Black Beatles

608476750 780x439.jpg

Date Aired
December 17, 2016
Running Time
Previous review
Next review

Todd plays "Black Beatles" on the piano

A pop song review

A picture of Rae Sremmurd appears as Todd struggles to pronounce their name

Todd: Rae... Shremmurd... Rae Shrem-- Shremmurd. Rae Shrem... Sriracha?

Clip of "Come Get Her"
Swae Lee: Somebody come tip her
She's dancin' like a stripper

Todd (VO): [exhales] Oh boy... I was wondering if these guys were ever gonna get big enough for me to cover.

Todd: Wondering/dreading, I mean.

Clip of "No Type"

Todd (VO): This is Rae... Sremmurd. Rae... they're these guys.

Todd: They're a rap duo with the all-time stupidest name in music history.

Todd (VO): [with a logo for...] The name is their label's name spelled backwards; their label is Ear Drummers.

Todd: Which is also a stupid name.

Todd (VO): Rumor has it that if you get them to say their name backwards, [image of a Superman comic] they go back to their home dimension.

Clip of "No Flex Zone"
Swae Lee: Say my fuckin' name, ho!

Todd: I can't!

Clip of "By Chance"
Voice: Mike Will Made It.

Todd (VO): A big problem is that they're the pet project of [pic of...] Mike Will Made It, a producer who apparently mandates that all his [clip of "23"] artists have stupider names than him. And I've never really liked him. I mean he's made one beat I [clip of Kanye West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz & Pusha T's...] really like, "Mercy."

Voice: A weeping and a moaning (swerve)
And a gnashing of teeth (swerve)

Todd (VO): Which is admittedly a hell of a beat, but otherwise, he tends to make ugly noise, or [clip of Miley Cyrus - "We Can't Stop"] occasionally, the world's saddest party songs.

Voice: Mike Will Made It.

Todd (VO): I mean, that's not a calling card at the beginning of his songs; [pic of...] that's a warning label.

Clip of "Throw Sum Mo"

Todd (VO): Now, these two have been bubbling just under the big time for a couple years now, but who are they?

Todd: Well, I-I don't know...

Todd (VO): ...they're two brothers from Mississippi, they're rappers, and um...

Todd: This is what they sound like.

Clip of "No Flex Zone"
Swae Lee: No flex zone! No flex zone!
They know better, they know better

Todd: [facepalming] The kids really like 'em.

Swae Lee: Beatin' on my chest like Magilla (stand back!)
N***a, I am the gorilla of the village

Todd (VO): Critics too, they get great reviews. Yeah, which is surprising, because those of you with longer memories probably had the same reaction I did.

Todd: "Holy shit, it's the 2010s version of Kris Kross!"

Clip of Kris Kross - "Jump" intercut with "No Flex Zone"
Kris Kross: Jump, jump
Daddy Mac: The Daddy Mac will make ya
Kris Kross: Jump, jump
Swae Lee: They know better, they
Daddy Mac: Know, you should know that uhhh...
Clip of "Look Alive"

Todd (VO): For what it's worth, they do not like being compared to Kris Kross at all. For one, they're twice as old as Kris Kross were. So, you know, three years older.

Todd: My response to that is, you little shits, that was a compliment!

Clip of Kris Kross - "Warm It Up"

Todd (VO): Kris Kross was great, and you should be grateful that you're being compared to them! Stop being wiggidy wiggidy wiggidy whack!

Todd: But I realize that it's no one's dream to be compared to Kris Kross.

Clip of...

Todd (VO): I mean, you don't want your legacy to be "I Missed the Bus." Plus you have to wear your pants backwards, and like, how do you even take a leak wearing th- anyway...

Todd: I get it. So, who would be better, who would be a better comparison point here? Rae Sremmurd aren't the 2010s Kris Kross, they're more like um... [interrupted by a promo pic of the Beatles, accompanied by a familiar opening chord] Eh heh heh, no seriously.

Clip of The Beatles - "A Hard Day's Night"
John Lennon: It's been a hard day's night
And I've been workin' like a dog

Todd: [leaning in closer to the microphone] Ah-ha-ha, no, seriously!

