents cigarettes
Give em my regards or regardless I get arrested
Ain't worried about the killers just the young & restless
Get mad coz the quarter million on my necklace
DUI never said I was driving reckless
You & I or jealously was not oppressive
Oh no I can't stop I was Destined

I know
Caught up in the middle
I cry, just a little
When I think of letting go
Oh no
Gave up on the riddle
I cry, just a little
When I think of letting go

Champagne buckets still got two tears in it
And I put that on my tattoo of Jimi Hendrix
Get depressed coz the outfit all in it
Coz the press tell it all get a meal ticket
Clean next get a call just a lil visit
Sacrifice just to make a hit still vivid
Rihanna kiss you on ya neck just kill critics
Buggatti never when I'm rich, just god fearing
Look at me steering, got the bossing staring
Mr mike caren, tell his Billie Jeans
Im on another planet
Thank E-Class, Big Chuck or Lee Prince Perries
Buy my momma chandeliers on my tears dammit
Thirty years you had thought these emotions vanish
Tryna live tryna figure how my sister vanish
No cheers I know you wouldn't panic

I know
Caught up in the middle
I cry, just a little
When I think of letting go
Oh no
Gave up on the riddle
I cry, just a little
When I think of letting go

When I need a healing, I just look up to the ceiling
I see the sun coming down I know its all better now

When I need a healing, I just look up to the ceiling
I see the sun coming down I know its all better now

When I need a healing, I just look up to the ceiling
I see the sun coming down I know its all better now

When I need a healing, I just look up to the ceiling
I see the sun coming down I know its all better now

I know, I know, I know, I i i, I think of letting go

I know
Caught up in the middle
I cry, just a little
When I think of letting go
Oh no
Gave up on the riddle
I cry, just a little
When I think of letting go

Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):
    Q: What were some of the struggles and obstacles and issues that Flo Rida referenced in this song?
    A: He mentions the earthquake in Japan, the shooting rampage in Norway, the terrorist attacks of 911, floods, explosions, scenes from several wars, and also various crimes committed in his hometown of Carol City, FL.

    Q: Over and over again, throughout the song, Flo Rida says, “When I need a healing, I just look up to the ceiling, I see the sun coming down I know it’s all better now.” Do you think this is a good strategy for dealing with struggles and evil? Why or why not?
    A: It’s probably not a good strategy. He may be referencing God, but it’s certainly vague, at best. For us, as Christians, we need to turn directly to Jesus for help when we face trials.

    Q: Can Christians face troubles and evil differently than the rest of the world? Explain.
    A: Yes! As followers of Jesus, we have His promise that He is with us at all times, that He loves us, that nothing can overcome Him, and that nothing can separate us from Him. That should give us lots of assurance in difficult times.

Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.

For Deeper Discussion:
(If your kids seem into diving in deeper and looking at what the Bible has to say on the subject, the following discussion guide can help take you there.)


Want help getting your teenager engaged in conversation? CLICK HERE for a helpful article from our "Parenting Help" page providing you with 3 Essentials to Talking with Today's Teens.

Transitional Statement:
Flo Rida not only takes us on a tour of his own personal struggles, but he shows us the suffering that all of us face or hear about every day. There were a lot of heavy lines and disturbing images peppered throughout his song and video. Flo Rida says that when he sees all this stuff, his response is to cry. When he’s caught up in the middle, he cries just a little. No one but Flo Rida himself knows how deep his despair runs. But the good news for you and me as Christians is this: we don’t have to lose heart when evil abounds because our trust and our hope is in the Name of the Lord our God. Let’s spend a few minutes talking about that, and then take a look at the same Bible passage that Flo Rida’s music video referenced.


More Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: Is it weakness to cry when we see or hear or face these kinds of struggles? Why or why not?

  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: We now know what makes Flo Rida “cry.” What are some of the heartbreaking things in life that make you want to cry?

  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: How do you respond to those heartbreaking aspects of life?

  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: We just talked about whether it was “weak” to cry in the face of evil. We should take a second to realize that even Jesus cried once. But what message does it send the world if Christians simply collapse in the face of evil or struggles and do nothing?

