Black Beatles
by Rae Sremmurd (featuring Gucci Mane)

Album: SremmLife 2 (2016)
Charted: 2 1

Songfacts®:

  • The Rae Sremmurd duo tag themselves here the "Black Beatles" because of their fame, wealth and women. They boast that their popularity compares to the hugely successful English group and Slim Jxmmi even claims to be "related" to one of the Fab Four, Paul McCartney.
  • Atlanta rhymer Gucci Mane spits the second verse in which he boasts about his rock star lifestyle. Mane, who had recently been released from prison where he served time on gun charges, came on board at the behest of the song's producer, Mike WiLL Made-It.
  • This was the third Hot 100 Top 40 hit to namecheck The Beatles in its title. The other two were:

    "We Love You Beatles" by The Carefrees, recorded at the height of Beatlemania in 1964, which peaked at #39.

    "The Beatles' Movie Medley" by The Beatles, a compilation of snippets from various Fab Four songs that reached #12 in 1982.
  • The video was directed by Atlanta-based production company Motion Family and intermingles concert footage of Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane rocking out in concert with scenes of debauchery backstage. At one point they mimic The Beatles' iconic Abbey Road album cover.
  • Mike WiLL Made-It's beat started to come together when the Atlanta producer was playing with an arpeggiator in the studio and came up with something that sounded like a video game. "I was like, 'How can I make this s--t weird?'" he recalled to Genius. "And I was just f---ing with it. I just held that s--t down, like… It's an arp."
  • The song's popularity was enhanced when it became the go-to backing track for the Mannequin Challenge. The viral craze, in which people pose as mannequins while being filmed, started out in American high schools, before taking over the internet. "Black Beatles" was used as a backing track early on by several people, but only became strongly associated with Rae Sremmurd when the rap duo staged their own version at a Denver concert on November 3, 2016.
  • This was not only the first Hot 100 #1 for Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane, it was also the debut chart-topper for Mike WiLL Made-It.
  • It was Swae Lee who came up with the title for "Black Beatles." Slim Jxmmi recalled to Billboard magazine: "We was freestyling and he said that then we went in and recorded it."
  • Slim Jxmmi's verse was inspired by The Beatles' "Day Tripper."
  • This was selected by Billboard magazine as their Best Pop Song of 2016. They said:

    "An intoxicating mix of futuristic production and retro cultural references that somehow balanced out to sound more like the present than any other song this year, 'Black Beatles' was a touchdown before it even got to its instantly iconic opening lines, and just ran up the score from there, winning more hearts with every meme and Fab Four reference."

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