Ask for whom the bell rings

from Das Racist – Rainbow in the Dark Lyrics on Rap Genius


For Whom The Bell Tolls is a 1940 novel by Ernest Hemingway about the Spanish Civil War. Its title comes from John Donne’s Meditation no. 17 from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions:

“…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

In the context of the song, this is meant to be read as a reference to the television show Saved By the Bell, which is also referenced in the previous line (“building with [Principal] Belding”) and in succeeding lines (“sort of like a neo-rap Zack Attack”, adverting to an episode of the program in which lead charcter Zack Morris fantasizes about starting a rock group).

And of course on an extremely literal level the bell rings for DR because class is in session and muthafuckas are about to get schooled with some DR knowledge!

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