Why Do People Love Africa by Toto?

Why Do People Love Africa by Toto?

What about this '80s bop unifies people?
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Many listeners were not even alive when the song was released, but now people of all ages just cannot get enough of the song Africa by 1980s rock group Toto. I mean, not everybody loves this song, but everybody knows this song one way or another. For me, I found it when I watched Straight No Chaser, an all male acapella group, incorporated it into their rendition of Twelve Days of Christmas. Others might have found it when Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake made it the main bit in a recurring sketch called Camp Winnipesaukee. Or maybe you heard it in the very first episode of Stranger Things. Or Family Guy. Or Southpark, since that song found its way in an episode of both of those shows. Or maybe you found it in a meme, since it looks to be making its rounds in that internet culture phenomena by contributing to pure, wholesome internet humor. Either way, you found it or it found you.

This year is going to mark the 35th year anniversary of Africa by Toto reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, so now is better than ever to ask the question: Why do young people love Africa so much?

In an article from The Guardian, songwriter and vocalist David Paich of Toto said "It was as if a higher power was writing through me, because this stuff was coming out like magic" when talking about how Africa came to be. Steve Lukather, the guitarist questioned the lyricism, saying "I thought the song had a brilliant tune, but I remember listening to the lyrics and going: 'Dave, man, Africa? We’re from north Hollywood. What the f*ck are you writing about? I bless the rains down in Africa? Are you Jesus, Dave?”'' Now, with the 1980s making a huge comeback in pop culture, music, and in some senses fashion (although now it seems to shift toward the 70s), Millennials look back on an outwardly simpler time when songs like Africa could reach #1 on a Hot 100 and no one had to worry about student loans or what political think piece would visit your Facebook next.

Really, Africa stands as the epitome of 80's: a fun aesthetic, iconic drum loops, fun synths and keyboard riffs, and nonsensicality (you have four white men who have never been to Africa writing about Africa in a romanticized and Westernized way), but if you look past the surface level, look beyond the aesthetic people remember it as, you find a more serious time in that same era. The Ethiopia famine devastated the country around the same time Africa was soaring in popularity. I am not saying these two events are interconnected beyond chronologically lining up, but it is always important to remember the issues that seldom come to mind when reminiscing on a time period you never grew up in. Still, I see nothing wrong with enjoying something from a different time period or even wishing you lived 30 years prior as long as you recognize its many other contexts.

But maybe you just like Africa because it bops. It bangs. The song has something for everyone, from the vocals to the lyrics to the drums before the refrain to the pan flute solo. Frankly, I love this song. Nothing feels more satisfying than screaming the line It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you! with a group of people, no matter how off key the room is. But who cares? Nothing busts my gut more than listening to people hit lead singer Bobby Kimball's iconic high note near the end of the song. You know, IIII'M GONNA TAKE SOMETIME. I have also tried giving that line a go, and I either come in at the wrong time or my vocal chords fail to go that high. Oh well. I have fun. We all have fun. It is a song appropriately fit for the 1980s, and has not depreciated since. Coincidentally, Toto released a best hits album last Friday, which I recommend giving a listen.

One more thing: there is a website that endlessly loops Africa. You're welcome.

Cover Image Credit: Raincoat Ron on Flick Creative Commons

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75 Of The Most Iconic Vine Quotes

"I smell like beef"

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Vine may be dead but Vine references live on. I still watch Vine threads AT LEAST twice a day. Here are 75 of the most quotable vines:

1. "Ooooooo, he needs some milk."

2. "Hi, welcome to Chili's."

3. "It is Wednesday, my dudes."

4. "Country boy, I love you ahhhwweelhwh..."

5. "Escalera oooooooaaaa!"

6. "F**k ya chicken strips!"

7. "Barbecue sauce on my titties."

8. "Gimme your F**KING money!"

9. "That was legitness."

10. "Ms. Keisha, MS. KEISHA! Oh my f**king God, she f**king dead."

11. "Fre-sha-vocado."

12. "Staaaahp! I coulda dropped my croissant!"

13. "That's my OPINION."

14. "You're not my dad, ugly ass f**king noodle head."

15. "What the f**k, Richard."

16. "This bitch empty, YEET!"

17. "Road work ahead? Yeah, I sure hope it does."

18. "What up, I'm Jared I'm 19, and I never f**king learned how to read."

19. "Um, I'm never been to oovoo javer."

20. "My God, they were roommates."

