Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Literary Analysis of John Cena's "The Time Is Now"

The Time Is Now
Your time is up, my time is now
You can't see me, my time is now
It's the franchise, boy I'm shinin' now
You can't see me, my time is now!

In this repeating chorus, the poet Cena summarizes his main themes. He has come and your time is up; it is no longer your time to shine, rather, it is Cena's. His brilliance is so strong that you cannot see him, for he is a shining star, blinding and bright. In terms of consumer culture, he is a franchise and worth millions of dollars. This is certainly true, for Cena is a multimillionaire. Not many authors have the intellectual honesty to lay bare the essential truth of their nature.

In case you forgot or fell off I'm still hot - knock your shell off
My money stack fat plus I can't turn the swell off
The franchise, doin' big bid'ness, I live this
It's automatic I win this - oh you hear those horns, you finished

In the first verse, Cena reminds his detractors that he is still popular, in case they fell off of the face of the earth. His considerable fortune remains, and try as he might, he cannot help but earn money. He acknowledges one of the biggest complaints about his wrestling character (LOLCenaWins), but offers no apology, only bravado. This masculine attitude continues with the next stanza.

A soldier, and I stay under you fightin'
Plus I'm stormin' on you chumps like I'm thunder and lightning
Ain't no way you breakin' me kid, I'm harder than nails
Plus I keep it on lock, like I'm part of the jail

The soldier comparisons are apt; Cena often utilizes a military theme in his profession. He compares himself to elemental forces, emphasizing the futility of opposing him. Part of his authority derives from Cena's inherent bond with the system and the powers that be; like a jail, he is an institution, serving not only as a prison, but as the warden himself.

I'm slaughtering stale competition, I got the whole block wishing
they could run with my division but they gone fishing -
- with no bait, kid your boy hold weight
I got my soul straight, I brush your mouth like Colgate

There is no shame in fortune, for Cena blames the mediocrity of his competition for their lack of success against him. He feels no guilt for not putting younger wrestlers over because they are not at his level. Honesty seems to be our poet's greatest strength.

In any weather I'm never better your boy's so hot
you'll never catch me in the next man's sweater
If they hate, let 'em hate, I drop ya whole clan
Lay yo' ass down for the three second tan

Authenticity is a key element of our author's persona, and he will never dress like another man. Critics will always be critics, though he vows to silence them with his martial prowess for at least a few seconds' time.

It's gonna be what it's gonna be
Five pounds of courage buddy, bass tint pants with a gold T
Uh - it's a war dance and victory step
A raw stance is a gift, when you insist it's my rep

Here Cena reveals that he is a hard determinist. Circumstances are inevitable, and attributes like courage quantifiable only in actions and their results. If you desire John to change, he cannot--there's nothing he can do about his gift or his nature, which are predetermined by forces beyond our control.

John Cena, Trademarc, you all are so-so
And talk about the bread you make but don't know the recipe for dough though
Aimin' guns in all your photos, that's a no-no
When this pop, you'll liplock, your big talk's a blatant no-show

After the weighty philosophical implications of the previous stanza, Cena reverts to masculine posturing once again. He highlights the impotence of his haters, claiming that their weapons will not revert the castration they have undergone at the hands of the system, the very system that Cena is a part of.

See what happens when the ice age melt
You see monetary status is not what matters, but it helps
I rock a timepiece by Benny if any
The same reason y'all could love me is the same reason y'all condemn me

Detractors will detract; they cannot help their envy. A repeating theme.

A man's measured by the way that he thinks
Not clothing lines, ice links, leather and minks
I spent 20 plus years seekin' knowledge of self
So for now Marc Predka's livin' life for wealth

In his last few lines, poet Cena reveals that all of his previous references to wealth and material fortune were red herrings, for he only truly respects the power of the mind and mental discipline. Twenty years he spent in the desert as an ascetic, searching for knowledge of self. Yet after such rigorous denial, he and his cousin Marc Predka embrace a hedonistic existence, for he has done his time. Here he sets himself up as a Christ-like figure, a walking contradiction. You are free now; John has done the hard work. Hustle, loyalty, and respect.  

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