Every Song About Bitcoin, Reviewed

On a scale from Fork No! to Off the Block Chain!, how do these Bitcoin bangers stack up?

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Jul 3 2014, 1:00pm


Photo via mdotstrange on YouTube

Pop music and money have always been closely intertwined, especially since the former, done right, can lead to the latter in massive quantities. From “Money” to “All About the Benjamins,” there's a long tradition of making music that's about, well, money, Benjamins, dollar dollar bills, Euros, Yen, ducats—all kinds of currency. With the exception of weird fantasy epics and allegorical protest songs about capitalism, however, music about money tends to usually be about real forms of money.

There's some new money in town, though, and it's the hottest thing since Beanie Babies. For those of you who have been living under a rock, it's called Bitcoin, and it has a lot of ardent fans who are convinced it's the answer to many of our global economic woes. Some of these fans are so ardent, they've recorded music about Bitcoin, the same way, say, T.I. and Young Thug recently made a song "About the Money." Is this music any good? I wanted to know, so I tracked down as much Bitcoin music as I could and listened to it all.

To understand the merits of various songs about Bitcoin, though, it's probably important to understand a little bit about how Bitcoin works and why it inspires both so much devotion and so much mockery. Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency, which, at the time of this writing, is trading for around $650 per Bitcoin, or BTC. There are a finite amount of Bitcoins out there, and new ones are generated through a process of “mining”: Essentially, computers compete to solve an extremely complicated mathematical puzzle and unlock the next “block,” which contains a record of recent transactions, a bunch of bitcoins, and a puzzle that launches the next block. Because of the way it's designed, Bitcoin is anonymous (and therefore impossible to track), immune to duplicate transactions, and completely outside of any government regulation.


Animation via Zhou Tonged on YouTube

Due to these qualities, it's popular among people trading illicit goods (its main use for years was on the black market exchange Silk Road) and among people who don't trust the government, particularly those who are convinced of an impending global economic collapse triggered by hyperinflantion due to the use of fiat currency (a.k.a. regular money that isn't tied to an actual object, like gold). Due to these qualities, Bitcoin also has a reputation of being an obsession of Libertarian message board nerds who have a complete misunderstanding of both economics and overall human society. It tends to get mocked due to the extreme volatility of Bitcoin's real world value. Are these critiques warranted? You listen to these songs and tell me. To improve comprehension, here's a short glossary of key terms:

Satoshi Nakamoto:The pseudonym of the anonymous figure who pioneered Bitcoin and coded the original algorithm, who is regarded by some (based on these songs at least), as a bit of a minor deity.

Block chain: The chain of officially discovered blocks and, thus, the official record of all transactions. Occasionally, the block chain might split into different paths, causing a fork, which eventually must get resolved back into one official block chain to avoid duplicate transactions.

Alpaca socks: A meme among Bitcoin enthusiasts that arose after an alpaca wool sock company became one of the first online vendors to accept Bitcoin.

Mt. Gox: Originally a Magic: The Gathering card market, this site became the largest Bitcoin exchange, handling the majority of Bitcoin transactions. But it was plagued by a vast array of technical issues that caused the value of Bitcoin to fluctuate. Earlier this year, it went offline completely, causing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of BTC to disappear and prompting charges of theft and fraud. Understandably, it is the object of frequent scorn in these Bitcoin songs.

Each Bitcoin song is rated on a five-point scale that goes from worst to best as follows:

1: Fork No!
2: Satoshitty
3: much bit, very coin
4: NOICE
5: Off the Block Chain!

“The Bitcoin Rally Song” - orymh

According to the description of this song, it was written “in a superstitious effort to encourage a new rally,” which I assume means in the hope that it will cause the rate of Bitcoin to rally, much like a traditional rain dance. Considering it sounds like the music for a GameBoy game, though, it could be music for, like, an in-game rally celebrating Bitcoin in Second Life or something? Either way, dope flute solo. No idea what this has to do with Bitcoin, though.

