1001 Songs Challenge,  1990s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #732: Bonita Applebum (1990)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…


A Tribe Called Quest – Bonita Applebum (1990)

Bonita Applebum

” Bonita Applebum” is the second single from A Tribe Called Quest’s debut album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm . The song contains samples of “Daylight” by RAMP, “Memory Band” by Rotary Connection, and “Fool Yourself” by Little Feat.


Lyrics (via Genius)
Lyrics (via Genius)
Learn more about this song (via Genius)


We’re staying in the US today, dear reader, and extending our stay in New York. A Tribe Called Quest were formed in 1985 and dealt in alternative hip hop and jazz rap. When we join the group in 1990 it is with the release of their debut album – People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm – and 1001 Songs have gone with the song, Bonita Applebum

Bonita Applebum refers to a young lady that the narrator is very much into. The name “applebum” is in reference to her impressive posterior so make of that what you will. The narrator resorts to some good old-fashioned wooing of Bonita, complimenting her good looks and saying how great she is, before ruining it by immediately switching to the suggestion of sex and even what contraceptive he will use. Slow down, man. At least buy the poor girl a meal first. It’s not clear what Bonita makes of all this but the narrator is adamant that the two are the perfect pair. I’m not sure I agree.

Resorting to a conversational delivery, rather than full on rap, Bonita Applebum has pleasant backing music as the humble narrator does his level best to woo the beautiful Bonita. The group’s debut album would be well received and this song proved popular at the time. A Tribe Called Quest split up in 1998 but have reformed a couple of times in the last two decades.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

The Doors – The End (1967)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)

Ultravox – Vienna (1980)

The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? (1984)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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