Bad and boujee: A history from Marx to Migos


When the Atlanta rap trio Migos released “Bad and Boujee,” the rambunctious lead single off of their second album, it quickly became a viral sensation. Actor Donald Glover called it the “best song, ever” at the 2017 Golden Globe awards, spurring a 243 percent spike in Spotify streams. Memes adopting the song’s opening line—“raindrop, drop top”—proliferated on the Internet. The song eventually peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and became Migos’ first chart-topping single.

“Bad and Boujee” illustrates a lifestyle distant from traditional notions of what it means to be bourgeois, one of extreme wealth—Ferraris, diamonds, Lamborghinis—but also violence and casual distrust. In the song, Migos rap about stirring pots of drugs with Uzis, a type of Israeli submachine gun, making money off of the sale of cocaine, and having sex with women. The music video is filled with contradictory imagery. Women drink champagne poured out of gold bottles but eat Cup Noodles and fried chicken. These conflicting visuals raise an important question: how has the meaning of “bourgeois” evolved over time, and what does it mean to be “boujee”?

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