So the first two lines of the pre-chorus of All-Star by Smash Mouth the song goes:

Well, the years start coming and they don't stop coming
Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running

What does Smash Mouth mean when he writes "fed to rules"? The analysis in Genius says that "'Fed to the rules' is reminiscent of the saying 'fed to the wolves,' implying that society attempted to sacrifice his individuality for the sake of maintaining their social order." I don't know if it's correct though since the full answer given on Genius feels contradictory. They go onto say "Instead of giving in, the speaker’s immediate reaction was to “run” and escape this typical life and all its rules" which doesn't make sense given the phrase "hit the ground running" doesn't mean to run away. Can someone explain?

1 Answer 1


I agree with Genius in that "fed to the rules" is a play on "fed to the wolves".

I think he hit the ground running in that he broke the mold as soon as he was able to stand on his own legs, metaphorically.

  • GPT3.5 is incapable of agreeing with anything - rather than forming an independent opinion, it's more likely that its output was formed based on what Genius already said.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jun 9 at 15:25
  • GPT3.5 has undergone consistency training and can reason/agree, albeit with the caveat of being inaccurate regarding things too unrelated to its training data. Commented Jun 9 at 15:29

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