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Track Review

Sometimes success boils down to being in the right place at the right time. That truism definitely applies to Mississippi brothers Khalif "Swae Lee" Brown and Aaquil "Slim Jxmmi" Brown, the hip-hop duo known collectively as Rae Sremmurd.

The band's not-so-humbly titled hit "Black Beatles" had been climbing the charts since its September release. Then the Mannequin Challenge happened, and the song became a full-fledged phenomenon.

When Mannequins Attack … the Charts

If you haven't heard, the latest viral internet craze features people in frozen, mannequin-like poses while their friends record them. It began at high school in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 26, 2016, then practically broke the internet as celebs started uploading their own Mannequin Challenge videos.

Fortuitously for Rae Sremmurd, many of those videos featured "Black Beatles" as background music—including one from a real Beatle, Paul McCartney. Adele and the former members of Destiny's Child also appropriated the low-key song as their own private Mannequin Challenge soundtrack. And it never hurts to have Sir Paul, Adele and Beyoncé promoting you.

That viral boost shoved "Black Beatles" online popularity into hyperdrive, with more than 60 million people viewing the video and propelling it to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart.

The Good Life, Hip-Hop Style

The song features rapper Gucci Mane joining the brothers Brown in a shout-out to the good life, hip-hop style.

The guys have money to spare: "Black Beatles in the city be back immediately to confiscate the moneys/ … Quick release the cash, watch it fall slowly."

Fawning groupies abound: "Came in with two girls, look like strippers in their real clothes/A broke hoe can only point me to a rich hoe."

Drugs and alcohol flow freely: "Smoke in the air, binge drinking/ … Getting so gone I'm not blinking," Swae Lee says. "Pint of lean, pound of weed and a kilo," Gucci Mane brags. Later, Slim Jxmmi adds, "She's a good teaser, and we blowing reefer/ … I've been blowing OG Kush, I feel a little sedated."

Harsh profanities turn up too, with a woman being labeled a "b--ch" and Slim Jxmmi dropping an f-bomb.

The video, meanwhile, features representations of the song's subject matter, with the guys performing and living it up in a variety of locales—both on stage and at parties. There's plenty of smoking and drinking, shirtless musicians and scantily clad female fans (including one whose otherwise bare breasts are covered only with tape).

Curiously, despite the visual presence of electric guitars, bass and drums throughout the video, none of those instruments are actually heard in this spare, synth-and-drum-loop drenched song. What we do get—in both the song and its bacchanalian video—is yet another snapshot of hip-hop hedonism, with this one's top-of-the-charts popularity due to an unlikely assist from all those would-be mannequins out there.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Reached No. 1.

Record Label

EarDrummers, Interscope

Platform

Publisher

Released

September 13, 2016

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Adam R. Holz

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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