by Gorillaz (featuring ScHoolboy Q)

Album: Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez (2020)
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  • Pac-Man is an arcade game created by Japanese video game designer Toru Iwatani. The first ever Pac-Man machine - then called Puck-Man - was installed in a Tokyo movie theater on May 22, 1980. Here, Damon Albarn nods to Pac-Man's 40th anniversary by comparing his life to being stuck inside a game.

    I'm a mad Pac-Man livin' in a leveled world
    Everywhere I go I don't know where I am

    Players find themselves totally immersed in the addictive game and can lose themselves for hours (there are 256 levels in Pac-Man). In doing so, they can escape for a time the realities of the real world.
  • Though Albarn wrote the song before the COVID era, his multiple allusions to feeling stuck in a place and trying to "level up" in the world is very 2020 appropriate. "A lot of stuff in my songs comes true," Albarn admitted to The Sun. "Attali the French philosopher said all music is connected to prophecy. We're in tune with vibrations!"
  • ScHoolboy Q steps in halfway through to rap a couple of verses, during which he asks, "How can I trust truth?"
  • Released as a single on July 20, 2020, "Pac-Man" is the fifth installment of Gorillaz' Song Machine video series.
  • Gorillaz co-produced the song with their regular collaborator Remi Kabaka, and with Prince Paul, who is best known for helming De La Soul's debut album 3 Feet High and Rising. Their production samples multiple sound effects from the retro Pac-Man game.
  • Pac-Man has inspired several other songs, most famously Buckner & Garcia's "Pac-Man Fever," which peaked at #9 in the US in 1982.
  • The colorful music video depicts Damon Albarn as 2-D playing a Gorillaz-themed Pac-Man arcade game, while a neon ScHoolboy Q raps his verses from home. Noodle, Russel and Murdoc also show up as their animated selves.


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