Fall Out Boy & Hip-Hop
In a time where cross-genre inspiration is highly recognized and cross-genre songs become record breaking billboard hits, we need to take a second to praise our boys in FOB for bridging the gap between punk and rap over and over again.
Pre-dating 2005, the Chicago OGs have been influencing hip-hop and we didn’t even consider it in our little punk-rock and/or hip-hop heads. Surprise took both genre’s when Gym Class Heroes released the hit song “Cupid’s Chokehold” featuring Patrick Stump dropped and went on to peak at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. And then they hit us in 2007 when Kanye was featured on a remix for “This Ain’t A Scene, Its An Arms Race”. When “All Falls Down” and “Breathe In Breathe Out” who thought Kanye would be listening to FOB? Or that “Infinity on High” was produced by Babyface? How many people know that “The Take Over, The Breaks Over” are literally the first bars of a JAY-Z song? FOB had been signed with Island Records which is a part of the mainstream label Island Def Jam Music Group, along with Def Jam Records since 2003 and with their increasing popularity they caught Hov’s attention. At the time Mr. President found fascination with the viral marketing that was going on in the scene, shouting out My Chemical Romance and speaking directly to critics who “said it would never happen” on the opening of Infinity, Hov was here to prove that they were starting a movement. To my own surprise, they were so tight that he even gifted them Roc-A-Fella chains. They were women’s chains because Jay thought the men’s would look too out of place Legends.
While working on their 3rd studio album “Folie a Deux” which happens to be produced by Pharrell, the boys set out to push the boundaries of collaboration and find an MC to sing on the record instead of just doing a verse which generally the standard at the time. Wayne was rocking the charts with “Lollipop” and experimenting more and more with singing and Fall Out Boy took notice. In an interview with Redeye, Patrick Stump said that their decision to reach out to Lil Wayne was largely due to his own interest in rock culture at the time. Patrick thought Wayne would be the perfect choice because he “isn’t exclusively into rhyming, he also likes musicality and melody.” They foresaw the sea of change that Lil Wayne was about to rock Hip Hops world with (pun intended) and they wanted to be a part of it. They featured him in their way-too-catchy song and favored him so much that they put him on a remix of “America’s Suitehearts” which ended up leaking just 4 months after the albums release.
In 2009 they released a greatest hits album as if they were actually done making great hits and then almost killed their fanbase by announcing their hiatus not too long after. From the day the it started, and for FOUR LONG YEARS, fans wondered if they would return. A tweet from a friend of the band in 2012 had fans, media outlets, and artists buzzing but they were quick to deny any chance of a reunion. Then 2 Chainz posted a picture him and Pete to Instagram captioning it “Fall Out Boy ft. 2 Chainz?” and somehow no one really took him seriously?
We should know better. But they continued to deny rumors until Feb 4th, 2013 when they announced that they were back to Save Rock and Roll. Fans lost their absolute minds and their song “My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Lit Em Up)” hit #2 on ITunes within hours, peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, and went 5x Platinum. It was a whole new sound drowning in the same Fall Out Boy style but it was more… evolved. Each new song they released from that point forward was more pop than the previous and they showed us again that they will not be tied to one sound, one demographic, one time period, none of that. Also doing his part to save rock and roll, Big Sean threw a verse on “The Mighty Fall” which in my personal favorite feature that they’ve had thus far. Sean’s style was the perfect compliment to FOB’s new sound with his upbeat pop-esque verse that offered witty well-delivered melodic bars that he is known for. The only thing that would make me happier would be a Drake feature but I’ll save that for another time.
They were greeted so warmly back into the industry that they knew they couldn’t stop there so kept the momentum going by releasing “Centuries” just a year and a half later, before their sixth studio album which features the song, was even completed. Wasting no time, they dropped “American Beauty/American Psycho” not too long after, and immediately dropped the Wiz Khalifa remix to “Uma Thurman” in promotion for their North American leg of their American Beauty/American Psycho Tour. They even came to our very own Blossom Music Center and the crowd was not the least bit hesitant to show their love and knowledge of both artists. In a conference call with MetroTimes, Pete Wentz threw in his take on the collaboration, "... One of the things that we think is interesting or are out to prove is that genres just matters a lot less now. Like Wiz is a Rockstar. You know what I'm saying?" he said. "People love songs. I think the same people that love 'See You Again' would love 'Centuries,' you know? I think that's really important to us." Wiz kept that same energy when he spoke on his respect for all types of band culture. "Some of my favorite bands are Queen, Journey, the Police. I love Bob Marley and the Wailers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and System of a Down," he said. "A lot of people who just really rock it live and kill it. I'm a huge George Clinton fan when you say funk music and Frankie Beverly and Maze. Yes I'm heavily inspired by live music and the band aesthetic." You can read the full MetroTimes article on the show here.
Fall Out Boy brought that to us without making us drive 12 hours to 3 D A Y S or pay crazy expensive music festivals ticket prices. And just 5 days after the tour ended in Russia, FOB blessed us with “Make America Psycho Again” featuring artists from Juicy J all the way up to the Migos. They show consistent and constant praise for hip hop and they have never been shy about how it has influenced their music and they have shown it time and time again and hip-hop loves them for it.
Their most recently released album touches bases with their early roots of sound but its perfectly convoluted in the essence of their new scene. Just recently they were featured on a Lil Peep and ILoveMakonnen song called “I’ve Been Waiting” which is probably the catchiest song of 2019 so far. ILoveMakonnen spoke in an interview with AltPress on how Pete Wentz reached out to him after Lil Peeps passing to send his condolences and he recalled conversations that he had with Peep about their admiration for the band which resulted in a stunning collaboration that extended on their influence to reach an even younger demographic of hip-hop listeners. You can read the article and watch the video here.
From Peep to Jay-Z you will find mountains of respect for Captain Fedora and the Pop-Punk Avengers and we need to recognize that for the greater good of music collaboration junkies everywhere. Their interest in the culture and influence has helped them withstand the test of time and ever changing fan-demands. Each one of them is the living embodiment of this video and we must appreciate them for as long as we possibly can.