Video for "Black Beatles"
Swae Lee: Black Beatles in the city
Be back immediately
I'm a fuckin' black Beatle

Todd: Is someone playing a prank on me? The new Beatles...

Clip of The Beatles - "Penny Lane"
Paul McCartney: Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes

Todd: ...are these kids.

Clip of "Set the Roof"
Swae Lee: I am not your n***a, you got me fucked up
Bought your bitch a bra to make her tits sit up

Todd: [beat] Well, points for ambition.

Todd (VO): And woo, that title. That's a loaded image there.

Clip of The Beatles - "A Day in the Life"

Todd (VO): 'Cause while the Beatles are considered the most important popular music act of all time, possibly the most important artist of the twentieth century, they're also- and I'd hate to shatter anyone's image of them...

Todd: ...white. Wait, let me check. [A picture of the Beatles circa 1964] Yep, white. And that's kind of a big deal.

Clip of The Beatles - "Revolution"

Todd (VO): Even though their influence is felt through pretty much all of popular music directly or indirectly, I don't know if you could say they transcend race. I mean, yes they certainly had fans of all races, but their title of "Greatest Act Ever" was at least partly bestowed by rock critics...

Todd: ...who tended to be white, so it's a little awkward. [A picture of the Beatles with Rae Sremmurd's heads pasted over theirs] So when they say they're the black version of The Beatles, like, could the Beatles even be black?

Todd: Like, I don't even know what that would even be...

Clip of The Beatles - "Don't Let Me Down"

Todd (VO): ...Or any new version of the Beatles, really. They were just such an unparalleled phenomenon that I don't think they could ever be repeated.

Todd: But I do support any attempt to resurrect The Beatles!

Clip of The Beatles - 'Hello, Goodbye"

Todd (VO): I mean, calling something, "Beatlesesque" has never been an insult. And because of The Beatles' estates' such tight grip on samples, The Beatles and hip-hop have never really gotten a chance to mix.

Todd: Although, they've tried.

Clips of Salt-N-Pepa - "Twist and Shout",...
Salt-N-Pepa: Shake it up, baby, now (Shake it up baby)
Yeah, twist and shout
...and Linkin Park & Jay-Z - "Yesterday"
Chester Bennington: stay
Oh, I believe
Jay-Z: Believe
Chester: In yesterday

Todd: Yeah...

Clip of Rihanna, Kanye West, & Paul McCartney - "FourFiveSeconds"

Todd (VO): But the two worlds have started to mix in recent years, and [Article from the Houston Press, "The Five Best Songs That Sample the Beatles"] that grip on sampling has been relaxed, so...

Todd: ... who knows? Maybe this could work! I can't wait to see which Beatles era they're going for.

Clip of The Beatles performing on The Ed Sullivan Show

Todd (VO): Do they mean like, teen idol Beatles [Clip from Yellow Submarine] or Sgt. Pepper's Beatles?

Todd: What are we going for here?

The video for "Black Beatles" begins
Swae Lee: I sent flowers, but you said you didn't receive ‘em

Todd: Okay so um, I guess this is gonna be inspired by the more psychedelic stuff from the, the later... Beatles...

Swae Lee: That girl is a real crowd pleaser
Small world, all her friends know of me
Young bull livin' like an old geezer

Todd: No, no it doesn't sound anything like that. I mean, I was trying.

Todd (VO): But no. Nope, it doesn't sound anything like The Beatles. It sounds more like [clip of The Cure - "The Hanging Garden"] goth rock from the '80s. Are you sure you didn't mean "Black The Cure"? Okay, so, it's not in the beat.

Todd: Well, okay, it must be in the lyrics. [SPOILERS: It isn't]

Swae Lee: That girl is a real crowd pleaser
Small world, all her friends know of me

Todd: Any second now... [NOPE.]

Swae Lee: Frat girls still tryna get even
Haters mad...

