Tag Archives: music

Music Review – My Analysis of Childish Gambino’s “This is America”

Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve ever reviewed a music video on this exceptional blog.  Perhaps it could be the start of a trend.

Actor/comedian Donald Glover was the funniest part of NBC’s “Community,” but for years, he’s rapped under the moniker, “Childish Gambino.”  As rappers go, I thought he was ok, he had some skills but never really blew any wind up my proverbial skirt until now.

Although it isn’t for the squeamish, his new video “This is America” is worth a watch, and maybe even a couple watches just to pick up all the hidden and/or double meanings.  He’s definitely lit up the Internet, getting people talking and there are all sorts of theories about what he’s trying to say.

I’ll give my two cents though I admit up front I could be entirely wrong in my interpretation:

#1 – On a surface level, it’s a psyche out.  It begins as though he’s going to sing a happy song, something lively and fun in the wheelhouse of Pharell’s “Happy.”  But then it turns dark.  Ever so nonchalantly, Gambino blows away a man seated in a chair with a bag over his head.

The tone of the song goes from happy tune to hardcore rap…and yet, ironically, Gambino and a gaggle of young students in school uniforms proceed to dance happily, as though the happy music was still playing.

This happens a second time, when the happy music starts up again, then Gambino machine guns a church choir, then the hardcore rap plays yet he and company dance happily to the hardcore beat.

The casual, non-introspective viewer will think this is just a bait and switch, get you to look left while you get walloped with a right hook you weren’t suspecting.  But there’s much more.

#2 – Obviously, gun violence is a major theme.  One thought I had is that the first shooting was a street crime style shooting.  As the dancing goes on in the foreground, a small amount of people freak out and run around in the background.

Meanwhile, the second shooting was an act of terrorism, and tons of people freak out and run around in the background.  I could be stretching here but it dawned on me that people freak out when a lot of people are shot at once in a mass shooting and they demand that something be done to stop mass shootings.  Yet, individuals are shot in criminal i.e. (you crossed me or you got something I want) style shootings and the public doesn’t respond with equal alarm, even though if you add those individual shootings up, the numbers get high.

Both types of shootings need to be solved, stopped, prevented.

#3 – The choir scene is clearly a reference to the Charlestown church shooting where 9 black worshippers were gunned down by a white supremacist.  And I think Gambino was trying to make a point in how quickly and casually he was able to wipe out a whole choir, cutting a large group of people down as easily as how a hot knife would go through butter, perhaps trying to make us rethink the idea of letting the average person wield a device that carries so much power.

#4 – Dancing happily amidst tragedy = the general public seeks constant entertainment and distraction.  We sort of know that these shootings are going on, maybe we heard about them on the noise or something, we care for a little bit and then…ooohh, hey!  What’s that new song?  Time to dance to this new beat!  We’re easily distracted and should be taking the time we put into entertaining ourselves with pop culture and putting it into solving society’s ill, gun violence in particular.

#5 – We celebrate black pop culture and black entertainers in particular…the music, the dancing and so on…and yet, are we doing enough to help inner city African Americans who suffer all day?  Do we only care about African Americans who can sing and dance but not about those who live in downtrodden neighborhoods who just want to get through their day without becoming the next victim?

I don’t know.  Those are some of my observations.  Could be wrong.  I don’t know if he has done it yet, but would love it if Glover would come out and spoon feed us what he was trying to say.

What do you think?

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A Love Letter Using Only 1990s Song Titles

Dearest Macarena,

One Sweet Day, I’ll need you to Hit Me Baby One More Time.  I’m Too Sexy, I Swear, and I’m not a Loser.  Is this the End of the Road?  No, and No Scrubs could ever be Killing You Softly with His Song.  Will we be Livin’ La Vida Loca?  You Can’t Touch This?  That’s cold as Ice, Ice, Baby.

 

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Are You Dating a Wannabe Rapper?

Yo, yo, yo, what up ladies?

BQB in the hizzy fo shizzy.

Are you dating a wannabe rapper?

Only this BQB top ten list can help you know for sure. Or rather, fo sho.

