Prodigy’s new single, ‘BABY’S GOT A TEMPER’, looks set to be denied mainstream radio play because of its constant references to the ‘date rape’ drug, ROHYPNOL, NME.COM can exclusively reveal.
In a scarcely coincidental echo of the controversy stirred up by the band’s infamous1997 single ‘Smack My Bitch Up’, which was largely banned from the radio and its ultra-violent video only shown on late night TV, the original version of ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ looks likely to be avoided on the daytime playlists of any major radio stations.
The single, released on July 1, is Prodigy’s first new material in five years. Described by mainman Liam Howlett as, “a wall of fucking noise”, ‘Baby’s Got A Temper’ is a heavy, brutal clash of hard beats, electronic rhythms, guitar riffs and Keith Flint’s trademark dirty vocals, and, despite its subject matter and radio ban, is likely to follow ‘Firestarter’, which it samples, to Number One.
The lyrics, written by Keith Flint, include the chorus: “We love Rohypnol/She got Rohypnol/We take Rohypnol/Just forget it all” and “This baby’s got a temper/You’ll never tame her”. At one point, Flint simply chants, “Rohypnol! Rohypnol! Rohypnol!”.
Rohypnol, the trade name for Flunitrazepam, is a tranquilliser which causes muscle relaxation and amnesia. It has gained an infamous reputation as a ‘date rape’ drug because there have been cases when it has been mixed with alcohol to incapacitate victims and prevent them from resisting sexual assault.
Despite the obvious controversy any song celebrating Rohypnol is bound to cause, the Prodigy insist their song has nothing to do with date rape. Keith Flint told NME.COM: “I don’t know its true medical title. Have I tried it? Oh yeah, absolutely. That’s what the song’s about. It’s a reflection on going out, maybe doing cocaine, then doing downers. Y’know, some people do all manner of downers and Rohypnol is one of them.” It’s likely the single will be heavily edited before it can be played on the nation’s mainstream networks.
For the full story, see this week’s NME, which is out in London now, and nationwide tomorrow (May 15).