Earlier this week, Amber Rose shared an Instagram story of her boyfriend 21 Savage with the caption "I've been playing Green Day all day." 21, a man who has stared death in the face, looks mortified at the prospect of having to listen to Billie Joe and friends sing about the Man and your crummy parents or whoever. While we no longer have access to the footage because stories expire and we don't follow Amber (we suck at our jobs), let's speculate on what Green Day songs were so horrid as to make 21 Savage scowl more than he already does.
Many of these songs will come from Green Day's 2009 failed masterpiece 21st Century Breakdown because a) it's not a good album and b) they both have "21" in their names. This will also be a cathartic and uncomfortable personal experience for me, a long time fan of the band who counts Dookie as a sentimental all-time favorite album.
Kill the DJ
It's supposed to be a critique of both dubstep (remember dubstep?) and of US media noise but the unfocused lyrics basically turn it into a rewrite of The Smiths' "Panic," minus the unintentional racism. "Killin' you to death" is some St. Anger shit, and 21 Savage has conveyed more menace in single syllables than Green Day has in this line and in whole songs. He would disapprove.
Know Your Enemy
Do you? Do you? Imagine being 21 Savage and hearing that grating hook over and over again knowing that you just put "Bank Account" into the world.
Hitchin' a Ride
An older track? Yup, even the impermeable greatness of 90s Green Day has its low points. This one has always just been a "bleh" song, though, not outright awful. It's Green Day's version of "Hash Pipe," going for something badass but ending up bland and awkward. Anyone would grimace listening to this song. Worse still it's that it's preceded by "Nice Guys Finish Last," a top three opening track in a discography filled with strong ones ("Burnout" is still tops, obviously).
Holy shit, this album was trying too hard. It was a victim of poor timing too, its sneering, non-specific protests falling on deaf ears during the honeymoon period of the Obama administration a.k.a. The Last Time Humanity Felt Hope, Apparently. Problem is that just under half of the album is still very solid! It's a shame. Perhaps 21 Savage is actually a Green Day diehard and this song reminds him of what disappointment feels like.
Honestly the pun here is why this article exists. It was never that deep. Actually it might be, because since Amber's a Green Day fan she must have jammed this song back when it came out, thereby accidentally Inception-ing her future relationship with 21 into her mind. Or maybe 21's career itself was influenced by this song and Amber was aware of this connection. If Billie Joe Armstrong was indirectly responsible for Savage Mode in any way, that may just erase the many Ls he's taken since American Idiot. This song still sucks, though.
Phil can play all of 'Dookie' and 'American Idiot' from memory. He's on Twitter.