I really hope you know that "Homeboy" is written about Eric Church's brother, not black people. Learn how to research before you assume.
Yes, it’s about a specific case from his own experience - most songs are - but it’s framed as a generalized life lesson, and that doesn’t change the fact that the language of the song is racially charged.
I think the awkward double entendre with “homeboy” and “home, boy” shows that he and the songwriter, Casey Beathard, are going out of their way to use a word associated with black people. There are plenty of good prodigal son songs that don’t specifically reference elements of hip hop culture as the precursor to a prison sentence.
So this year I’m actually doing my fantasy football league instead of just letting it sit. And I don’t just mean sitting my injured players and bye-week players - I’m actually looking at stats and who’s playing whom, and trading players and stuff. I have to beat my brother.
@camiwillknow: I know. Unless they were already Duke fans, and just liked that preacher so much because of it. Though it is kind of telling that childe Watson would take a member of the clergy as a source of authority on college basketball, but nothing else in 13 years of church.
This week’s song is Time McGraw’s 1994 “Indian Outlaw," a special request from camiwillknow because she says this is her favorite song. For me to poop on.
I think the worst thing about this song is that it isn’t actually about anything; it’s not a story, or a love song, or even a mindless dance hit - it’s literally just a series of unrelated words and sounds associated with Native Americans. I just linked to the lyrics above, but if you haven’t heard the song, I don’t think you get the full experience without hearing the tom-toms and various whooping, etc.
From the baffling Wikipedia article: Deborah Evans Price, of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, calling it an “incredible single” and saying that it is “positively stuffed with lyrical and musical Native American cliches, from tomtoms to wigwams to peace pipes.” [“incredible single”!] She goes on to say that if the song becomes a hit, “it’ll set relations back 200 years.” [“Incredible Single”!] Billboard magazine in their review of the album, said that the song is “either one of the catchiest or one of the stupidest songs ever written.”
I’m just going to repeat that saying that this is one of the stupidest songs ever written, stuffed with ethnic stereotypes, and the song’s potential to become a hit and set back relations 200 years is the “favorable” review. Hooray!
Oh, and the bit and the end, “Cherokee people, Cherokee pride, so proud to live, so proud to die” - That’s from a 1959 song released at different times under the titles “Indian Reservation,” “Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian,” and “Pale Faced Indian.” This song at least makes an attempt at 1959’s admittedly misguided version of cultural understanding. And also the song at least says something about something. McGraw, on the other hand, writing in the goddamn 90’s, has no excuse, and the pride chorus he samples just comes off as “this is why we name our sports teams after you.”
There’s not much else in this song to review except, oh look at that, a weird peace pipe puff-puff-pass conflation and Tim McGraw talking about girls looking at his junk.
These three Republican Party candidates for president are displaying their patriotism in a way the media can immediately understand and disseminate.
Yet it’s a strange patriotism they effect. They claim to love their country while despising its government. They praise our liberty while advocating a virtual theocracy. They represent a Party which has openly worked to make their country fail rather than see its duly elected president solve any of the problems they, in fact, left him. They promise prosperity while demolishing the very things (government social programs, affordable college loans, pubic schools, labor unions, etc. ) that created America’s mass middle class in the first place.
For some of these “patriots,” Republican Party power matters more than the well-being of their country or its people. For some, a mean-spirited God they have fashioned in their own image matters more. For some, it’s both.
Strange patriots, indeed. And since two of these candidates have publicly flirted with secession, it begs of the question of why their brand of disloyalty doesn’t get called what it is — treason.
Only going anon because I don't really want to argue w/ you.. just state a point regarding your Eric Church post, I have seen many articles claiming this song to be racist but really anyone of any race can be wearing baggy clothes, and have tattoos etc. As a big EC fan I just feel the need to defend him a little because Im the farthest from racist and I really love his music. As for the last line: "before their called, homeboy" hes referring to the parents being called due to something happening
Yes, it’s true that he never explicitly mentions black people, but there is plenty in the song to indicate that he is using elements of (what conservative white people see as) hip hop culture, i.e “your hip hop hat and your pants on the ground” as something trivial, disingenuine, and eventually criminal.
So when a lot of his audience is going to automatically equate those things with black people, and then he implicates that with criminal behavior, it’s problematic, and if it was just about teenage rebellion, I don’t think he’d need to frame it that way. With the race question removed, it seems silly to use baggy pants as a surrogate for criminal activity.
I’m a fan of country music, but I think we have to look at the songs critically. Some artists I really love and respect have written some stupid, stupid songs, but that’s exactly why we need to make sure the artists that are capable of writing better songs do so, and we don’t encourage a bad song just because I ordinarily like the guy.
This week’s racist country song is Eric Church’s “Homeboy,” which has moved past the Toby Keith-style “We’ll put a boot in your ass if you’re brown and from another country” xenophobia of the previous decade and back to the more traditional racism of, say, David Allan Coe’s “[N]-hatin’ me.”
In what I like to call “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be black guys,” Church urges the listener to keep their teenage offspring from hanging around with the wrong crowd (black people), before they start getting baggy pants and tattoos and fake gold teeth and rap albums and jail time. He insists that they’d be much happier fishing by the lake with a ice-cold beer and their (white) high school flame (more on the ideal country music universe later).
The brilliant chorus is something to the effect of “Tell them to ‘come on home, boy’ before they’re called Homeboy.” despite the fact that no young person has called another young person “homeboy” in at least 15 years.
I deleted my Twitter months ago because it was full of vitriol and I was looking for a job. Now I’m back on Twitter because I’m looking for a job and it’s the law in my profession, even though I have nothing to tweet about if I’m not tweeting vitriol.