|Single by A Tribe Called Quest|
|from the album People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm|
|Released||February 19, 1990|
|Format||digital download, 12" maxi single|
|Genre||Alternative hip hop
|Writer(s)||William Henry Allen, Roy Ayers, Edwin Birdsong, Walter Booker, Kamaal Fareed, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Charles Stepney|
|Producer(s)||A Tribe Called Quest|
|A Tribe Called Quest singles chronology|
From the debut album People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.
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"Bonita Applebum" is the second single from A Tribe Called Quest's debut album People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. It is believed to be based on an actual young woman from the group's high school. The song contains samples of "Daylight" by RAMP, "Memory Band" by Rotary Connection, and "Fool Yourself" by Little Feat.
The video directed by Charles Stone III opens with Q-Tip doing the intro by asking Bonita questions, followed by little stick figure cartoon characters who see Bonita and chase after her. The group is seen walking and dancing. Q-Tip starts the first verse at a party. Then the group stops because a kid is seen catching a baseball and they were going to be hit. They stop again because they see a man playing a piano. Soon the kid who was playing baseball is seen dancing, and Q-tip is behind a violet curtain trying to impress Bonita. The group is wearing helmets while cassette tapes are dropped on them, and the video ends with the group at the party with other people dancing.
A popular "Why remix" was made, which heavily sampled the song "Why" by Carly Simon. Another remix was done in 1993, with a new beat and new lyrics. There is also a third remix titled "Bonita Applebum (Hootie Mix)" that samples The Isley Brothers' "Between the Sheets" and also has new lyrics. It was briefly featured in the film Poetic Justice, which coincidentally stars Q-Tip. In 2015 Pharrell Williams Remix for the upcoming 25th anniversary reissue of their debut album.
Samples and Covers
- Biz Markie references the title character in his single "Tear Shit Up".
- B.o.B used the beat for his song "Put Me On".
- Jay-Z refers to the song in his single "I Know":
"Bonita Applebum, I gotta put you on. If I didn't when we cuttin' the feeling would be too strong."
"Christina Applegate, you gotta put me on"
- The song was sampled for the remix to Monica's 2003 hit single, "So Gone", which also features Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott & Tweet.
- The song was sampled for Karina's second single "Can't Find the Words" from her album First Love.
- The song is sampled in the Fugees cover of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly with His Song".
- The beat and sitar riff are sampled in the remix of Wyclef Jean's song "Fast Car".
- The song is sampled in Pacific Division's song "Put Me On".
- The Black Eyed Peas song "Rap Song" from their album Bridging the Gap references the song.
- Lil Wayne refers to it in the solo version of I'm Going In, when he says "my style, is second to none, so you gotta put me on like bonita applebum, a tribe called quest, a guy called the best"
- Redman refers to the song in his single "Mrs. International" where he says "I know your applebum like Bonita".
- Tabi Bonney refers to the song on the Curren$y collaboration "Radio" when he says "I got plenty girls but it ain't enough, so I ask Q-Tip, 'what's up with Bonita.'"
- The song was remixed and released as part of Old School vs. New School - 4 on the Floor (Jive Electro) in 2000 and features a new vocal hook performed by Simon Green and Yazmin James.
- Shad makes reference to this in his single 'keep shining'
- Slum Village make a reference to the song in the chorus of "Turning Me Off" (featuring De La Soul):
"Bonita Applebum you kinda turn me off"
- The Nextmen sample the words aint no need to question the authority in Break The Mould song
- Pro Era artist Capital Steez makes a reference in his song "Apex."
- Joey Badass' group Pro Era finishes off the song "Rosie At Rubber Tracks" with an interlude that references the single. The same song appears with the name "Sorry Bonita" on Summer Knights, the third solo mixtape from Badass.
- Critically acclaimed Danish rap group Hvid Sjokolade sampled 'Bonita Applebum' on the track "Jeg vil ha' dig" from their 1996 album 'Så'n er vi'
- Mellowhype's song "La Bonita" references 'Bonita Applebum'