Bombs Over Baghdad (B.O.B.)

Album: Stankonia (2000)
Charted: 61
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Songfacts®:

  • Despite the title, there are no political statements made in the song. It's simply an affirmation of what Outkast is going to be like in the 21st Century. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jim - Oxnard, CA
  • In the October 2005 issue of Blender magazine, Andre 3000 explained that he got the title when he was on tour in London and turned on the news: "This news reporter, she said 'Something something and bombs over Baghdad.' It sounded good. I knew I could use it somewhere."

    At the time, American troops were occupying Baghdad as the Iraq War was raging.
  • The Atlanta rapper B.o.B took his name from this song.
  • Outkast used elements of rock in many of their songs, and this one contains a ripping guitar solo that Andre 3000 says was influenced by Jimi Hendrix (Andre portrayed Hendrix in the 2014 biopic Jimi: All Is by My Side). The solo was played by one of their band's guitarists - either David Whild or Donnie Mathis - but the record company suggested they bring in Kid Rock to play it, hoping to add star power to the project. Andre nixed the idea because he didn't want the song to be overshadowed by a celebrity name.
  • Surprisingly, this song didn't chart in America, where it wasn't sold as a single. It was released as the first promotional single from Stankonia and could have charted based on airplay, but most radio stations shied away from it. It's not radio-friendly at all, with a relentless rhythm and political-sounding title, but it is a critical and fan favorite - in 2018 Rolling Stone put it at #27 on their list of the best songs of the century to that point.

    The next Outkast single, the more mellow "Ms. Jackson," was sold in stores and went to #1, giving the rappers their breakout hit.

    After Stankonia, Outkast released another pulsing song with a striking vocal open: "Hey Ya." That one had no trouble getting airplay, also climbing to #1.
  • Backing vocals were supplied by the gospel choir at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, a historically black school. In 2006, Outkast released a song called "Morris Brown" on their album Idlewild that featured the school's marching band.
  • "Slumadelic" is how Outkast described their sound at this time. Andre 300 shouts this out in the opening line: "In-slum-national, underground."
  • The urgent track was inspired by the rock band Rage Against The Machine. "I wouldn't have done 'Bombs Over Baghdad' if it weren't for Rage Against the Machine," Andre 3000 said during a discussion with Rick Rubin for the Broken Record podcast. "Because I felt urgency in their music, so I was like, 'How can I add urgency to what we're doing?'"

    On October 26, 2020, Outkast released a remix of "B.O.B." by Rage frontman Zack de la Rocha as part of their 20th anniversary Stankonia reissue. Big Boi praised the "extra layer of grunge" de la Rocha added to the song.

Comments: 7

  • Freebobafett from SeattleThis song has no consistent theme. It's a boasting track that also delves into Andre and Big Boi's home lives which they don't seem completely happy with. I don't get how the chorus (don't pull your gun out if you're not gonna pull the trigger and don't pull the trigger without hitting something) relates to any of it. All that being said, it's one of my favorite tracks of all time.
  • Oobatz from Minneapolis, MnG from Potomac, George is correct, but didn't clarify enough, as evident by your confusion.

    You are correct, the US invaded Iraq in 1990 in Operation Desert Storm, but when this song came out in 2000, the US had left.
    George is correct as well, as this song came out 3 years before Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    This song has NOTHING to do about either Gulf War.
  • G from Potomac, MdGeorge? Are you aware that the US invaded Iraq in 1990?
  • Rayne from Orcutt, CaJohn - The song you're thinking of is a Skratch N Sniff Remix. It's called "Know your public enemy over baghdad", and can be found on Skratch N Sniff's Imeem account. It's not available for download however.
  • John from Cape Coral , FlI heard the one featuring rage against the machine and it was awesome but now i cant find it anywhere on the internet. Does anyone know where to find it?
  • James from WhangareiI've heard a collaboration with this and Rage Against The Machine. It's a really good song.
  • George from Galveston, TxDespite popular belief, the song is not about the Iraqi War (given that the song was released three whole years before the war started).
    The song's real meaning is how people in the music industry only go halfway with things and never finish them, and the group used the Gulf War as an analogy to express that theme.

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