  5. Read the following passage:

      Psalm 20:1-9 (NIV)

      For the director of music. A psalm of David.

      May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. 3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah 4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. 6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. 9 O LORD, save the king! Answer us when we call!

  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Many biblical scholars believe that King David prayed this psalm as he was preparing for battle against an army that had come against him. Knowing that, do you think his plan/strategy was wise? Why or why not?

  7. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: King David declares, “Now I know the LORD saves his anointed,” meaning, “Now I know that God takes care of me.” What were some of the things God had saved David from during his life up to that point? (Leaders – Yeah, this question requires a little knowledge about the life of David, but it’s an important one to ask. David had faced lions and bears as a shepherd. He had also faced the giant, Goliath. He was even protected by God from the viciousness of King Saul, his predecessor. In all, David knew that God was his protector, not his shield or sword or army.)

  8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Without a doubt, the key verse in this psalm is verse 7. What did that mean to King David then, and what does it mean to you and me today?

  9. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What was different about the way King David faced his struggles and the way that Flo Rida faced his struggles? (Leaders – Flo Rida cried in the face of evil, David prayed to God. Flo Rida looked toward the ceiling for healing, David looked to his God.)

  10. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What should we do as modern day believers when we face evil, suffering, and struggles?

  11. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: After reading Psalm 20 and learning what it means, how will you respond differently to the evil, oppression, suffering, struggles, or persecution in your world?

Wrap Up:
I want to make one thing crystal clear as we wrap up tonight. Please do not think that I’m not saying, under any circumstances, that Flo Rida – or anyone else for that matter – is weak because they cry in the face of evil and suffering. We’ve all been there, face-to-face with something so desperate and terrible, that we’ve cried. In fact, I know it’s OK for us to cry because Jesus cried in the face of suffering and death. When His friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept at his tomb. You can read that story for yourself in John 11.

But here’s the point I want to make in your hearts: Christians do not need to collapse in fear and tears when we face evil, or oppression, or struggles, or persecution. Yeah, this world can throw a lot at us, but this world is still our Father’s world! God is still in control of everything and He loves us very much. We don’t have to just sit and sob!

The music video showed Flo Rida doing some “spiritual things” throughout the scenes; for instance, he was wearing a prayer shawl at one point, and even reading the Bible in another. I gotta say, I love the idea of Flo Rida praying and studying God’s Word…but I can’t help but remember that his very last song was about “having his whistle blown” and we all know that it had NOTHING to do with an actual whistle.

Let me say this as compassionately as I can: I’m really glad that Flo Rida’s music video showed him praying and reading the Bible, but if he’s ONLY looking at the ceiling for help and healing, he’s gonna be disappointed. Everybody take a look at the ceiling over our heads right now. Does anybody think it can provide healing? How about protection? What about salvation? No, it cannot provide any of those things. Perhaps that’s why Flo Rida actually cries. He’s looking to the wrong helper.

And maybe Flo Rida is really and truly looking to God for help (but he simply needed a word that rhymed with “healing” so he chose “ceiling”) it’s not going to matter if all he’s gonna do is run right back to all the things he raps about in his other songs, like “getting his whistle blown.”

“Hey God, can you help me? Great! Now it’s time to go ‘get low’ with shawty on the dance floor.”

“Hey God, could you protect me? Awesome! Now I’m gonna go get my whistle blown again!”

Don’t make those mistakes! King David told us what to do in Psalm 20. He outlined a wonderful strategy for dealing with the evils of life. He says for us to put our trust and our hope in the Name of the Lord our God. And why not!? Our God’s name literally means, “He saves!” so continue to put your trust in God. If you do, you have no reason to lose heart.

I can make you one promise that will be true for the rest of your lives: you will face heartache from time to time. You will face evil on various occasions. You will stare down suffering and struggles all your days. But unlike Flo Rida, you can do more than just cry.

How you respond is what separates Christians from the rest of the world.


Close in Prayer

Written by David R Smith


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