The Rise of Hobo Johnson: How his music is changing a generation

“We’re just Romeo and Juliet, But getting drunk and eating Percocets, But just to ease the stress, But soft what light thru yonder window breaks it is the east, but Juliet just puked off the balcony. How Romantic”. The lyrics that Frank Lopes aka “Hobo Johnson” uses here and his songs/free verse music are a slap of reality in the face of a generation in the way they think.

Some topics he addresses are his past experiences, teen drug use, thoughts of love, parental relationships, fear of loneliness, and future relationships. He personally talks about times he dealt with in his life where he was kicked out of his home by his father, dealt with losing an important girlfriend, his fears of being alone forever in his homelessness and hopes of being in a future relationship with someone.


When Lopes was a teenager he was kicked out of his house after his father caught him cross-dressing and he was forced to live in his car. His homelessness was where he started writing music and recorded his first album. It is also where he came up with the stage name “Hobo Johnson”. From living in his 1994 Toyota Corolla to being the front man in the band Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers his rise is a phenomenal one. Johnson and the Lovemakers released a music video on Facebook as part of NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest on March 7, 2018. The song “Peach Scone” collected millions of views and following the attention of that their album “The Rise of Hobo Johnson” charted at #11 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart.

His rise is not just for personal gain though for the fact that his songs have a deep meaning. “Romeo and Juliet” is Hobo Johnson’s ode to divorce and the effect it has on families, especially the children. The divorce of his parents inspires the lyrics, which he mentions in the last verse. He talks about, in the song, how the divorce will affect his future relationship. As well as how it is affecting his childhood at that time.

His lyrics are a slap of reality to the face of this generation. It is saying we have a voice and opinion about the things we are going through too. Many younger people have feelings they want to express. Especially, about divorces that their parents are going through or relationships they are in and break-ups they are dealing with. Also mentioned is that she may “drink the poison when she sees stormy weather ahead”. This is a mention of suicide possibly to get away from problems that teens deal with.

These are all things that younger people have a hard time talking about. Ideas/thoughts that they want to speak to someone. This day and age all generations need this slap of reality to wake people up. We all need to listen and speak about our feelings towards these issues. In any way, we can we need to change our way of thinking about such topics as mentioned.

Who is Hobo Johnson? In my opinion, he’s the person that will use his music to change this generation in the way we think. We must be willing to listen because as the great Bob Dylan said “The Times They Are A-Changin”.

So, have you heard the music of Hobo Johnson? Leave a comment below.

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