Todd: It'll get all Beatles-y everywhere. [NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE]

Swae Lee: Took a bitch to the club
And let her party on the table
Screamin' "Everybody's famous"

Todd: This isn't gonna have anything to do with The Beatles, is it? [WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CLUE]

Swae Lee: And get some more
Get you somebody that can do both

Todd (VO): Are we really doing this? A song about The Beatles that's absolutely not about The Beatles in any way. Was it too hard?!

Todd: Come on! I once heard a rap song made up entirely of [Clip of Ludacris - "Number One Spot"] Austin Powers references!

Ludacris: Worth a million gazillion fafillion dollars!
Swae Lee: I'm a fuckin' black Beatle
Cream seats in the Regal
Rockin' John Lennon lenses
Like to see 'em spread eagle

Todd (VO): Okay, yeah, wearing glasses doesn't make you John Lennon, buddy. [Pic of Rae Sremmurd] Although those glasses are pretty cool.

Swae Lee: Haters mad for whatever reason

Todd: Oh I can tell you the reason. I mean I know you don't care, but you know, I, if you want it.

Todd (VO): Okay, a weird thing about the song is that it's #1, but I actually haven't heard it that often. I mean, a few times, but yeah, it's a little aggressive for pop radio, so how'd it get big?

Todd: The answer is... memes. [Pic of a meme reading "Worst Meme Ever"] Yeah, you know, that thing that's ruining the world?

Montage of various memes of...

Todd (VO): In this case, there's this thing called the Mannequin Challenge. From the same people that brought you [pics of...] planking, tebowing, cat breading, ironic Nazism...

Todd: ...and all the other stupid things from the internet.

Todd (VO): And you basically act like you're playing "Red Light, Green Light", and for some reason, it's supposed to be interesting. And after some point, [Article titled "How Rae Sremmurd's 'Black Beatles' Rode the #MannequinChallenge to No. 1"] "Black Beatles" became the official soundtrack of the Mannequin Challenge because...

Todd: ...Rae Sremmurd did it as a promo for their tour.

Mannequin Challenge video promoting Rae Sremmurd's SremmLife II Tour

Todd (VO): Okay, that was pretty cool actually. Hey, maybe there is something to this Mannequin Challenge. [Mannequin Challenge video featuring Paul McCartney] Oh wait, never mind, old people are doing it now. Never mind, not cool anymore. Psht. Look at that old grandpa trying to stay hip. [scoffs]

Gucci Mane: Came in with two girls
Look like strippers in their real clothes

Todd (VO): Oh and who's this now? I see they're getting by with a little help from their friend there.

Todd: Yeah, here's a real blast from the past.

Clip of Gucci Mane - "Lemonade"

Todd (VO): For those who don't remember, Gucci Mane, [pic of Gucci Mane with a chain that has Odie from Garfield on it] seen here with extra stupid, was the hot shit back in 2009 when I first started reviewing, [Clip of Mario ft. Gucci Mane & Sean Garrett - "Break Up"] and was featured in a song in one of my earliest episodes, which, to this day, is still the worst song I've ever reviewed. [Clip of "Spotlight"] I expected to see a lot more from him, but he never quite blew up like he threatened to. For one, it turned out he was terrible at verses on pop songs.

Gucci Mane: Had a girl left alone
Gucci Mane's a bachelor
Sex tape just like Pamela
'Cause Gucci not an amateur

Todd: [mockingly] Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo.

Todd (VO): And his career ended up derailed even further after he had a highly publicized mental episode, got what appears to be the Kickassia logo tattooed on his face, and checked himself into an institution. But he hung in there and look at this, he made it back. He's on a #1 hit. Well, let's see what brought him back to where he once belonged.

Gucci: Came in with two girls
Look like strippers in their real clothes
A broke hoe can only point me to a rich hoe

Todd takes another listen.

Gucci: A broke hoe can only point me to a rich hoe.

Todd (VO): I ain't saying he's a gold digger, but anyway...

Gucci: Black man, yellow Lamb', real life goals
They seen that Guwop and them just came in through the side door
There's so much money on the floor, we buying school clothes
Black Beatle, club close when I say so

Todd:Well, that was undistinguished and pointless. Good to have you back, Gucci! [thumbs up]

Todd (VO): Okay, let's try the last verse. I forget which one this is, either Kris or Kross.

