The soundtrack for The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience combines modern hip-hop trends with old school hip-hop aesthetics. As the latest release from The Lonely Island, the Netflix “visual poem” includes legit party bangers and emotional tracks about self-doubt and self-love.
The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience stars Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer as former MLB stars Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, respectively. The mockumentary takes place in 1988 Oakland, a time when the Oakland Athletics teammates became known as “The Bash Brothers” - a moniker that references their forearm-to-forearm home run celebrations. With a slim 30-minute runtime, the Netflix comedy special moves along organically, as the subjects rap about their baseball careers and contemplate their place in the world.
For every hype track in The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, there’s a complementary slow jam, and the musical ebb and flow only adds to the comedy. The Netflix special frames Canseco and McGwire as overly-masculine characters with steroid problems, but they also present them as introspective gentlemen who just want to be loved. Here are the main songs featured in The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience:
- “Jose & Mark” - The Lonely Island
- “Uniform On” - The Lonely Island
- “Let’s Bash” - The Lonely Island
- “Oakland Nights” - The Lonely Island feat. Sia
- “Focused AF” - The Lonely Island
- “Focus on the Game” - The Lonely Island
- “Bikini Babe Workout” - The Lonely Island
- “IHOP” - The Lonely Island
- “IHOP Parking Lot” - The Lonely Island feat. Haim & Maya Rudolph
- “Feed The Beast” - The Lonely Island
- “Daddy” - The Lonely Island
After the opening pre-title sequence in The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, “Jose and Mark” establishes the subjects’ personality traits. Jose has a larger-than-life personality, whereas Mark is basic and stoic. The lyrical cadence and sound is similar to that of the iconic New York City hip-hop group The Beastie Boys. In the next song, “Oakland Nights,” Jose and Mark imagine themselves enjoying an evening with a couple of women, and the lyrics emphasize physical fitness. The slow jam aesthetic may remind some viewers of The Lonely Island classic “Dick in a Box.”
As Jose and Mark become increasingly frustrated with their public personas, they look inward and ask themselves if they’ll ever find love. But they manage to collect themselves, as evidenced by the song “Focused AF.” This track essentially represents an ego booster, as Jose and Mark try to forget about their deep-rooted and resolved personal issues. During the middle section of The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, the upbeat pace continues with “Bikini Babe Workout,” a self-congratulatory song that ends with Jose and Mark in heaven with babes and swords. From there, The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience soundtrack becomes significantly more emo, as “IHOP” examines Mark’s bottled 'roid rage. The complementary sequence track “IHOP Parking Lot” has The Bash Brothers calming down a bit, only to discover that local women (portrayed by Maya Rudolph, Stephanie Beatriz, and the band Haim) are mostly focused on watching the baseball players' "nasty" butts.
By the narrative climax, The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience slows down even more. First, “Daddy” has both Jose and Mark seeking familial validation and wondering if anyone really cares about their professional accomplishments. In addition, “Focus on the Game” plays over the 1988 World Series, with both Jose and Mark struggling with their existential angst. The final banger “Let’s Bash” brings the narrative full circle, as The Bash Brothers focus on what they do best - hitting ho hos - and acknowledging their feats "via human connection.” It’s a braggadocious track that sums up The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience's entire premise, full of references to steroids and Major League Baseball slang, and complete with a beat that captures the Bay Area Sound of the late ‘80s.