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YOLO: “Bom Bom” hypnotizes
Could this hit single by Sam and the Womp be the next “Gangnam Style”?
Have you heard dubstep? Read the #imagine tag on Twitter? Seen the Tumblr of a person under the age of 15? Each week in YOLO, Millennial Analyst Lindsey Weber picks a new teen trend she doesn’t quite understand and attempts to unpack it before your very eyes.
I’ll assume you’ve heard “Gangnam Style.” The catchy K-pop hit, with its exceedingly entertaining video and Macarena-worthy galloping dance moves, has racked up nearly 300 million views on YouTube—and even soared up the actual pop charts in 31 countries. Some say that this means K-pop is finally making it way to the American pop charts. Others say it’s a fluke. I say it’s paving the way for some of the weirdest music to ever attempt to wiggle its way into the brains of our teens. I bring you: Sam and the Womp.
Sam and the Womp’s big hit, called “Bom Bom,” is almost three minutes long and is full of things teens love: nonsense lyrics, quickly moving scenes, and a cast of colorful characters. It also hit the No. 1 spot on the U.K. Single Charts. Sound familiar? Well, Sam and the Womp have taken the U.K., and they’re headed this way.
Let’s start with the lyrics. According the band’s Wikipedia, they “mix traditional elements of Balkan music and Jamaican ska with modern electronic and dance elements.” They also mix a variety of nouns, verbs, and adjectives that don’t seemingly get along. “How charming just a rapper/Load him up and eat the snapper/I want 16 pints of rum/and then I go bom bom.” Not easy enough to remember for you? “I’ve got a pie in my pocket!/A pie in my pocket?/An eye in my socket!” Well, that oughta do it.
As far as the characters go, I have a favorite. He’s not one of the main three (who go by Sam, Lady Oo, and Aaron Audio.) He’s a magical, muscular, smiling, dark-blue-tinted man who shows off his rippling abs as he lifts lifts neon dumbbells throughout “Bom Bom.” Why? Who knows. Is “Bom Bom” the start of a fitness craze? Maybe. Would it be fun to work out to? Now that you mention it! This amazing man and his fine, dark blue body have now put the thought into my brain.
“I HATE IT BUT I LOVE IT” someone in the YouTube comments writes. “I’m not sure if I want to laugh, or cry,” writes another. One aptly notes: “This song is so sh*t, I listen to it gets stuck in my head for three days…….It is such a catchy song.” And that last one is right. After I was about eight listens deep, it all started to stick. The blaring brass instruments repeating against the dancehall drums. Comic book pop art WOMP!s flashing before my eyes. The Brady Bunch inspired faces of all the wacky characters.
Let the invasion begin.
Photos via YouTube
Lindsey Weber is a writer and editor who's worked for Flipboard, Mel Magazine, Slate, Eater, Wirecutter, Billboard, and more. She currently hosts a VR talk show called Conundrums.