Swae Lee:They lose it when the DJ drops the needle
Slim Jxmmi: She's a good teaser

Todd is visibly taken aback.

Slim Jxmmi:She's a good teaser
And we're blowin' reefer

Todd: A Beatles reference!

Clip of The Beatles - "Day Tripper"
Paul: She's a big teaser

Todd (VO): Not just a shallow name-check, but an actual reference to The Beatles. We have confirmation that they do actually know even the slightest thing about The Beatles, a single line from "Day Tripper".

Todd: I will take it!

Todd (VO): Oh no wait, I'm told there's another one coming up here.

Slim Jxmmi: Black Beatle, bitch
Me and Paul McCartney related

Todd: Why are you... That doesn't mean anything. You realize that, right?

Todd (VO): Being related to Paul McCartney doesn't give you his talent or awards. [Picture of Malik Obama] I mean, this guy's the brother of the president. Doesn't make him the president.

Todd: I mean, that's what's so galling about this,like how un-Beatles-y it is.

Slim Jxmmi: I wear leather Gucci jackets like it's still the 80's

Todd (VO): Yes. The decade everyone associates The Beatles with: the 80's. [picture of various fashion trends from the 80's, none of which are Gucci leather jackets]

Clip of Paul McCartney - "Coming Up"

Todd (VO): I mean, yes the surviving Beatles were making music in the 80's. Most of it is best forgotten though.

Slim Jxmmi: I had haters when I was broke
I'm rich, I still got haters

Todd (VO): They don't care about The Beatles except in the most shallow, obvious way. The Beatles are considered the best, so they wanna be The Beatles. They just want the reputation. They don't want The Beatles' talent or influence or accomplishments. They don't really care about anything else.

Clip of The Beatles - "Eleanor Rigby"

Todd (VO): I like John Lennon glasses too, but The Beatles weren't a fashion statement. They stood for something. [Clip of The Beatles - "Strawberry Fields Forever"] They represented what should be the ideals of all musicians: To push things forward, to change the world.

Todd: Not just sit there and make whiny shit-talk about banging bitches and hoes and... [Todd freezes up for a few seconds.] I'm not doing the mannequin challenge, it's, I just realized. I've become that guy.

Todd (VO)[mockingly] Ah, you young whippersnappers. You don't understand how important real music is!

Todd: Oh God, kill me. [facepalms] What happened to me?!

Todd (VO): You know, I'm not gonna pretend I don't know why Rae Sremmurd are big. It's because they're yelping little punks who don't give a shit about what you like or what you think. They're young and arrogant and they don't give a fuck. Complaining that they're annoying is...

Todd: Well yeah, no shit. That's the point!

Todd (VO): So I'm gonna shut up. And you know what, fine! I like this beat. [Brief clip of the intro] I like it a lot! I mean, it isn't The Beatles, but I like Siouxie and the Banshees. It's a pretty bomb-ass beat!

Todd: Yeah, it's growing on me. I'm not saying it's great. The lyrics are certainly uninspired, but there are worse songs made by two yelping black teenagers that got big off of stupid memes.

Clip of Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall - "Juju on That Beat"
Zay and Zayion: Now do your dance, do your dance
Do your dance, aye
You ugly, you your daddy's son

Todd: Are they calling my dad ugly?

Todd (VO): So to be clear, Rae Sremmurd are not the Black Beatles. But you know, I don't know what to tell you. I've heard worse. And honestly with all the negativity going around...

Todd: ...maybe I'm feeling a little more charitable. I mean, maybe we could all find it in our hearts to be a little more forgiving, y'know, find a little love for people. Because in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. Also...

Todd (VO)[over song] Took a bitch to the club and left a party on the table screamin' everybody's famous.

Todd: No flex, zone! No flex- Yeah I changed my mind. This song blows. [gets up and leaves]

Video ends

Closing tag song: The Beatles - "Blackbird"

"Black Beatles" is owned by EarDruma/Interscope
This video is owned by me


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.