Finding UC Berkeley in popular music

The intersection of hometowns and hymns in the history of popular music has produced anthems as mythic as Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” Lynyrd Skyryd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and Tupac “California Love.” But what about Cal — your home away from home? Who cares about the Golden Bear? This weekend, the Clog accepted the challenge of digging up some lyrics to find instances where UC Berkeley was represented in verse. This is what we found:

Berkeley Is My Baby ~ Blatz (1990) 

Oh, its a town of fucking fantasy,
wish i went to UCB
cause there are thirty thousand stupid kids
and they’re all brain washed into what they see

Locally-based Blatz was a short-lived punk rock band that grew out of 924 Gilman Street — the same foundation as Green Day and AFI. And correction, there are thirty-five thousand kids that go to Cal. Just saying.

Sad But True ~ The Transplants (2002)

In a dream you take a tripdown Shattuck to Durant
up the hill, to the steps, Sproul Plaza and Telegraph
Yeah it’s reoccurring it’s like a dream
I live a thousand times yeah
And it’s always like the very first time

The Transplants are a San Diego-based punk rock group that includes members of the alternative rock group Blink-182 and punk rock group Rancid. We agree that walking through Sather Gate makes us feel like freshmen all the time, dreaming or not.

Hello Brooklyn 2.0 ~ Jay-Z ft. Lil Wayne (2007)

Like a mama you birth me, Brooklyn you nursed me
Schooled me with hard knocks, better than Berkeley

Jay-Z is a New York-based rapper who has the attention of President Obama and the affection of Beyonce Knowles. We aren’t entirely sure why Jay-Z thinks he went to Cal, but we definitely wish he did.

Novacane~ Frank Ocean (2011)

I blame it on a model broad with the hollywood smile
Oww, stripper booty and rack like wow
Brain like Berkeley. Met her at Coachella

Frank Ocean is a Los Angeles-based rapper notable for breaking barriers against homophobia in the mainstream music industry. We are disappointed that he won’t be in the Bay for another year, but we’ll give him a blue and gold shout-out when he does.

The best part of our search? We haven’t found a single Stanford mention. We aren’t surprised either.

Image Source: NRK P3 under Creative Commons

A previous version of this article stated that the Transplants became part of Blink-182. The Transplants are still a band that includes one member from Blink-182.