"Gun Fever," the brand new Hieroglyphics song/video that was unveiled last week at the same time that the 2013 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits was happening in Houston, Texas, tackles the current controversial topic of guns in America. From watching the new video, that the longtime Oakland hip-hop collective recorded to offer their input on the gun debate as folks who grew up in a city known for gun violence and to reflect on the prevalent fascination with guns in American society, it got me thinking about songs about guns.
And there are a lot of songs about guns. Not all but many, not too surprisingly, are rap songs from the gangsta side of the genre that glorify gun use. Of course, like the new Hieros joint (which features some of the crew's best talents including Del, Casual, Tajai, and A-Plus), there are many other hip-hop songs that look at guns in a more analytical manner such as Paris' "One Gun" (off Acid Reflex) or Aesop Rock's "Babies With Guns" (off Bazooka Tooth) which suggests that nowadays guns are so prevalent in our society that even babies are packing.
Others include E40's "Gunz" (off Revenue Retrievin' Overtime Shift) which notes that ofttimes gun owners end up hurting themselves or someone they know, and Prince Paul's sample-heavy "To Get A Gun" (off Psychoanalysis (What Is It?)) which is similar in its sampling of ads for guns to Bay Area cut-and-paste veterans Negativland's song "Guns." There are countless other songs from other genres besides rap/hip-hop that address the gun debate or simply sing about them - some merely using guns as a metaphor for various things such as The Beatles' song "Happiness Is A Warm Gun." For this Amoeblog I include that song and some others that reference guns including both Negativland's "Guns" and the new Hieroglyphics video for "Gun Fever." Click on the highlighted blue link of artist name to buy music by corresponding artist.
Negativland "Guns" video by Peter Neville
Hieroglyphics "Gun Fever"
Mission of Burma "That's When I Reach For My Revolver"
The Beatles "Happiness Is A Warm Gun"
Minutemen live with Charlie Haden "Little Man With A Gun In His Hand"
Aesop Rock "Babies With Guns (remix)" (audio only)
E-40 "Gunz" (audio only)