Single Review: Craig David & Sting “Rise and Fall”

Rise and Fall
Album: Slicker Than Your Average
Year: 2003

Craig David details his change in his attitude as he became famous in the self-pitying “Rise and Fall.”

Sting opens the single, singing the chorus. Although David may have become a critically acclaimed pop star and not feel promotion is important anymore, his reputation will be sullied eventually. Then, he will fade into obscurity. (“Sometimes in life you feel the fight is over,/And it seems as though the writings on the wall/Superstar you finally made it/But once your picture becomes tainted/It’s what they call/The rise and fall”).

David declares that he knew that he was going to be a celebrity one day and now everyone knows he was right. He boasts that he’s better than everybody else and can outsell anyone. His friends from grade school don’t understand his life and some have left. However, being a popular singer is all he ever wanted out of life. (“I always said that I was gonna make it/
Now it’s plain for everyone to see/But this game I’m in don’t take no prisoners/Just casualties/I know that everything is gonna change/Even the friends I knew before may go/But this dream is the life I’ve been searching for”).

He bought into his own hype and became concerned about how much he could buy with his millions of dollars. He sees women and wants to hit on them all and admits he’s been corrupted by the music industry. (“Started believing that I was the greatest/My life was never gonna be the same/Cause with the money came a different status/That’s when things change/Now I’m too concerned with all the things I own/Blinded by all the pretty girls I see/I’m beginning to lose my integrity”).

In the second verse, he sings that he was kind and polite before he had a hit album. However, he avoids fans and won’t sign autographs, give interviews, or pose for a picture for them. In other words, he wants the be famous but yet have anoymity when it’s convenient for him. It’s also telling he groups the press into the fan group also. (“I never used to be a troublemaker,/Now I don’t even wanna please the fans,/No autographs,/No interviews,/No pictures,/Endless demands”).

He alludes to taking drugs and drinking. Then, became addicted to perhaps both of them. He stopped talking to people who helped make his career and now he’s stuck with no one to get him press, etc. He’s been in situations which could’ve led to him being arrested or facing a public relations crisis. He admits he should’ve known better and pleads for his fans to take him back. (“Give into vices that was clearly wrong,/The type that seems to make me feel so right,/But some things you may find can take over your life,/Burnt all my bridges now I’ve run out of places,/And there’s nowhere left for me to turn,/Been caught in compromising situations,/I should have learnt,/From all those times I didn’t walk away,/When I knew that it was best to go,Is it too late to show you the shape of my heart”).

He apologizes for his rude behavior in the third verse. He asks his public and former associates for a second chance. He’s a new man now…and he really needs to sell records. (“Now I know,/I made mistakes,/Think I don’t care,/But you don’t realise what this means to me,/So let me have,/Just one more chance,/I’m not the man I used to be,/Used to be”)

“Rise and Fall” feels like a sung press release done to change the public’s perception of Craig David. David comes across as phony, not honest. Sting, however, shines on the single. He serves as a voice of experience after being in the music industry for a long time himself. His seasoned vocals are welcoming and mesh perfectly with the familiar R&B beat.

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