Gorillaz drop addictive Song Machine track 'Pac-Man' featuring Schoolboy Q, fans say 'they're all on drugs'

This comes as the fifth installment of the Song Machine series from Gorillaz with themes that explore addiction and escapism

                            Gorillaz drop addictive Song Machine track 'Pac-Man' featuring Schoolboy Q, fans say 'they're all on drugs'
Damon Albarn of Gorillaz (Getty Images)

Popular British virtual band, Gorillaz, consisting of beloved animated characters, Stuart "2-D" Pot, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle and Russel Hobbs are back with a brand-new track called 'Pac-Man', featuring rapper Schoolboy Q. This comes as the fifth installment of the Song Machine series first started by the band on January 31 this year. So far, we've already seen the likes of Slowthai, Slaves, Fatoumata Diawara, Peter Hook, Georgia, and Octavian feature on Season One of the series.

The new 'Pac-Man' video features the familiar cartoon-like animation of the fictional Gorillaz universe, as well as shot-at-home footage of guest vocalist Schoolboy Q delivering his lines.


With this new track, Gorillaz, which is the brainchild of Blur frontman Damon Albarn and animator Jamie Hewlett, have composed an addictive new masterpiece that tackles themes of addiction and escapism, even sampling sound effects from the actual 'Pac-Man' game. In the opening scenes of the music video, we see the band's vocalist 2-D start playing the popular arcade game 'Pac-Man' and get mesmerized in the hypnotic gameplay, as the trippy music video continues to unfold.

We see Murdoc lurking around in his underwear in his portal, Russel boxing with a punching bag, and a grown-up version of Noodle, (as well as a Peanuts-style animation of her), as she eventually rescues 2-D by unplugging the addictive arcade game in the end.

2-D sings, "You can borrow my hands and tell me I'm not here / I'm a mad Pac-Man, livin' in a leveled world / Everywhere I go I don't know where I am." He then admits, "I'm stressin' out," presumably a reference to the strenuous modern-day realities we find ourselves in, which effectively perpetuate the cycle of escapism, as we dive into video games and other addictions like drugs to avoid confronting our problems head-on. 

Noodle and Schoolboy Q in a still from the music video (Gorillaz / The Line)

Schoolboy Q also references this theme in his rap verses, as he sings, "I had a spark, then my mind went trip / Create the wave so the vibe all mix," and later on references the real-life consequences of addiction when he says "I had to fill my bag, I had to hide my stash / You know the cops' lights flash, I had to clear my dash... Pigs out here skinnin', your soul ain't authentic / You died and still ain't livin'."

Fans love the mesmerizing visuals and trippy new video, with one fan declaring "Looks like they were all on drugs." Another listener marveled at their prolific output thus far, saying "How are they doing this?? Banger after banger with story progression and top-notch visuals. All in the midst of the apocalypse. Thanks for keeping us grooving!" 

Damon Albarn of Gorillaz performs on stage at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on December 16, 2010, in Sydney, Australia (Getty Images)

There were plenty of fan theories in the comments section of the video that attempted to derive the true meaning behind the song. One fan mentioned, "This song is about personal addiction and how we distract ourselves from the world and willingly distort our own realities, and how our absence from the real world affects the people we are with and would be with."

Another fan pointed out, "Let's not forget that Damon Albarn has been in quarantine just like the rest of us. Of course, he is stressed out. The whole world is stressed out and it's losing trust in governments. The song might be a reflection on that."

As another music lover concluded, "When the madness is over I'm gonna need a Gorillaz live concert."

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