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Mellow Gold

Song Meaning and Background of Loser by Beck

Loser, is a single by American musician Beck released in 1993.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Beck was a homeless musician in the New York City anti-folk scene.

He returned to his hometown of Los Angeles in early 1991, due to his financial struggles.

Beck worked low-wage jobs to survive, but still found time to perform his songs at local coffeehouses and clubs.

In order to keep indifferent audiences engaged in his music, Beck would play in a spontaneous, joking manner. "I'd be banging away on a Son House tune and the whole audience would be talking, so maybe out of desperation or boredom, or the audience's boredom, I'd make up these ridiculous songs just to see if people were listening. 'Loser' was an extension of that."

Tom Rothrock, co-owner of independent record label Bong Load, expressed interest in Beck's music and introduced him to Carl Stephenson, a record producer for Rap-A-Lot Records.

"Loser" was written and recorded by Beck while he was visiting Stephenson's home.

Although the song was created spontaneously, Beck has claimed to have had the idea for the song since the late 1980s; he once said, "I don't think I would have been able to go in and do 'Loser' in a six-hour shot without having been somewhat prepared. It was accidental, but it was something that I'd been working toward for a long time."

Beck played some of his songs for Stephenson; Stephenson enjoyed the songs, but was unimpressed by Beck's rapping. Stephenson recorded a brief guitar part from one of Beck's songs onto an 8-track, looped it, and added a drum track to it.

Stephenson then added his own sitar playing and other samples.

At that point, Beck began writing and improvising lyrics for the recording.

For the song's vocals, Beck attempted to emulate the rapping style of Public Enemy's Chuck D.

According to Beck, the line that became the song's chorus originated because "When [Stephenson] played it back, I thought, 'Man, I'm the worst rapper in the world, I'm just a loser.' So I started singing 'I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me.'"

Beck acknowledged the impact of folk on the song, saying "I'd realized that a lot of what folk music is about taking a tradition and reflecting your own time. I knew my folk music would take off, if I put hip-hop beats behind it."

After its recording, Beck thought that the song was interesting but unimpressive. He later said, "The raps and vocals are all first takes. If I’d known the impact it was going to make, I would have put something a little more substantial in it."

The relationship between Beck and Stephenson soured after the release of "Loser" as a single. Stephenson regretted his involvement in creating the song, in particular the "negative" lyrics, saying "I feel bad about it. It's not Beck the person, it's the words. I just wish I could have been more of a positive influence."

Lyrics of Loser by Beck

In the time of chimpanzees

I was a monkey

Butane in my veins

And I'm out to cut the junkie

With the plastic eyeballs,

Spray-paint the vegetables

Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose

Kill the headlights

And put it in neutral

Stock car flaming with a loser

And the cruise control

Baby's in Reno with the vitamin D

Got a couple of couches,

Sleep on the love seat

Someone keeps saying

I'm insane to complain

About a shotgun wedding

And a stain on my shirt

Don't believe everything that you breathe

You get a parking violation

And a maggot on your sleeve

So shave your face

With some mace in the dark

Saving all your food stamps

And burning down the trailer park


(Yo. Cut it.)

Soy un perdedor

I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?


(Double-barrel buckshot)


Soy un perdedor

I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?


Forces of evil in a bozo nightmare

Ban all the music with a phony gas chamber

'Cause one's got a weasel

And the other's got a flag

One's on the pole, shove the other in a bag

With the rerun shows

And the cocaine nose-job

The daytime crap of the folksinger slob

He hung himself with a guitar string

Slab of turkey-neck

And it's hanging from a pigeon wing

You can't write if you can't relate

Trade the cash for the beat

For the body for the hate

And my time is a piece of wax

Falling on a termite

Who's choking on the splinters


Soy un perdedor

I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?

(Get crazy with the Cheeze Whiz)

Soy un perdedor

I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?

(Drive-by body-pierce)


(Yo, bring it on down)



(I'm a driver; I'm the winner;

Things are gonna change

I can feel it)


Soy un perdedor

I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?

(I can't believe you)

Soy un perdedor

I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?


Soy un perdedor

I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?

(Sprechen Sie Deutsch, baby?)

Soy un perdedor

I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?

(Know what I'm saying?)

Release Date



Beck, Carl Stephenson


Beck, Carl Stephenson, Tom Rothrock


Bong Load Custom

Other Songs

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