Score: Satoshitty

“Bitcoin Rap” - hoodwinkedfool

This is one of the earliest Bitcoin-themed musical ventures, but it still seems like it's inarguably one of the best, given the “Buttcoin” artwork and the general tone of complete ridicule. Even though Bitcoin culture was relatively young at this point, the dumb cultural associations about it that people still make fun of were already firmly in place: With shouts out to libertarianism, a lack of regulation, Ayn Rand, and, of course, the embattled White Man (“it's about damn time someone gave a break to the white man”), “Bitcoin Rap” grasps all the reasons why Bitcoin users are obnoxious as shit and lays into them in juvenile but still satisfying ways (“I get laid with my bitcoins,” etc.). Best of all, this song was clearly made to make fun of Bitcoin's first severe crash, which occurred in early June 2011 when the value of one BTC dropped from just less than $32 to just more than $10. It's almost like people anticipated the volatility of the Bitcoin market before it became extremely overvalued!

Score: Off the Block Chain!

“Bitcoin Beezy” - MayDay & Murs

As far as I can tell, this is the most legitimate song about Bitcoin that exists. It's about girls and money, and it's both pretty good and pretty funny. The hook is “I got 50 bitcoin worth about a hundred grand.” Right now, there is probably some Bitcoin activist promoting this song on 4chan or whatever as being good conscious rap superior to mainstream crap even though lyrically it is not remotely “conscious” unless you count this amazingly absurd paranoid speech at the end: “Now Bitcoin is here, and all of the sudden they got hacked or whatever. And that couldn't possibly be the government doing that, but yes it was the government who did that that. You can bet on that. And that's the whole thing. And I think that hackers know that the government's trying to shut—so they're coming up with something better than Bitcoin, better than Occupy Wall Street, that's going to smash the [way things are], like the next thing that comes up is going to be a problem, and that's what's going to send us into Blade Runner.”

Score: NOICE

“Bitcoin Baron” - YTCracker

While we might assume that all songs about Bitcoin are probably written by somebody named YTCracker (sound it out), this is in fact the only one. Obviously it's a rap, which means—also obviously— the first rhyme out the gate compares rappers' chains to block chains. There's also the line “you know rappers can't pay bills,” which seems pretty racist, but it turns out it's more about the potential for using Bitcoin for tax evasion, so I guess we'll let it slide. The hook peaks on the line “that's a nerdy living,” which means that there are SO MANY nerds for whom this is their motherfucking jam. To be fair, “keep the work in the laptop bag” would be a pretty good Gucci Mane lyric.

Score: Satoshitty

“10,000 Bitcoins” - Laura Saggers

I feel bad making fun of this because true love is beautiful, and, even if it's terrible songwriting, it's hard to argue with the sentiment of “Having lots of money/That won't make you happy/If you're super rich but all alone.” That said, not only is this song a practically unlistenable Regina Spektor knockoff, but the object of affection in this song sounds incredibly obnoxious, assuming his ideal presents are indeed a craft brewery tour of the California coast and private pilot lessons. Not only do I doubt you could pay for either of those things in Bitcoin, why the hell would anyone fantasize about having lots of bitcoins as opposed to, say, a million dollars?

Score: Fork No!

“Bitcoin” - Tc Trackx

“Man, Bitcoin sounds futuristic. I should make a song called that.” - Every terrible pseudo-artsy electronic artist ever, apparently.

Score: Fork No!

“Bitcoin” - miteigi nemoto

I'm only like 30 percent sure this isn't a live recording of a computer mining for bitcoins.

Score: Fork No!

“Bitcoins” - The Beardy Durfs

Of all the attempts named after cryptocurrency to make some type of James Ferraro style commentary on modernity with ambient electronic sounds, this is the most on the money. It sounds kind of coherent? Some stuff happens over the course of the track? There are discernible instruments and vocals? This is possibly worth the .000001 BTC or whatever they got for me streaming it on Spotify. Conceptually, it also deserves praise for the fact that something called “Bitcoins” by The Beardy Durfs is basically the last thing I would ever bother to listen to based on name alone.

