Philosophy Phriday: The Baha Men

In the first ever Philosophy Phriday, we will be delving into the fascinating mind of some of the most underrated philosophers of modern times: Rik Carey, Isaiah Taylor, Dyson Knight, Colyn “Moe” Grant, Anthony “Monks” Flowers, Leroy “Breaka” Butler, Patrick Carey, Jeffery Chea and Herschell Small. This conglomerate of higher order thinkers is more commonly known as The Baha Men.

It’s the year 2000, and the new millennium brings uncertainty and change. The world is still recovering from the mass paranoia of Y2K and contemplating what to call this new decade – the noughties? The oohs?. Enter The Baha Men and their remarkable interpretation of the human condition, Who Let The Dogs Out?

Who let the dogs out? [Who, who, who, who?!]
Who let the dogs out? [Who, who, who, who?!]
Who let the dogs out? [[who, who, who, who?!]
Who let the dogs out?

It takes a special kind of person to ask the questions we’re all thinking but haven’t been brave enough to vocalise. Who let the dogs out, indeed.

At first glance this might seem like a flippant question. Insolent event, perhaps. But in fact it’s raising the curtain on a societal issue that has gone unnoticed for too long.

According to whatismyspiritanimal.com, which claims to have the “most in-depth Dog Symbolism & Dog Meanings!”, dogs are a symbol of protection, bravery, and constancy. Also according to whatismyspiritanimal.com, my spirit animal is a coyote because I “know that laughter is healing and do not hesitate to crack a joke during the darkest of times – like a funeral.” Actually, that’s frighteningly accurate.

So when TBM ask “who let the dogs out?”, perhaps they are really asking “who let the constancy out?”. It’s an appropriate lament for our modern times. People are so changeable these days, always flitting from one craze to the next. Not me. When I find something I’m passionate about I stick to it. Call me crazy, but one day tazos will come back in fashion, and when they do boy will I have hit the jackpot. I ate that many potato chips in the 90s and my collection is vast to say the least.

I’m gonna tell myself I might not get angry [Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo]
To any girls calling them canine [Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo]
Tell the dummy “Hey Man, It’s part of the party!” [Yippie Yi, Yo]
You fetch a woman in front and her man’s behind [ha ha ha ha]

Little known fact: TBM are staunch feminists. They know that women are in front and men are behind. I also admire their realism: “I’m gonna tell myself I might not get angry.” Notice how they say “I might not get angry”, and not “I will not get angry”? It’s a subtle difference, but it speaks volumes of the character and outlook of TBM. It’s a great thing to have a goal and give yourself positive affirmations as you strive to reach it, but it’s so important to be realistic along the way. That’s why every morning when I look at myself in the mirror I say “I might not completely stuff up today. Today might not be a total disaster. I might be a fully-functioning adult member of society today.” That way, if at the end of the day I find that in fact all I achieved is drinking 12 cups of tea and googling ‘whatever happened to jonathan taylor thomas’, I can say to myself “oh well, I might try again tomorrow.” 

Say, A doggy is nuttin’ if he don’t have a bone
All a doggy hold ya’ bone, all doggy hold it
A doggy is nuttin’ if he don’t have a bone
All a doggy hold ya’ bone, all doggy hold it

This is where the philosophical prowess of TBM is so evident. Their exploration of what it is to be alive in the 21st century comes down to this: a doggy is nuttin’ if he don’t have a bone. Just like a lamb stew is nuttin’ if it don’t have some rosemary, or a 27 year-old girl is nuttin’ if she don’t have a grande strawberries and cream frappuccino with whipped cream from Starbucks. Here we see what makes the work of TBM so revolutionary: the stunning simplicity of their insights expressed with an elegance that would move me to tears if I hadn’t lost the ability to feel any emotion back in 2004.

And in case you were wondering, JTT has been studying at Harvard and Columbia and made a name for himself as a scriptwriter and director. Same, really.


Do yourself a favour of and watch this – it’ll be the best three minutes, 36 seconds of your day. We all need more beachside dance breaks in our lives.

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