21. "Why are you running, why are you running?"

22. "Whoever threw that paper, your mom's a hoe."

23. "I can't swim."

24. "Lebron James."

25. "It's an avocado, thanksssss..."

26. "Mother trucker dude, that hurt like a butt cheek on a stick."

27. "Watch your profanity."

28. "I love you bitch, I ain't never gonna stop loving you, biiiiiitch."

29. "What are thoooooose?"

30. "I smell like beef."

31. "You better stop."

32. "What the F**K IS UP KYLE?"

33. "Come get y'all juice."

34. "Two bros, chilling in a hot tub, 5 feet apart cause they're not gay."

35. "So you just gonna bring me a birthday gift on my birthday to my birthday party on my birthday with a birthday gift?"

36. "I wanna be a cowboy, baby."

37. "Why you always lying?"

38. "Nice Ron" "I sneezed, oh, what, am I not allowed to sneeze?"

39. "I'm washing me and my clothes."

40. "Honey, you've got a big storm coming."

41. "XOXO, gossip girl."

42. "Shoutout to all the pear."

43. "A potato flew around my room before you came."

44. "Chipotle is my life."

45. "Look at all those chickens!"

46. "YOU BETTER STOP."

47. "I like turtles."

48. "It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life, watermelon, INSIDE A WATERMELON."

49. "Deez nuts, HA GOT EM?"

50. "F**k you, I don't want no ravioli."

51. "21."

52. "I'm in my mum's car, broom broom."

53. "Iridocyclitis."

54. "You know what, I'm about to say it."

55. "That is NOT correct."

56. "Uh, I'm not finished" "Oh my God, can you let me do what I need to do?"

57. "I have osteoporosis."

58. "ADAM."

59. "Merry Chrysler."

60. "Wait a minute, who ARE you?"

61. "Try me, bitch."

62. "When will you learn, THAT YOUR ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES?"

63. "I didn't get no sleep cause of y'all, y'all not gone get no sleep cause of me!"

64. "Do you want to go see Uncle Cracker or no?"

65. "So no head?"

66. "You got eczema."

67. "I am shooketh."

68. "Hey my name is Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow."

69. "Can I PLEASE get a waffle?"

70. "There is only one thing worse than a rapist." "A child."

71. "Ah f**k, I can't believe you've done this."

72. "Bitch, I hope the f**k you do."

73. "Two shots of vodka."

74. "F**k off Janet, I'm not going to your f**king baby shower."

75. "JEEEEEZ, Jesus Christ."

Cover Image Credit:

Vine/Katie Ryan

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8 Old Katelyn Tarver Songs You Probably Haven't Heard

None of her new songs will ever go as hard as "Chasing Echoes" and that's a fact.

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Years ago, I found (through iTunes recommendations) a pretty cool female artist. Later found out she was on "Big Time Rush", and then I found out she had some new songs out. I decided to give her new songs a listen, and they're good. However, I prefer some of her older stuff, which sadly isn't on Spotify. Fortunately, YouTube exists, and I'm here to share the best ones.


1. "Wonderful Crazy"

This is just a fun, upbeat song for when you're having a good day. Would recommend playing in your car with the windows rolled down.

2. "Rain"

I have a very specific memory of a time when this song blessed my life, but for all intents and purposes, it is a beautiful and happy song.

3. "I'll Make It Real"

This is a beautiful song with a wonderful message about staying true to yourself. I used to listen to it on the way to school every day my senior year of high school.

4. "Something In Me"

Featured in the greatest show of all time, "South of Nowhere" season 1 episode 6. A very relatable breakup mood.

5. "Love Alone"

This is definitely the second-hardest-hitting song she's ever released. The fact that this is not on Spotify or even iTunes anymore is just not fair.

6. "Favorite Girl"

This one's cute and upbeat, a definite crush mood. Not on the same level as "Love Alone", but it's still underrated.

7. "Closer to My Heart"

Another cute love song. I'll tie it with "Everything" for cutest love song on her first album. Highly recommend both.

8. "Chasing Echoes"

Facts are facts and the facts are that Katelyn Tarver's new stuff could never go as hard as "Chasing Echoes". I can't even begin to explain how deeply these lyrics cut through me when I was fifteen. Even now, this song can take me all the way back. She is robbing us by not making this available on streaming services (or even to purchase). Katelyn, bring this song back, I am begging you.

Anyway, I'm still enjoying the new stuff and am excited to see what's next.

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