Score: much bit, very coin

“Bitcoin” - SpeedFlask

Now that this is playing, it occurs to me that it's odd there aren't more dubsteb songs about Bitcoin. Isn't that what Bitcoin users listen to? I mean, you'd think some Bitcoin fan out there would make one. If they did, it would be better than this. You know how usually dubstep drops get compared to fax machines or modems? This one, which is ostensibly about the Internet, somehow manages to avoid both, in favor of a drop that sounds like a wet fart.

Score: Fork No!

“Bitcoin Vapejuice Blues” - Hidden Speaker

Hahahahahahahahahaha oh man what kind of pseudointellectual indie rock slacker anthem is this? To its credit, I can practically taste the, uh, vapejuice?

Score: Satoshitty

“Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or Juggalocoin” - The Hit Metres

This is beyond impossible to listen to, but I respect the topical absurdity of it. Also, check out some of this band's other song titles: “Jared Leto Should Just Give Up On The Music Thing,” “What Weird Thing Will Bill Murray Do Next?”, and “Boko Haram Are the Biggest Losers in the World.” This band is the best band.

Score: NOICE

"Gib Dogecoin D5etsqgi5" - Oxygenfad

This is the only other song about Dogecoin. It says the word "doge" some and sounds like a spaceship battle. It's fucking terrible.

Score: Fork No!

“Canary in a Bitcoin Mine” - Therianthrope

This is some weird acoustic jam shit, which I respect in this case because it's edgy to take a non-electronic approach to a song with Bitcoin in the title. That said, I would respect this music in no other case. Also, this has all of nothing to do with Bitcoin, unless it's foreshadowing our post-electricity anarchic future after the Bitcoin bubble has crashed and all currency has become meaningless. Actually, given the title, that makes sense. Okay, this is brilliant. Holy shit. The global cryptocurrency collapse is coming. Be afraid. Buy some bongo drums so you'll be able to broadcast your poor, broken spirit out across the scorched plains of the land that used to be inhabited by society.

Score: Fork No!/Off the Block Chain

“Love You Like a Bitcoin” - Kryptina

This is a version of Selena Gomez's “Love You Like a Love Song.” Yes, it is available for purchase exclusively in bitcoins, but don't worry: It gets more dystopian! Although theoretically this song is about the dangers of regular money as compared to Bitcoin, it comes across as incredibly creepy sounding paranoia: “Put your cash in your brain or its wearable/A new form of wealth begins”; “Mankind set free/From the bonds of debt based currency/Irreversable, deflatable, divisble, cleverly”; “Silicon brains write chains of blocks/While Keynes can't refrain from throwing rocks.” I'd argue that it also completely misinterprets Keynesian economics, but that should never be something that's discussed in a piece of music criticism, let alone an eerily obsessive parody cover dedicated to an anonymous inventor that uses the word “matey” in the chorus. Oh, and in case it wasn't weird enough, there's a kid rapping the final verse (where the Keynes line comes up). Pretty sure that playing this for someone would turn them off Bitcoin forever.

Score: Fork No!

“Bitcoin's Here (Drake – Started from the Bottom)” - Zhou Tong

Yes, this is a Drake cover about Bitcoin's meteoric rise. Yes, the video at one point has this picture of Drake with a Guy Fawkes mask superimposed over his face:

Best lyric? “No mo fiat money we don't do that/Get urself some coins fo the banks take ur stash” This is a masterpiece.

Score: NOICE

“Holding (Billy Joel – The Longest Time)” - Zhou Tong

This guy literally has half a dozen pop covers about Bitcoin (his Wu-Tang Clan one, B.R.E.A.M., has unfortunately been removed from YouTube). My thoughts on this one all come down to this image:

The best lyric of this one? “If u said that Bitcoin was my life/I would tell u/Sho nuff! Sho u rite!”

