It’s an obvious observation, but this song came out before the Internet. Which means that I – like tens of thousands of 12-year-olds in 1986, I would imagine – was unable to immediately figure out what the hell the B Boys were whine-shouting about. I’ll admit it: I thought the rap was about a monkey. Then, in high school, I learned from friends that a Brass Monkey was a sort of gutter mimosa – malt liquor and O.J. Gross. Then, in college, thanks to the World Wide Web, I discovered the source of that funk-skronk horn: Wild Sugar’s deep-disco cut, ‘Bring It Here.’ Rad. And they say friends are better than the Internet.
Alcohol and music go together like Jack Daniels and Coca-Cola. Is there any better shared experience than when the right song hits the jukebox at the peak of the night in a crowded bar, and everyone stops to raise a glass and sing along?
In all honesty, any song can be a drinking song if it plays at the right moment, with the correct level of intoxication. But true drinking songs are something else entirely – they speak to the experience of getting buzzed in a way even teetotalers can understand and appreciate. They also transcend genre: the best drinking songs can be Irish folk tunes, shout-along punk anthems, chest-rattling hip hop party jams or sombre reflections about the morning after. And, of course, not all of them actually celebrate drunkenness – think ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’ by Kendrick Lamar. But for our purposes here, we’re mostly ignoring the songs about the dark side of booze, and focusing on those that recognise that making bad decisions is an important part of life.
Written by Michael Chen, Brent DiCrescenzo, Sophie Harris, Oliver Keens, Andy Kryza, Hank Shteamer, Kate Wertheimer, Zach Long and Matthew Singer.