The Story Behind the 'Stranger Things' Rap 'R.I.P. Barb'

Aflamu Johnson and Ian Eastin in "R.I.P. Barb - A Stranger Things Tribute."
Courtesy Photo

Aflamu Johnson and Ian Eastin in "R.I.P. Barb - A Stranger Things Tribute."

People are legit obsessed with the spooky Netflix drama Stranger Things. Ever since it debuted last month the Spielbergian drama about the bizarre goings-on, creepy government agencies and mysterious disappearances in a small Indiana town has turned into a fount of memes, spawned a  GIF generator and, over the weekend a "sensitive rap" tribute video honoring one of the show's beloved characters.

"R.I.P. Barb" is the handiwork of the production duo Dr. Chorizo (Aflamu Johnson and Ian Eastin), who've created more than 150 videos for Russell Simmons' All Def Digital, including an upcoming Seeso web series of their tale of the world's greatest black hacky sacker, Blackie Sack.

Like many who've binged on the alluring show from the Duffer Brothers, the pair told Billboard they couldn't get enough of Shannon Purser's glasses wearing, mom jeans-rocking good girl Barb Holland who, spoiler alert, is not around anymore.

"We were sitting around one Saturday night having a couple of beers talking about how cool the theme song from [Austin, Texas, band] Survive is and how that would be a nasty, catchy hip-hop beat," said Eastin, 38 of the show's haunting electronic synth soundtrack. Eastin and Johnson, 39, Chicago natives who've been collaborating on projects since high school are pop culture junkies who've mined their nerdy obsession into rap songs about everything from The Goonies to Harry Potter.

"I only got eyes for one chick/Barb looking sexy in those glasses and she's thick/ N---a, I'm trying to hit!/Rest in peace Barb/ I'm sorry that monster rolled up on you so hard," the pair rap in the first verse of the song. Like the theme to another freaky summer hit, CBS's BrainDead -- which provides a plot catch-up every week -- Chorizo's ode to Nancy Wheeler's best friend is a kind of summary of the season one action for those who are behind. 


"I became obsessed with Barb because she reminded me of Molly Ringwald," added Johnson, who noted he's not the only one, pointing to the infamous Barb mural and a New York pizzeria serving Barb slices. "People connected with her and she's kind of a hero, even though she's only in like 2-3 episodes and they killed her off real quick, but she stuck with you. I was like, 'Let's write a rap song about this!' I mean, her mom didn't even go looking for her! She wasn't on a milk carton. In the 80s if you went missing you got a milk carton. This is her milk carton." 

Though they lament that Barb got grabbed and had "weird s--t" crawling out of her face, the duo end their ode on an up note. "I'm sorry Nance is such a crap friend/ Will we see you next season?/ Stranger Things have happened." After all, #WeAreAllBarb.