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B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)

B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)


by OutKast

B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad) Introduction

Nope, this song wasn't written about George W. Bush and the Iraq War, which started in 2003. It's from the year 2000, which means it also came well after the First Gulf War of 1991. So are André 3000 and Big Boi psychic, or what?

Actually, "Bombs Over Baghdad" doesn't have all that much to do with Iraq. But we can say that its lyrics range from the hilarious to the hard-hitting, and that the song stayed popular long enough to make a whole bunch of "best songs" lists. We'll get you started toward understanding why this song, much like a fine wine, has only gotten better with age.

About the Song

ArtistOutKast Musician(s)André Benjamin (André 3000), Antwan Patton (Big Boi)
Writer(s)André Benjamin (André 3000), Antwan Patton (Big Boi)
Producer(s)Organized Noize
Learn to play: Tablature
Buy this song: Amazon iTunes
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Shmoop Connections

Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
As a rapper, it can be tough to keep up your reputation. Your sick ride isn't exactly going to make your friends jealous if the back seat is full of diapers. And it might reflect poorly on your image to be caught in a convertible on a rainy day, just because the weather report said it'd be sunny. But hey, that's life. Instead of being ashamed of their occasional lapses in coolness, André 3000 and Big Boi poke fun at rap clichés, almost redefining what rap can be about.

It turns out there's a long tradition of taking jabs at artistic conventions. Take Shakespeare, for instance: his Sonnet 130 is a kick in the pants to sappy love poetry. Shakespeare felt that the reality captured by traditional love poetry - much like the reality portrayed in traditional rap music - just wasn't realistic. Lucky for us, life as he really saw it made for a mighty fine poem, just as OutKast's antics make for a darn good song.

On the Charts

"B.O.B" lagged behind another track off of Stankonia on the charts, "Ms. Jackson," only making it to #69 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Charts. "B.O.B." failed to make it onto the Billboard Hot 100, while "Ms. Jackson" made it to the #1 position. "B.O.B." did reach #61 on the U.K. Singles Chart, however.

The song has since received much more attention than it did when it first appeared. Pitchfork recently named "B.O.B." the best track of the decade (2000-2009). It was ranked #1 in their list of "The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s."

In 2008, VH1 ranked "B.O.B." #23 in their list of the "100 Greatest Songs of Hip-Hop."

In 2006, Blender ranked "B.O.B." #2 on their list of the "500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born."

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