Friday, July 26, 2013

All My Neighbors Went to Afroman (with Footnotes)



Here is the third in my series of lyrical examinations of the songs of my debut mixtape, "Core Nerd!"

As I say in the song Liquid Thunder, "My rhymes are so dense you're gonna need footnotes." Here they are...


This time, for the song "All My Neighbors Went to Afroman."


This is the newest song on the mixtape, I probably only completed writing it a few weeks before the album was released. The original idea for it goes back months earlier, though, to when I was still living in Tallahassee. One night I went to a club to see Afroman. He was really, really late. Late enough, in fact, that I didn't get to see him. When I drove back to my apartment with my friend Sarah, I noticed that the entire parking lot was empty. I turned to her and said "all my neighbors went to Afroman." The phrase struck me as awesome, so I wrote it down. I had no idea for a song at that point, just the phrase. The rest of the song was written in Washington, D.C., mostly while riding the bus and metro to and from work.

All my neighbors went to Afroman
They didn't take me, not part of the plan

The chorus begins with the title and refers to the fact that I didn't actually get to see the Afroman show.

Fuck that shit, cuz I ain't the one

A line taken directly from N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton."

Let's get high and make our own fun

And, back to Afroman, because what would Afroman do if he wasn't going to get to go to a show? He'd get high.

1, 2, 3 and to the four
Indo, four beers, out the door

A shout-out to Snoop and Dre's "Nuthin But A G Thang," one of my signature karaoke songs.  I've probably done this song live more than any other.  Coupled with a reference to Snoop's "Gin and Juice," another one of my most common karaoke tracks.

Feeling funny, looking for the metro

Here you can tell that the song definitely shifts to D.C., since there is no metro in Florida.

This shit's not rap, it's electro

And then a zombie reference, directly relating to a line Ed says in "Shaun of the Dead."

Mulatto, albino, mosquito, libido
Han shot first, down goes Greedo
Roll to the church in your new tuxedo

These lines bring in the third city in which the song was written in.  I was living in the Seattle area for a job and, not surprisingly I was soaking up a lot of Nirvana and listening to a lot of their music.  I was listening specifically to "Smells Like Teen Spirit," when I realized that Star Wars' Greedo would easily fit into that rhyme scheme, so I made a reference to one of the movie's biggest controversies.  I liked the repetitive rhyme here enough that I wanted it to continue, so the idea of "Bust a Move," by Young MC popped into my head and that stuck.

Lookin like Borat in a fuckin speedo

This part was added in D.C. because I needed one more rhyme.  Obviously a reference to the movie by Sascha Baron Cohen.

Fritos, Funyons, pizza no onions
Cutting shit down like I was Paul Bunyan

Pretty straight-forward references here.  Part of the idea with the song is for there to be a lot of non-sequiturs,  both because I find them fun AND because the narrator is getting high, and therefore might say a lot of random unconnected things.

Jamming on the one

Reference to an old "Cosby Show" episode where the Huxtables visit a recording studio and Theo says this line, which is then put in a song.

I ain't done with the fun, hun
Son hand me all those sticky buns
Not a dry run, I'm not a hired gun
Getting my tan in the midnight sun

No real specific references here, but a continuation of the previous randomness of the song.

My shit's so heavy, it weighs a metric fuckton

In a number of of online circles that I run in, "a metric fuckton," is the preferred reference to "a lot" of anything.

All my neighbors went to Afroman
They didn't take me, not part of the plan
Fuck that shit, cuz I ain't the one
Let's get high and make our own fun

This is a fun chorus to sing.

I'm not an alcoholic, I just drink a lot

To me, this is a reference to the song "Development," by Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip.  I think it's a wonderful bit of irony.  Apparently, though, it comes from a Pitbull song I've never heard. I thought that the irony was awesome and the lyrical presentation was great, so I spun it off into a rapidfire group of similar lines.

I'm not a drug addict, I just smoke a lot
I'm not a sex addict, I just fuck a lot
I'm not a fat rhymer, I just scheme a lot
I'm not a Sandman, I just dream a lot

Most directly, this last line is a reference to Neal Gaiman's Sandman, but it applies to other similar characters, as well. 

