The most popular song by Living Colour, "Cult of Personality" opens and closes with famous quotes: And in the few moments we have left, we want to talk right down to earth in a language that everybody here can easily understand. This is Malcolm X from his "Message To The Grass Roots" speech in 1963. The point was to unify African Americans. The ending quotes start with John F. Kennedy's famous: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. This is from his inaugural address in 1961. Both quotes are from men who were assassinated. Most of the song seems to be denouncing idolatry, but there is the one stanza containing the line, "A leader speaks, a leader dies." Living Colour also seem to make no distinction between good and evil, as each time they mention a hero, they pair him with an enemy: Mussolini and Kennedy; Stalin and Gandhi. The final words are: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. This is a quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt's first inaugural address on March 4, 1933. Roosevelt used the address to announce his "New Deal" program and encourage the citizens of the United States to overcome their economic problems as they emerged from the depression.
Singer Corey Glover explained:
"We were talking about the cult of personality around Ronald Reagan, so it's always weird when people talk about the Age of Obama and 'Cult of Personality' and the Cult of Personality around Barack Obama. You could look at it at in so many different ways and from so many different perspectives that it loses it's meaning after a while. And for us, when we play it, we're not thinking about the Age of Obama, we're thinking about us."
And during the few moments that we have left we wanna talk right down to earth in a language, that everybody here can easily understand Look in my eyes, what do you see? The cult of personality I know your anger, I know your dreams I've been everything you wanna be I'm the cult of personality Like Mussolini and Kennedy I'm the cult of personality The cult of personality The cult of personality Neon lights, Nobel Prize When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies You won't have to follow me Only you can set me free I sell the things you need to be I'm the smiling face on your TV I'm the cult of personality I exploit you, still you love me I tell you one and one makes three I'm the cult of personality Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi I'm the cult of personality The cult of personality The cult of personality Neon lights, Nobel Prize When a leader speaks, that leader dies You won't have to follow me Only you can set you free You gave me fortune You gave me fame You gave me power in your God's name I'm every person you need to be I'm the cult of personality I'm the cult of I'm the cult of I'm the cult of I'm the cult of I'm the cult of I'm the cult of I'm the cult of I'm the cult of personality