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Was Justin Timberlake’s Half-Time Show that Bad?

Poor JT.  He goes to the Super Bowl and whips out Janet Jackson’s titty and everyone flips out, so this time he plays it straight and everyone gets pissed out.

Look, make up your minds, people.  Either you want Justin to whip out titties or you don’t.

I’ll admit though I’m not sure what the point of this whole “Man of the Woods” thing is.  Like, you think it means he’s trying to become a Country music star but instead he’s just making pop songs about the country?  WTF.

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The Bookshelf Battle Rap was Snubbed by the Grammys

Hey 3.5 music fans.

BQB here.

I’ve been carrying some disappointment for a week or so now but have been waiting to comment until I process my emotions.

Now that I’ve had time to calm down, I must say the Grammys were quite remiss in not offering a nomination to the Bookshelf Battle Rap.

Honestly, if there was a better rap song about a fat ass yeti getting roundhouse kicked in the face by a magic bookshelf caretaker offered up in 2017, I did not hear it.  Did you?

Now that I’ve had some time to process my disappointment, I must say the #GRAMMYs were remiss in not offering a nomination to the Bookshelf Battle Rap.

#rap #rappers #music #youtube

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Nicki Minaj or Cardi B?

3.5 readers, I need you to sit down for a second because there’s a war a-brewing and it’s not being talked about enough.

Nicki Minaj’s delicious, delectable derriere has brought me much joy over the past several years, so much so that I always sing along with all of her butt raps.

But now there’s a newcomer, a young upstart, a new claimant to the “girl who is the best at rapping about her big butt” throne.

I don’t know, 3.5 readers.  Cardi B’s got it.  She’s rising up the charts.  She’s moving fast.  I mean, I only have so much time in the day to listen to girls rapping about their butts and now Cardi is taking time usually reserved for Nicki and splitting it in half.  Now my butt rap song listening time is divided between these two.

Seriously, now I know how the crack that divides the cheeks on those butts they’re always rapping about must feel.

Am I cheating on Nicki by listening to Cardi?  Did I form a relationship where a beautiful Nubian goddess promised to rap about her butt to me forever and in exchange, I promised to give her my money forever by buying her songs and shit but now, a new girl comes along?  Maybe this is how husbands end up cheating.  You meet a woman.  You fall in love.  You never think you’d stray but then here comes the new hottie with a fresh take on butt raps.

In any event, when I was a kid, Sunday was “In Living Color” night.  Between “The Simpsons,” “In Living Color,” and “Married with Children,” that night was like the most politically incorrect night on television.  Millennials would be so triggered by all that shit today.

Cardi and Bruno Mars put out a video where they dance on the fly girl stage just like the fly girls did back in the day on “In Living Color.”  No, it doesn’t make me happy to know all the things I enjoyed as a kid are fun nostalgia but I enjoyed the video just the same.

Don’t fight over me, Cardi and Nicki.  There’s plenty of BQB to go around.

Who will you choose, 3.5 readers?

 

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Inappropriate Musicals

Hi 3.5 readers.  I’ve decided I’m going to write inappropriate musicals for awhile.  If anyone from Broadway is interested, let me know.  If you have an inappropriate topic for a musical, please share.

First up – Bobbitt!

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Conspiracy Corner with Tin Hat Ted – Top Ten Biggie/Tupac Death Conspiracy Theories

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By: Tin Hat Ted, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Conspiracy Theorist

Hello 3.5 readers (if that is your real name.)

Tin Hat Ted here (if that is my real name.)

Biggie.  Tupac.  They were the greatest rappers of the 1990s, and yet, both were gunned down in their prime, although lets be honest, pizza probably would have achieved the mission of the assassin’s bullet on Biggie by now anyway, though Tupac could very well still be belting out new tunes.

And you never know.  Lil Kim might have put Biggie’s ass on Jenny Craig, so perhaps he could have been here with us too.