I'm not Limp Bizkit, I just rock a lot
I'm not machine, I just rage a lot

I only mildly have any interest in or admiration of the music of Limp Bizkit, but when Wes Borland is playing with them, they certainly do rock.  I love Rage Against the Machine either way.

It's not a revolution, I just fuck shit up

The last line in the eight bars is an ironic line in a list of ironic lines.  I think that "fucking shit up" is revolutionary and does lead to revolution.

Like Afroman, we're about to get high

A reference to Afroman's biggest hit, "Because I Got High," and his 80-90 other songs about getting high.

Like R. Kelly, we believe we can fly

Double reference here, one to getting high and one to the R. Kelly song most well-known by pop fans.

Like Ben Grimm, we're about to get stoned

Another double reference, one to getting high and the other to the Thing of Marvel's Fantastic Four, who is made of orange rock.

Like Skeletor, we're about to get boned

A sexual pun directed at the He-Man villain whose face is a skull.

Like Amy Winehouse, we're about to get drunk

Only a single reference on this one, to one of the most famous people in the world in the last few years for being publicly drunk.

Like the Clash, we're about to get punk

A reference to one my two or three most favorite punk bands and the idea that punk artists both like to party and like to engage in revolution.

Like Ron Jeremy, we're about to get fucked

Another sexual reference, this one about the ubiquitous everyman porn star.

Like a black hole, we're about to get sucked

One last sexual pun, referring both to oral sex and the "sucking" power of gravity from a black hole.

All my neighbors went to Afroman
They didn't take me, not part of the plan
Fuck that shit, cuz I ain't the one
Let's get high and make our own fun

The chorus again.

Don't laugh at me, come laugh with me
Then I'll turn it around and have you thinking

The idea of many of my songs is for me to say a bunch of silly, ridiculous stuff and mix it in with serious stuff.  So you are laughing or saying "I can't believe he just said that," and then you are thinking about the political or social commentary in the other lines or songs.

Then I'll turn it around and have you drinking

Also, that I want to party with you.

Then I'll turn it around and have the ladies winking

Also, that I love women.  On multiple levels.

Then I'll turn it around and have you lip syncing

Typical rap boast about how much listeners are going to like my music.

Then I'll turn it around and have you rethinking

But, then again, the point of the songs is not the laughter or getting women or anything like that, it's to have the listeners think about the things I'm rapping about.

Then I'll turn it around and have your ego shrinking

A boast about my rap prowess and how few others rap like me.

Then I'll make you shit your pants and you'll be stinking

This one works on two levels. The first is about other rappers, following in the vein of the previous line.  The other is about those who don't use their minds much and don't think much.  They won't have a choice after listening to my rhymes.

Don't scoff at me, come drink with me

The idea, though, is not that I'm trying to elevate myself above others.  If someone doesn't like me or doesn't like what I'm saying, I'd rather sit down and talk with them about my ideas and theirs than get in a fight with them.

The last bit of the song takes the partying aspect further.  Early in the night I like to talk politics and music and all that, and as the night goes on, I like to move on to other pursuits.  These are local to the D.C. area, for the most part.

Then we'll go to Black Cat and start dancing

One of my favorite clubs to see shows or dance at.

Then we'll find food trucks and start eating

Partying always makes me hungry.  Food trucks are big in D.C.

Then we'll find some brats and commence to beating

A reference to another one of my favorite punk bands, the Ramones and their song "Beat on the Brat."

We'll get Michael Cera and start tiny prancing

A reference to one of, to me, the funniest memes on the Internet, the Michael Cera "Tiny Prancer" one.   Also, again, showing the distractedness and non-sequitur nature of being high, which the narrator obviously is by this point.

Then we'll go to Quarry House and keep on drinking

A bar in Silver Spring, Maryland, that I go to about once a week.

Then we'll go to Japone and start singing

One of my favorite karaoke bars, a place in the Dupont Circle area of D.C.

Then we'll go to Cloisters and start fucking

The name of my apartment complex at the time of the song.  Any good night of partying is best capped off by a bit of lovemaking.

All my neighbors went to Afroman
They didn't take me, not part of the plan
Fuck that shit, cuz I ain't the one
Let's get high and make our own fun


The chorus, one more time.  With feeling.

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