Score: much bit, very coin

“Bitcoin's Back (Eminem – Without Me)” - Zhou Tong

I appreciate that he even knocks off the Obie Trice intro and makes it Bitcoin themed. This is definitely the best Zhou Tong banger yet. Nothing but flames.

Score:

“Pump and Dump” - BLOCKCHAINZ (a.k.a. mdotstrange)

What does a “cryptogangsta rapper” sound like? He screws down his vocals and goes in over a Casio keyboard preset. What does a cryptogangsta do? He confirms everyone's suspicion that Bitcoin is a giant fucking scam by making a song about a pump and dump scheme.

Score: Satoshitty

“Blame it on MT. GOX” - TheKoziTwo

Imagine if Adele had made “Rolling in the Deep” about a market collapse on Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox instead of a breakup, and you'll have some idea of the anguish expressed here as this singer watches her meaningless fortune fulfill its promise of meaninglessness and melt away. But while Adele expressed some sadness at the overall condition of both people in the relationship, this version is just selfish, not only lamenting over the lost potential speedboats out there but including self-absorbed lines like “think of me in the depths of your despair/making a home down here where bears sure won't be spared” that don't even make sense. I'm glad this person lost all her money, but I'm even happier that the way this person says DDoS (that's a denial of service attack, the cause of said Mt. Gox crash) as d-dos, which makes it sound like she's saying “but now the price is down/it's all because of dildos.”

Score: Fork No!

“The proudhon song (Bitcoin is a bubble)” - TheKoziTwo

Ah, TheKoziTwo's resentment is more deep-seated than I thought. This “Girl on Fire” cover is one of the most to-the-point songs we've had so far: “Bitcoin is a bubble,” she sings, killing it.

Score: much bit, very coin

“Alpaca Socks” - Max Min

This shit is a real music video with nearly 29,000 views and actors and a melody that's actually some pretty catchy indie pop. DON'T LET THIS VENEER FOOL YOU. This song is creepy as hell: “We don't need no banks/We will take control,” etc. I'm all for dismantling the market, but if I'm going to pin my hopes to a way of doing that, I'm probably not going to with a cryptocurrency that inspires people to make music that sounds like Belle & Sebastian reading Ayn Rand.

Score: much bit, very coin

“Bitcoin song: He gave us change (a dedication to Satoshi Nakamoto)” - TheKoziTwo

Well, well, well, our old pals TheKoziTwo are back. It turns out before our singer was worrying about the evaporation of her Bitcoin fortune, she was making tribute songs to the genius of Satoshi Nakamoto, covering “Maniac” and reminding us that “You are 'sane' if you don't believe” and rhyming about a cool little thing called Mt. Gox. Artistic, uh, evolution I guess.

Score: Satoshitty

“When The Drops Come (The Little Drummer Boy)” - Zhou Tong

Just a little holiday fun from ya boy Zhou Tong, who's back with another one, this time loosely comparing Bitcoin to Jesus and dissing the haters. Stay calm despite the volatility, true believers!

Score: Satoshitty

mc bitcoin - “bitcoin (bitcoin rap)”

Obviously, fucking obviously, there is a rapper named mc bitcoin. And of course that person raps in German. This is better than most of the other Bitcoin songs because I can't understand a word of it. However, it definitely makes Bitcoin seem way creepier.

