Justin – Unraveling the Poignant Tribute Behind the Nu Metal Anthem


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Korn's Justin at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Backstory: A Life-Changing Fan Encounter
  5. Exposing the Vulnerability Beneath the Angst
  6. The Cry for Connection: Understanding ‘Time for Deep Space’
  7. The Haunting Echo: ‘For all the kids that die listening to me’
  8. Unveiling the Hidden Meanings: The Soul’s Great Escape

Lyrics

Fuck all that bullshit

You watch me play
I look away
Your light’s too bright
You found the light

Time for deep space
You and I
Time for deep space
You and I

You’re gonna die
Wanna meet me, why?
I wish I had your strength
Inside your soul escapes

Time for deep space
You and I
Time for deep space
You and I

Fly
Into me
Tell me
Something

For all
The kids that die
Listening to me

You are alive

Time for deep space
You and I stay

Time for deep space
You and I
Time for deep space
You and I

Full Lyrics

In the pantheon of nu metal, few bands have as profound an impact on the genre as Korn. With thumping basslines, aggressive guitar riffs, and lyrics that often delve into the raw underbelly of human emotion, Korn’s song ‘Justin’ is no exception. Released in their 1998 album ‘Follow the Leader,’ this track is a dark and visceral tribute that has intrigued fans and critics alike with its depth and sincerity.

While on the surface ‘Justin’ might simply register as another intense number from Korn’s impressive discography, a closer inspection reveals layers of poignant meaning that speak not just to the relationship between artists and fans but also to themes of mortality, hero worship, and the redemptive power of connection through music.

The Backstory: A Life-Changing Fan Encounter

The fervor behind ‘Justin’ stems from a touching real-life event involving a terminally ill fan named Justin, who deeply admired the band. The song is a tribute to the strength and spirit of this young fan. It is grounded in a moment of profound connection that the band members experienced when they spent time with him, realizing the deep and lasting impact their music had on one individual’s battle against his inevitable fate.

This personalized grounding sets ‘Justin’ apart from other songs in Korn’s catalog. It’s not merely an outpouring of aggression but a nuanced reflection on the reach of their music and the personal stories of the listeners that elevate it from sound to sanctuary.

Exposing the Vulnerability Beneath the Angst

‘You watch me play / I look away / Your light’s too bright,’ the song begins, capturing the discomfort of being idolized beyond the point of connection. It’s an admission of the artist’s own vulnerabilities, acknowledging that even amidst the glory of performance, sometimes the intensity of a fan’s gaze can be overwhelming—reminding them of their own humanity and imperfections.

In the stark refrain, ‘You’re going to die / Wanna meet me, why?’ lead singer Jonathan Davis gives voice to insecurities and the confusion that comes with learning that one’s art has been a lifeline for someone who’s slipping away. It turns the traditional narrative of fan and idol on its head, questioning the dynamics of strength and inspiration between the two.

The Cry for Connection: Understanding ‘Time for Deep Space’

Repeated throughout the song, ‘Time for deep space’ becomes a metaphor for a shared spiritual journey, an escape beyond the bounds of life and death where artist and fan can exist without the constraints of the physical world. Here, deep space acts as the final frontier—a place of ethereal kinship where the burdens of earthly suffering are left behind.

The line becomes a refrain for the connection music can create, a bridge between souls that can sustain even when one is facing the abyss. It’s a testament to the power of music to forge bonds that not even death can sever.

The Haunting Echo: ‘For all the kids that die listening to me’

In one of the song’s most memorable lines, Davis acknowledges not just Justin but all young fans who see themselves in his music, perhaps as they confront their own mortality. It’s a heavy mantle to bear, knowing the art you create becomes a companion in someone’s darkest times. This haunting line is an ode to those fans, affirming their lives in the act of listening.

Here lies the dual edge of creating art that touches on the tempests of the human soul: there’s solace in knowing it helps, but also a weighty consciousness of the responsibility that an artist holds. This line is an empathetic call, reaching out to every silent story, every unheard cry that resonates with Korn’s songs.

Unveiling the Hidden Meanings: The Soul’s Great Escape

Beyond the explicit tribute to a beloved fan, ‘Justin’ serves as a vessel for discussing the broader implications of music and its emotional stronghold. It hints at the cathartic release that music provides both creators and listeners, symbolized by the soul’s escape into ‘deep space’—a realm where existential burdens dissolve and raw expression reigns.

The notion of the soul escaping suggests a liberation from suffering, and in the context of the song, it can be interpreted as a release for Justin, but also for Davis and the band as they come to terms with the impact of their work. It’s a liberation through acknowledgment—an artistic confession that honors the transformative potential of facing pain head-on and sharing it through melody and rhythm.

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