A Boy Is a Gun

Album: Igor (2019)
Charted: 74
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Here, Tyler the Creator gender-flips the popular idiom "a girl is a gun." The phrase was originally popularized by LA streetwear label Pleasures, which emblazoned it in a bold red font on T-shirts. The design took off when Playboi Carti, one of the early supporters of Pleasures, wore the shirt in the video for his July 2017 track "Magnolia."

    The phrase is associated with the notion that women can be dangerous to the unassuming male if not properly respected. Tyler's gender-bent take on the idiom plays on the concept of love being dangerous. He takes us through the arc of a gay relationship from the initial coming together to an acrimonious breakup. Falling in and out of love, according to the rapper, can be as being as perilous as playing with a loaded gun.
  • The song is built around a sample of the 1971 soul track "Bound" by Ponderosa Twins Plus One. Their tune was previously sampled by Kanye West on 2013's "Bound 2." Tyler has stated that he co-produced the original version of "Bound 1" alongside Hudson Mohawke and Yeezy himself.
  • Solange Knowles contributes background vocals. She also sang on the Igor tracks "I Think" and "I Don't Love You Anymore." When asked about his favorite moments on the album, Tyler said he especially dug Solange's vocals right before Verse 3. "Solange's run at 2:41 is so warm on 'A Boy is a Gun.' Sounds like an angel landing," he said.
  • Former Cameo and Dazz member Kevin Kendrick played keyboards on the track. He has also worked with the likes of OutKast, Gwen Stefani and Kelis.
  • The song's music video features a lovestruck Tyler in an opulent mansion eyeing a young man's every move. The rapper sports the same blond wig as he did in his previous Earfquake clip.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

Female Singers Of The 90s

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.

David Gray

David GraySongwriter Interviews

David Gray explains the significance of the word "Babylon," and talks about how songs are a form of active imagination, with lyrics that reveal what's inside us.

Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa CarltonSongwriter Interviews

The "A Thousand Miles" singer on what she thinks of her song being used in White Chicks and how she captured a song from a dream.

Jonathan Cain of Journey

Jonathan Cain of JourneySongwriter Interviews

Cain talks about the divine inspirations for "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Faithfully."