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“Bob George” by Prince – Ain’t that a bitch?

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SONG TITLE: BOB GEORGE
PERFORMER: PRINCE
SONGWRITER: PRINCE
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1994
COMMENTS: At just about the last possible minute, Prince cancelled the original 1987 release of the Black album from whence this track came. It had been mastered, and test pressings were already circulating when the decision was announced, supposedly causing the destruction of tens or even hundreds of thousands of already printed copies.

As to why he had done this, Prince offered numerous oblique reasonings, but they added up to one basic explanation: This album is evil, motivated by the dark side of his nature – whatever exactly he thought that was. Mostly it sounded like typical high quality Prince experimental dance music, laced with sexual themes but nowhere near his raunchiest. Besides, he never went much for equating sex with sin.

In “Bob George,” however, you can see his point. It is a morbid comedy about a violently jealous husband who eventually kills his woman after figuring out she was screwing some “slick black daddy” who manages rock stars. “Manage rock stars! Who? Prince? Ain’t that a bitch. That skinny motherfucker with the high voice? Please!…Don’t you know I’m gonna kill you now?”

The song is a merciless mocking of wounded stupid stone age male ego, African-American style. He kills the woman just to prove a stupid point. “You think I won’t?” Even knowing he’ll be caught or even killed himself, with police and hostage squads surrounding the house. He works in the obvious stuff about assholes swinging guns to make up for inadequacies in the bedroom. “Little? Yeah, right, it might be little, but it’s loud.”

Most particularly important for Prince, this is a brilliant satire of gangster rap. Too brilliant, arguably, for if NWA were this witty or downright musical they would have made a much more lasting impression. The flat, monotone sound of the basic hip hop beats drives home the aggravated depression and echoes his lyrical critiques of tone deaf rappers from “Dead On It.” Only he squeezes such tunefulnes out of dancer and in this case lead vocalist Albert Brooks, and such a uniquely exciting musical palette that he manages to make it sound damned appealing.

“Bob? Ain’t that a bitch!”

To put it another way, you could say that Prince satirized Eminem and his Kim shit a dozen years before he even made the records.

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  • http://jon.madisons.com/ jon

    don’t i sound special–i heard this song growing up in high school (late 80’s), when a friend of mine came back from hollywood w/ a bootleg on tape of this album. it’s just funny seeing it mentioned in 2003…

  • GNS

    Nice job. Particularly enjoyed the Eminem/Kim comparison.

    But if you could help me make sense as to why these words were put together in this order, I’d greatly appreciate it…

    “Only he squeezes such tunefulnes out of dancer and in this case lead vocalist Albert Brooks, and such a uniquely exciting musical palette that he manages to make it sound damned appealing.”

    What?