The cases have never been solved, but here are my Top Ten Conspiracy Theories Regarding the Deaths of Biggie and Tupac:

#1 – Biggie and Tupac Invented Time Travel

The general public was unaware of this, but when Lil Kim wasn’t busy rapping about how tasty her pussy was, she was a brilliant mathematician and scientist.  My research indicates that Lil Kim, in her off hours, achieved the unthinkable – she cracked the equation that was necessary for time travel and built a working time machine.

After constructing the device in 1997, Lil Kim intended to use it to stop World War II, but alas, Biggie stole it and used it to travel back one year to 1996, where he then shot Tupac in Vegas.

Tupac, genius that he was, had already built a time machine of his very own.  He carried it in his pocket, for it was very small.  In the seconds before he was hit before Biggie’s bullet, Tupac obtained instant revenge by traveling forward one year, killing Biggie, then returning to his own time to sacrifice himself rather than interfere with the space time continuum.

Note that Tupac could have traveled to any time, like if he wanted to, he could have traveled to the 1970s and smothered Biggie in his crib when he was a fat baby, but instead, he selflessly traveled to the future and shot Biggie at a time when Biggie was celebrating, thinking he had successfully capped Tupac without repercussion.

It was all very East Coast vs. West Coast.  Nothing was going to stop that feud, not even the bounds of time.

#2 – Alt Rockers 

Alt rockers knew that their brand of clinically depressed music would never last past 2000, whereas rap was here to stay.  I mean, seriously dude, compare songs about heartache and loss versus upbeat jams about partying, drinking, smoking weed and blasting pussy and shit, there’s no comparison.

Witnesses I spoke to indicate that grungy flannel shirt wearing guitar players may have wanted the rap game’s two biggest players on ice in hopes that rap would fizzle and alt rock would continue.

I can’t confirm this happened, however, rap remained strong even after the loss of Tupac and Biggie.  This is largely due to Biggie’s protege, P-Diddy, who carried on for the East Coast, whereas Snoop Dogg kept the West Coast rocking.

Alt Rockers had no proteges or a next generation, so after 2000, the flannel look went kaput.

#3 – They Shot Themselves By Accident

I’m not sure about this but as far as I know, neither men were gun safety experts or trained marksman, so it’s not impossible that they just tucked their gats into their pants and then the guns accidentally went off.

#4 – Angry White Mothers

Angry white mothers were mad as shit in the 1990s, pissed that music, particularly rap, was so full of naughty words.  I’m working a story that suggests a mini-van full of pistol packin’ suburban soccer moms may have performed drive-bys on both of our favorite rappers.

#5 – The CIA

I’ve yet to determine why the CIA might have wanted Tupac out of the picture.

However, take these lyrics from Biggie’s “Juicy” in 1994:

Now I’m in the limelight, because I rhyme tight.

Time to get paid, blow up the World Trade.

Could it be that Biggie was a modern day Nostradamus, embedding warnings to the world of tragedies to avoid in his raps?

Historians might point out that there was an earlier attempt to blow up the World Trade Center in the early 1990s that Biggie was likely referring to.

However, at this time, we cannot rule out the possibility that Biggie was a clairvoyant.

#6 – They Faked Their Own Deaths

I’m currently investigating a claim that only Biggie and Tupac shaped mannequins were shot on the fateful days in question.  I have a source who tells me there may or may not be a bed and breakfast in upstate Vermont run by two men who fit Tupac and Biggie’s descriptions.

Does this mean that Tupac and Biggie fell in love and decided to run away together, in a time when there love would most certainly not have been accepted by the misogynist rap game of the early 1990s?

Possibly.  Then again, maybe they were just platonic friends who liked chilly New England winters and making waffles for tourists.

#7 – Biggie and Tupac Were Aliens

It’s clear that Biggie and Tupac were above average rappers, perhaps too good…perhaps their genius came from out of this world space brains from another galaxy.  When it was time for these extraterrestrial beings to return to their home planets, they shed their human forms, covered it up with an elaborate rouse, then boarded their space ships to rap again in their alien forms.  Perhaps they will return one day to entertain us again…and rap about bitches.  So many bitches.

