Shaboozey’s ‘A Bar Song (Tipsy)’ might be the next great unifier bop. Oh my. Good Lord!

OPINION: The genre-bending rapper-country singer dropped a song that jams and nods to “Tipsy,” one of the great club jams of the mid-aughts. 

Shaboozey performs with Diplo at the Palomino Stage during the 2024 Stagecoach Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 27, 2024 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Since I was first introduced to Shaboozey some moons ago, I have been trying to figure out how in the world he got to be the artist he is. He’s from Woodbridge, Virginia, which is part of the Washington, D.C., suburbs of Northern Virginia. He’s Nigerian-American. He’s also in his 20s. His entire profile says hip-hop artist, leaning trap. And he’s done that. The first song I ever heard of his where I knew who he was was “Beverly Hills,” which is basically a trap jam in the same vein as Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” 

But the more I started to pay attention and listen to his music (this is all before his appearances on Beyoncé’s “Cowboy Carter”), the more I saw that heavy lean into what I guess is country/Americana/folks music. His singing voice is insane. But I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of him. And then I heard “Let It Burn” and I was like, “Oh, buddy has figured it out!” It’s like if Future did country, backwood jams with banjos and violins and wore Carhartt and big buckles in a non-ironic way. Again, Shaboozey’s voice is crazy, his songwriting is amazing. Package-wise, he’s primed to hop into that country music lane, take up space and bring a lot of folks with him. The production value of his music and music videos is all top-notch. 

And then “Cowboy Carter” dropped, and he’s on both “SPAGHETTII” AND “SWEET*HONEY*BUCKIIN’” and I felt, in my shando that he was about to be off to the races. You can’t hear his voice (along with all of the other artists on “Cowboy Carter”) and not want to hear more. 

Now, we have what might be one of the best multicultural, unification songs I’ve heard in forever with “A Bar Song (Tipsy).” Oh, my. Good Lord. 

Have you ever heard a song and immediately knew it was a hit? That’s the way I felt as soon as “The Bar Song (Tipsy)” hit. A hit is great, but what makes this song special is that it not only jams hard but by bringing the lyrics to J-Kwon’s 2004 mega-hit “Tipsy” into the fold, he made it a song that you can bump in the bar (naturally) and the club — I’ll bet J-Kwon is waiting on a phone call RIGHT NOW. The song is so sing-a-long-able that I can hear it working in venues of all stripes. Even people who are resistant to banjos and violins will find this song infectious. Shoot, the song opens up talking about how his woman wants a Birkin, a cross-cultural, class-based concern for all of us with significant others who want the finer things in life.  We all work hard for the money only to never have enough. 

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Like so many of us who hit the clubs and bars for a break from reality, “The Bar Song (Tipsy)” is tailor-made for fun on a Friday night. I mean, who doesn’t have a history with Jack Daniels, ya know? Shaboozey’s penchant for creating relatable content is otherworldly. I feel like I need to go to a bar this weekend JUST to see what happens when the song comes on because this song is coming on in all spaces where white people congregate. The Black venues might be slower on the take, but all it takes is one DJ to play it and then a few folks in the crowd who know it get an entire venue two-steppin’ and yelling “one, then goes the two to the three and the four!”

Clearly, I’m not the only one who feels this way. In historic fashion, Shaboozey’s “The Bar Song (Tipsy)” is now the No. 1 song on Billboard’s country chart, making this the first time a Black artist has overtaken another Black artist for the No. 1 song on that chart. The song he overtook was none other than Beyoncé’s “Texas Hold’ Em.” 

The yee-haw agenda is in full swing and firing on all cylinders, and I’m happy to be here. Pour me up a shot of Jack Daniels.  

Oh, my. Good Lord.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things, drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest), but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said: “Unknown” (Blackest).

Make sure you check out the Dear Culture podcast every Thursday on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network, where I’ll be hosting some of the Blackest conversations known to humankind. You might not leave the convo with an afro, but you’ll definitely be looking for your Afro Sheen! Listen to Dear Culture on TheGrio’s app; download it here.