“Watch The World Burn” by Falling in Reverse

There are some similarities between rock music and rap. That is to say, in a very-generalized sense, that White youth in places like the United States for instance have used rock along the same lines that Black youth have come to utilize rap. For example, both genres are known to often sport menacing and countercultural themes.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Falling in Reverse's Watch The World Burn at Lyrics.org.

However, one major difference is that rock stars are not really expected to be bad boys in real life, at least not in the legal sense of the term. By contrast many, if not most popular rappers have some type of notable criminal history to speak of. But that’s not to say that the rock genre is completely devoid of legally-certified thugs. And one individual who does fall into that category, at least as far as his past is concerned, is Falling in Reverse frontman Ronnie Radke.


Falling in Reverse is a band from Las Vegas that actually traces its origins back to its founder, Ronnie Radke, spending a couple of years locked up circa the mid-aughts. This was when he was in his early twenties and resulted from Ronnie violating probation, which itself stemmed from a young man being killed in a fight he was directly involved in.

The term “falling in reverse”, if taken literally, would entail rising up. And it may well be that Ronnie had a concept like that in mind when he conceptualized this band, as they were originally called From Behind These Walls (which would be a nod to the fact that Radke was incarcerated at the time).

The membership of Falling in Reverse has fluctuated from its initial inception in 2008 up until now. But as of the release of “Watch the World Burn” on 31 January 2023, besides for Radke the lineup consists of lead guitarist Max Georgiev, rhythm guitarist Christian Thompson and bassist Tyler Burgess. And this quartet has been more or less holding the brand down since 2018.

So whether or not Radke has been successful in “falling in reverse” is a matter of debate. The band did successfully drop four studio albums between 2011 and 2017. 

“Watch the World Burn” is from their first EP, a 2023 project called “Neo Zombie”, which is backed by Epitaph Records. However, despite fronting a viable industry band, Ronnie has remained in trouble with the law throughout the years, though by the looks of things he hasn’t had a legal incident since 2015.


Concerning the music video to this track, Falling in Reverse hired Ukrainian filmographer Jensen Noen, who’s one of their regular collaborators as far as visuals go. Radke and co. used the opportunity of the clip to take a jab at fellow rock musician Sebastian Bach, whom Ronnie has been beefing with on social media of late. The said tiff originated with Falling in Reverse being criticized for failing to make good on a scheduled live performance in 2022 in Illinois due to their laptops going missing.


Ronnie Radke has been described as rapping on this song by at least one professional analyst. And with that in mind, it is interesting to note that “Watch the World Burn” does interpolate “Energy“, a 2015 track by Drake.

However, it isn’t such that Drizzy is actually given writing credit. Rather, the credited authors of this song, besides for Radke, are his bandmates Christian Thompson and Tyler Burgess, in addition Cody Quistad and Myth. Moreover Myth, who has worked with Falling in Reverse numerous times in the past, produced this track with Ronnie.


Also interesting to note is that this song has been classified as falling primarily into the rap metal category. This is primarily because of the overall sound of the track. But if we were to make such a designation ourselves based solely on the lyrics, “Watch the World Burn” can more specifically be likened to an emo rap, at least in terms of the way the track commences.


Ronnie Radke comes off a lot like Juice WRLD, Xxxtentacion or other classic emo-rap artists. Or at least he does at first, whereas to set the song off the vocalist portrays himself as ‘battling depression’ due to some ‘trauma that he’s burying’.

Later in the first verse, again a lot like a rapper, Ronnie proceeds to threaten his opps. As it currently stands, he is “past the point of no return [and of] being passive-aggressive”, meaning that he’s not compelled to, shall we say, play around with his enemies. Instead, as presented the vocalist is very much down with confronting them head-on. And that disposition may well explain why he dissed Sebastian Bach, as noted earlier in this post.


The emo-ness continues into the second verse, where we have Radke admitting that he ‘battles his demons and shadows’. Indeed, we have come across such terminology enough to know that what it usually alludes to is the vocalist suffering from mental-health issues, i.e. the depression and anger which takes precedence in the first verse.

As the second verse continues, it does read very much as if Ronnie may be, in a roundabout way, calling out those such as Bach and Eddie Trunk who have publicly criticized him. Or as relayed, he is living his dream of being a rock star, “the life that (he’s) always wanted, but it comes at a cost”. And said cost is that he’s “swimming with sharks”, i.e. having to deal with individuals who will bite his head off, so to speak, if given the opportunity.

But as also implied in the first verse, Radke is prepared to fight as opposed to shying away. However, unlike the first verse, in this instance he doesn’t necessarily come off as if he’s looking forward to a physical confrontation. Instead, what’s being insinuated here is that he’ll let the efficacy and success of his music do the talking for him.


Further along those non-violent lines, if you will, in the third verse Radke lets it be known that he has dirt on his enemies. So what’s being suggested here is that if they continue to prod him, then he’ll respond by blowing up their spots, i.e. revealing their secrets. And as the song progresses, it does read as if he is speaking to a collection of enemies which transcends the aforenoted social media beef, i.e. colleagues who simply do not want to see him succeed in the music industry.


It’s in the fourth verse where Ronnie really puts on his gangsta-rap hat, if you will. Here, Radke is letting those who sleep on his toughness know that they can reference ‘his history’ for verification that he is in fact about that life. But interestingly, in this passage he also seeks out “somebody [to] send some positive energy”. 

Or interpreted otherwise, he doesn’t actually want “to go Darth [Vader]”, i.e. full villain, on the opps. But it’s as if they’re pushing him into a corner via their provocations, and he does not have any viable positive influence in his life to counteract their negativity. That latter observation speaks to the broader scope of this track, which we will get to later.


At the beginning of the fifth verse the vocalist gets a bit braggadocious in a monetary sense. But he isn’t necessarily doing so along the lines of a rapper, i.e. to point to some type of inherent superiority per se.  Rather, the main point being emitted is that Ronnie is “always winning”, and his enemies will never get the best of him. And the rest of the passage goes on to buttress Radke’s sense of invincibility, not only as compared to his opps but also as a vocalist/lyricist in general.


Then finally we get to the chorus which, quite interestingly, proves to be the most-complex part of the song. As this piece closes out, it becomes more macrocosmic in nature as opposed to focusing solely on the vocalist’s angst. 

Reading in between the lines – and let’s say in contrast to some other parts of the song – what’s being inferred here is that Ronnie really isn’t a bad guy. Instead, as implied by the title, it’s the world itself that’s all types of f*-ked up. And resultantly he, as with others, is dealing with a considerable amount of inner pain.

So before all is said and done he brings the very powers-that-be into the fray, by noting that “everything they taught you (being) a lie”. So the outro, unlike the entire rest of this piece, is actually advising the listener along the lines of “break(ing) the f*-king chains” and “(taking) your life back”. For as relayed, it is this “fear” which is part and parcel of dealing with the world that “keeps you insane”.

"Watch The World Burn" Lyrics


So needless to say, there’s a lot going on in this song. A majority of it may read like an emo-based beef rap, but the rock element is also present lyrically, whereas for instance the vocalist closes out by raging against the machine.

It’s safe to conclude by saying that this outing was inspired by gangsta rap. Falling in Reverse is on record as having formally covered Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” (in 2006) in the past, so it wouldn’t be that they are unfamiliar with that style.

But more specifically it can be ascertained that the inspiration behind “Watch the World Burn”, despite the global/societal implications of the latter parts of the song, is the personal beefs Radke is dealing with as a result of his profession. Some of those disagreements are well-known to fans. But all lyrics considered, it may be that he’s facing others that have not been publicized.

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