We review Leon Schuster’s HEY BOKKE! Rugby World Cup 2019 song, so that you don’t have to suffer

6 min read
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Why-are-we-still-here

It’s 1995, Rugby fever has gripped the nation and the time for a bright new dawn in South Africa felt like it had promise. Reconciliation was the order of the day, the economy was changing and the land that was home to the cradle of humankind was ready to re-enter the world stage. Enter Leon Schuster, whose 1995 Rugby World Cup album became the anthem of the event. Hier Kommie Bokke was blasted on repeat for months after the final points were scored, and to be fair, it was alright.

Twenty-five years later, and history is repeating itself as Schuster has returned for a new take on RWC glory. Only this time, with a song that you makes you want to automatically apologise for. Y’know, just like the Canadians who to this day still regularly apologise for unleashing Bryan Adams on the world. So consider this a warning then, for five minutes of music that riffs on past glories, pretty much coasts on the fame of a much better song and makes you want to toss your PC into a blender lest the horror spread further.

You don’t have to watch the video, but in the interest of national security, I’ve sat through the entire video just to bring you this review. I’ve suffered, I’ve bled and I’ve barely survived to tell you of the dread terror that lies within the badly encoded monstrosity that has broken free. This is my tale:

00:17

We’re not even a minute in yet and Schuster is already mocking the Japanese with a level of racism that’s more creatively bankrupt than a Disney movie slate without remakes of their animated movies. Buckle your butts up kids, this is going to be brutal.

00:24

Leon Schuster, icon of candid camera prank movies and a local box office record holder, recording his latest single in his living room while a smartphone camera on the flimsiest of tripods wobbles every time he throws his arms in the air. Good to see that the budget was put to good use here!

00:35

You know what? I’m not going to say a single mean thing about the two choirs that Schuster duped into helping him. They’re kids, they probably had no say in the matter and they’re the only positive thing about this video, bless them. They can hold a note, they sound delightful and they’ve suffered more than enough after having to see a way way way past his prime entertainer bounce around like an overfed hamster on Redbull.

00:49

The original song that Schuster is butchering by the way? Bruce Channel’s Hey Baby (if you’ll be my girl), from all the way back in 1961, made especially famous when the track was used on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

01:46

True story: My father once took me to a municipal sewerage plant to show me where mountains of crap and piss are treated as they work their way through the city, and even that paled in comparison to the level of poop jokes present in Schuster’s last couple of films. At this point, I’m absolutely flabbergasted that it took this long for the video to reach the lowest of hanging fruits for a joke.

02:16

I’m completely teetotal and even I’m wanting to reach for the nearest bottle of whiskey just so that I can survive three more minutes of this video and its selection of lyrics that makes me reconsider the harmonious genius of Ed Sheeran singing about having watched Shrek 2 multiple times.

02:28

Oh gods, this insufferable chorus (not the kids, again I’ve got nothing against them for doing what their school tells them to do), this inane loop of lines and why am I bleeding so heavily from my nose this isn’t natural.

03:22

Guys, I figured it out. You ever watch Even Horizon? It’s a cult classic sci-fi horror movie about a spaceship that somehow managed to transport itself into a hellish dimension of pain and blood, drove its crew insane and resulted in them horrifically mutilating one another. I think it’s clearly obvious then, that the Event Horizon warped into the Schuster-Dimension, the hellish domain of niche humour and poor song parodies from which there is no escape. Because this is basically me right now.

03: 52

The only highlight so far of this video is a brief respite from the pain, as the Drakondale Girls Choir School manage to get Schuster to keep quiet in the face of infinitely more talented performers.

04:38

Why are we still here? Just to suffer? Every night, I can feel my leg… and my arm… even my fingers. The body I’ve lost… the comrades I’ve lost… won’t stop hurting… It’s like they’re all still there. You feel it, too, don’t you? The production of a quick song looking to drum up cheap patriotism.

05:06

It’s…it’s over! The video is finally done! I feel hope, I feel happiness again! I feel joy that I’ll never have to see this video again if I can help it! I feel a lust for life, a second chance to make right and enjoy an existence devoid of cheaply-written rugby cash-in mania! I can put the Nerf gun down now, clean up all the blood I was vomiting from having watched this video in its entirety and never again will I have to bear witness to seeing a beloved song hastily rewritten and filmed on a budget that gives shoestrings a bad name.

The nightmare, is finally over. And you know what? If you have an idea for a song that would be perfect for supporting the Springboks, leave a comment below. There’s nothing wrong with drumming up passion, for enjoying your sport and trying to spread that fever for rugby in an event that only comes once every couple of years.

Hold on to that love, and amplify it with music that is touching, expertly produced and doesn’t have the shelf-life of a commercial Mayfly. Rugby can and does deserve better than this nonsense. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see if I can get Johnny Clegg trending for the RWC.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: September 3, 2019

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