Following the events that put the Harlem born rapper in jail in Sweden, ASAP Rocky has come out with his latest single, “Babushka Boi”. Along with it comes Rocky’s rapping about his riches, and his scar resembling that of Tony Montana. A music video accompanies this song, with exaggerated costume designs where Rocky and his crew are being chased by police men who are actually pigs. And of course, one of the most notable parts of the song and video is his babushka. In North America, a babushka is a head scarf typically worn by Russian women.
Rocky has said himself that he’s a trend setter when it comes to fashion, especially on the hip hop scene. The peculiar fashion choice on Rocky’s part by bearing a babushka only further cements this claim. Needless to say, Rocky really showed that he’s not wasting any time in regards to his music after being released from jail in Sweden.
“Babushka Boi” is peppered with references to how successful Rocky has become since his “Live. Love. ASAP” days. The song opens with Rocky expressing his protectiveness over the money he has rightfully earned through his rap career stating, “don’t play, no, ‘bout my papes, baked potato on that Draco”. The baked potato line is in reference to the belief that stuffing a potato on the barrel of a gun will silence it. The mention of the gun, Draco, alone leads us to believe that Rocky will go to great lengths to protect what belongs to him.
Besides that, the other references to his money are mostly in a bragging manner. ASAP Rocky references how much he spends on strippers, how much he keeps tucked away, and how much money he will spend on his aforementioned babushka. Lyrically speaking, Rocky leaves listeners with more to desire after hearing this track. Of course he makes up for it with his smooth flow switches and addictive cadence, however more complexity with the lyrics would further strengthen the song. Rocky does offer a bit more satisfaction when it comes to lyrics by incorporating the popular film ‘Scarface’ into the song.
In the chorus of Babushka Boi Rocky references Scarface’s montra of, “The world is yours,” several times. This could be a message to Rocky’s fans saying to use the most of the opportunities given to you because they may be hard to come by later in life. It’s possible that Rocky has more ambition following his release from a Swedish jail, and is trying to share his newfound passion for his work with the world. “Babushka Boi” is certainly not lyrically profound, but it does send a clear and inspiring message through Rocky’s references to the film Scarface. So still, the lyrics are worth a quick analysis.
“Babushka Boi” is accompanied by a music video featuring Looney Tunes-esque costumes and a plot about bank robbers escaping the grasps of the law. Rocky and his crew don flamboyant and colorful suits after they escape prison and run from the cops, who are actually pigs. Rocky and his crew go on the run after getting chased by the pigs for robbing the bank with relative ease. However Rocky and his crew seek to get vengeance on the pigs that arrested him and meet them in a standoff on a hill. Rocky and his crew massacre the pigs and viewers are left to assume that Rocky’s crew sold the pigs carcasses to a butcher shop to make sausages.
Throughout the video, the pigs use tiny, useless pistols that don’t shoot bullets or do any damage to Rocky’s crew. While Rocky and his crew use large and powerful tommy guns to eventually mow down the pigs at the end of the music video. This imbalance of power between Rocky’s crew and the pigs may be a bit of social commentary regarding the Black community and the police force. Following his successful departure from Swedish jail, Rocky may be feeling a shift in power between the two forces. Rocky is saying the police are losing power, and that him being released from jail is an example of that. Rocky’s encouraging his fans to keep fighting the good fight because the tides are turning.
One other thing to note about the video, stylistically, is the use of the cartoonish visuals. At first glance when you see something that has cartoonish influences you don’t typically imagine it to be associated with violence. Therefore the video creates a creepier and more unsettling feeling for the viewers, causing them to pay more attention to the video.
In summary, Rocky delivered a solid track with a banging beat, a good message and an entertaining music video to accompany it. Yes, the lyrics left more to be desired as a whole, but the general message of do the most you can do and maximize on your opportunities is beautiful. The music video was a great garnish to the meal that was “Babushka Boi.” Great visual, influential social commentary, and definitely worth a watch. So with the music video giving it an extra point, “Babushka Boi” comes in at an 8/10.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment