In March of last year, a video for a little song entitled "Peach Scone" went viral. It showcased five amazingly talented boys in their backyard sending in a tape for the NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers are a couple of kids from Sacramento who like to make a little love, make a little music. Johnson's slam poetry vibe is one that isn't common to most in music, so once Peach Scone started getting passed around, the world was tuned in. Hobo and The Boiz released their first album in late 2017 entitled "The Rise of Hobo Johnson." I decided to pick my favorite lyrics from each song and give you a little taste of one of my favorite artist.
1. "Sex in the City:" "I’m not sayin it’s real smooth sailing, but guys being nice doesn’t hurt. I’m not saying they’re perfect, I’m saying they're different and the differences is they love to wear skirts.”
This album starts with a banger. This may be my favorite Hobo Johnson song (watch me say that about all the others too). From the get-go, Frank is calling our judgmental society the f*ck out. The way he doesn't defend them by objectifying anyone any farther, he goes with personality traits instead.
2. "DeMarcus Cousins & Ashley:" "I love breathing, pizza, Santa Claus and Jesus. And other things that feel real nice to believe in."
When you're struggling, you'll settle for anything to believe in. Whenever I get stressed or overwhelmed, or sad, I find myself touching things or counting ceiling tiles because those can't change, this specific line reminded me of my specific behavior. Often when we're stressed and lost, all we need is something to believe in to make the days go a little easier.
3. "Dear Labels:" "EBT couldn’t help the fact that I’m starving for that MTV."
Frank, my love, MTV will never be worthy of your love or talent, first off. Second of all, I feel this one in my soul. Half the reason I love Hobo Johnson so much is because of his desire to live his dreams, and when he gets farther than he ever imagined, he just wants to go farther.
4. "Mario and Link:" "I asked 'do you for coffee and scones' and she says 'No!', but I just killed a fucking dragon though! with this sword that I made from the words of my soul"
I love it when songs play off of one another, and while Peach Scone isn't on the album, we all get the parallel. I also think it's calling her out (Frank loves call outs, Y'all) for not noticing all the things he goes out of his way to do for her. I think we've all been here.
5. "Father:" "Sometimes your courage makes you feel strong, but it seems as if the monster eats your muscles all along fucking pickin' out your self-respect right out its scary teeth"
In context of the song, this is about the woman his father is seeing. Thinking of it a personal context, for me, it's the girl my first love cheated on me with. I think we all have someone that we see as this monster and want to blame for the things that the primary connection in our life is putting through. And yeah, while this monster person sucks, we should probably come to terms with the real problem.
6. "Romeo and Juliet:" "But dad loves to shout, really loud. Loud enough to knock the lamps and dressers to the ground. In my memory, I can hear Chopin’s nocturnes playing in the background, a slow train wreck. You’ll close your eyes, but forever hear the sound, and boy, it’s tough. Cus that’s the sound of people falling out of love."
This makes me feel seven. I feel like I'm so small. My parents are fighting and I can't make them stop. I know what's going on, maybe it's because I'm just a kid, maybe it's because for some reason I think it's my fault. I can almost see it in my head. I can feel the blue carpet under my toes. Good songs paint good pictures, better songs make you feel things & that's exactly what Frank does.
7. "Creve Coeur 1:" "Sometimes you drive a car and lose control, and it pulls. Hold me closely, I don’t think you should love me. Always feel so lonely, knowing nothing last forever, last forever. Sorry Frank, you’re much too late."
THIS SONG S L A P S as is, but this part makes the world stop spinning, brings a ringing sensation deep in my ears and I have to remember my feet are on the ground. I relate to both sides of this song so much. I've been so hurt and stepped on I sometimes think it's much too late for anyone to love me, but then again I'm always the one reaching and praying for someone to love me in the way I love them.
8. "3%:" "But, but, but, they said it's a three-percent chance that I'm gonna make it. That's a little bit less than what it is in my mind, but it's ok, I think I can take it They said it's a three-percent chance, my friends, that's what they said."
I was told I'd never make it. I was told that I would MAYBE graduate high school, girls like me didn't make it to college. We get pregnant, we drop out. We let boys who drink PBRs constantly and swing on us every now again break our hearts. But I graduated top of my class, I went to my dream school and I am 75% of the way done with my degree. And they said I had a three percent chance.
9. "Jesus Christ:" "And Jesus Christ seems super nice. I wonder if he'd love me. How come I only wonder when I'm sad or really hungry? Jesus Christ, you're super nice, but don't expect much from me"
I struggled with my faith for a long time, and I think we all do every now and again. I think we all get scared that we're not worthy of God's love. Or we find ourselves only actually asking for love and forgiveness when we've fallen so far, it just seems like a distant wish now.
10. "The Ending:" "Now look at me. How's it going? My name's Frank. Wassuuup? Today, we're looking into what really fucking matters: Gucci bags, money bands, trap beats and sarcasm"
I love Frank so much because as much as he says he wants to be normal and rock MTV and have thousands of people screaming his name, he knows who he is. He knows what matters and at the end of the day, he's a boy who writes poems and likes making music with his friends. I think this really captivates the whole vibe of the album and Hobo Johnson as a whole.
After seeing Frank in the flesh this past November, I just love him that much more. His passion is contagious, his deep-rooted love and emotion in his soul are unparalleled to any other. This is truly just the Rise of Hobo Johnson.