#8 – Angry Bitches

Bitches got mad they were being called bitches and sought payback.  Don’t mess with angry bitches.

#9 – The Illuminati

Biggie and Tupac were slated by the Illuminati to become famous politicians.  Unfortunately for them, Biggie and Tupac defied the Illuminati and pursued their rap ambitions.  The Illuminati was not pleased.

#10 – The Yakuza

I’m unaware as to how Biggie and Tupac might have offended the Yakuza.  However, the Yakuza has a hand in everything.

NOTES:  Keep in mind these are all mere theories.  I have no hard evidence.  Without confirmation, you must consider all of these theories untrue and unfounded.

YOUR THEORIES

Do you have a conspiracy theory regarding the deaths of Biggie and Tupac?  Let me know in the comments below.

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Bookshelf Battle Rap

I spent actual money on this, so I have to trot it out once in awhile.  Enjoy.

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Top Ten Warning Signs Your Boyfriend Might Be a Wannabe Rapper

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Yo. 2017.  Time to get the green.  BQB on the track like a flea on a dog’s back.  Crank up the bass and let’s lay this shit down, ya heard?

Ahh, dating.  It’s one of the great joys of life, unless your boyfriend is a wannabe rapper.  He’s got the backwards hat.  He’s got a few lyrics he’s scribbled down on some notebook paper.  He yearns so badly to join ranks of Snoop, NWA, 50 Cent, and Eminem.

But let’s face it.  He couldn’t rap his way out of a paper bag and you’ll be supporting him forever.

From BQB HQ in Fabulous East Randomtown, it’s the Top Ten Warning Signs Your Boyfriend Might Be a Rapper:

#10 – Begins Every Conversation With a Lead-In That Features the Year, Followed by What He Wants the Sound Technician to Do

YOU:  Hun, what do you want for dinner?

HIM:  Yo, yo, yo, 2017…don’t want no string beans.  Put a little slick on this mic and we gonna lay this track down.  Bring some motherfuckin’ pizza to town, know what I’m sayin’ cuz?

#9 – He Never Introduces You to His Friends…He Announces the Collaboration

YOU:  Oh, hi hun.  You didn’t tell me you were having friends over.  Can you introduce me?

HIM:  Yo, yo, yo, B-Money Steaze up in the house, gettin’ ready to blow the doors off this motha-fucka….yeah and Sticky Mark up on the track, gettin’ it all whack for your ears, now what I’m sayin’?  Funk-ta-fied Freddy backin us up all day, everyday and Worldwide Miscreant stoppin’ by to get in on this shiznit, ya dope ass sucka!

#8 – So Many Backwards Hats

They’re easily convertible to frontwards hats but he just won’t listen, even after 30.

#7 – Always Offering You a Demo Tape…

…no matter how many times you tell him you’re not in the industry and can’t help him…or that no one uses cassettes anymore.

#6 – Always Talking About How Hard His Life Is/Was

HIM:  Yo, yo, yo, growin’ up on the streets was no fun, bitches in my face wavin’ they gun, how I got out the hood is a wonder, all my dead homies be six feet under.

YOU:  You were from Connecticut, dipshit.

#5 – Refers to Money as Stacks

BANK TELLER:  And how would you like to cash this check sir?

HIM:  Yo, yo, yo give me fat stacks, bitch!

#4 – Calls Everyone “Bitch”

You, your friends, your family, your dog, everyone.

GRANNY AT THANKSGIVING:  Sonny, can you pass the gravy?

HIM: Aw, shit!  Gravy comin’ all up in this motha-fucka, bitch!

#3 – Won’t Get a Day Job

Because he likes to keep it real.  Rappable stories come from the streets, not from working 9-5 at Kinko’s, bitch.

#2 – Always Working On New Rhymes

All day, every day, his notebook is out and his pen is scribbling new lyrics.  If only he could sell some.

#1 – Fights Are Like Rap Battles

YOU:  You didn’t do the dishes!

HIM:  Yo, yo, yo, bitch want me to do the dishes and now she mad, wants me to sleep with the fishes!

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