Score: much bit, very coin

“Bitcoin B@tch!” - mdotstrange

It's ya boy mdotstrange, back with another Bitcoin banger, b@tch! I know that says batch, but it means bitch. And damn, this is some impressively aggressive electro-rap. I would kind of fuck with it if the lyrics weren't insane. And, honestly, the lyrics wouldn't be insane for this track if they weren't 100 percent serious and instead were a commentary on the modern economic condition. But they are not, and they sound ridiculous:

Don't hollar at me with yo fiat currency
Fuck a EURO and FUCK A USD
rollin with my wallet on my usb key
QR codes droppin blockchain loads
I got the lowest fees with my transactions
My assets the IRS aint taxin
Rollin through the airport passin security
got a milli in my wallet but they cant even see me
What I got in my walllet aint nobodies business
Fuck you mr goverment you cant win this
Cryptocurrency means the end of you and yer pissed
Fire all yer weapons and you'll miss
because of
Bitcoin Bitcoin bitch

Score: I'm scared

“Bitcoin Barbarians” - Elaine Diane Taylor

Ugghhhhh a sincere folk song about the evils of Bitcoin. Look, I may be making fun of all these pro-Bitcoin songs, but this shit is execrable. I'm an equal opportunity hater, which is why I'll point out that both sides of the Bitcoin debate seem to be driven by a (justifiable) fear of the international banking system and are instead taking it out in the ways most likely to make disliking that system look like the province of morons and reactionaries rather than a pretty reasonable thing to feel and a problem that would be good to fix in non-crazy ways. Anyway, this is not a very good song.

Score: Satoshitty

“Bitcoin song” - Jamie Shelley

Jesus Christ how many of you Bitcoin nerds are there? This video is pretty cool, but, man, you can only be enthusiastic about so many Bitcoin-themed references before you start praying a mining rig will fall on you and crush your skull.

Score: much bit, very coin

“Mr. Bitcoin (The Chordettes - Mr. Sandman)” - Zhou Tong

“Mr. Bitcoin bring me money”? Come on Zhou, just give up, man.

Score: Fork No!

“Lost Fundz (Lauryn Hill - Lost Ones)”

Is nothing sacred?

Score: Satoshitty

“You Just Got Mt. Goxed! (Snoop Dogg - Drop It Like It's Hot)” - Zhou Tong

Zhou Tong's latest goes in on Mt. Gox. Turn up. Meanwhile? “I keep my Bitcoins/Right up on my backside/Right up on an offline/Yeah that's the bitside.” Also, Zhou Tong is finally releasing an album: Did You Just Get Zhou Tonged? I can't believe I missed his show in DC. Hopefully he adds some New York dates.

Score: much bit, very coin

“Ode to Satoshi (The Official Bitcoin Song)”

This song is dedicated to Pete Seeger, and, as far as I can tell, it's the only country song about Bitcoin. That's probably because the guys who made it, BitcoinsAndGravy.com, are based in East Nashville. They also have a podcast that talks about Bitcoin and building Bitcoin awareness, and you can enter a contest to win 0.25 BTC (market rate: impossible to know, but currently around $150) by submitting a clip of yourself to be in the video. This would all sound like good ol' fashioned country fun if this song weren't an ode to an anonymous person delivered with religious fervor. Still, pretty good song.

Score: NOICE

“Bitcoin boomdeyada” - LtBrenton

LtBrenton has a channel full of covers, but this one is a little lower profile than, say, Metallica. The lyrics come from here, and the tune is from an ad for the Discovery Channel. Man, this is lovable. And so ahead of the curve, made all the way back in 2011, when people were still excited for other people to find out about Bitcoin. If lyrics like “I love cryptography, I love when blocks get found./I love the forums, It's such a brilliant place!” don't get you singing along, it's hard to say what will. If only we could have all remained so innocent.

Score: Off the Block Chain!

"The Bitcoin Jingle Demo Version" -Tatiana Moroz

This is a terrible ad, but look at those starving children that have nothing to do with it!

Score: Fork No!

"What Does Mt Gox Say Bitcoin Parody Song" - Mt. Gox Sucks

Fuck yes. You can probably see where this one is headed, and it pretty much follows through. What do I say? Check the:

Score: Off the Block Chain!

Kyle Kramer is still investing in wooden nickels. He's on Twitter - @KyleKramer

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