the social experiment

The Definitive Disney Songs Of Our Childhood, According To The Social Experiment

Chance The Rapper’s bandmates reflect on the Disney ditties that soundtracked their youth.

Photographer Jason Nocito

In the FADER's Social Experiment cover story, we got to know the ambitious young musicians behind Chance The Rapper's freewheeling band. Like Chance, his bandmates share a passion for the infectious Disney ditties that soundtracked their youth. Here, the crew talks about a few of their favorites.

“The Bare Necessities,” The Jungle Book

(Disney, 1967)

DONNIE TRUMPET: "There's been a lot of random moments on tour when someone says something about bears, and this song always comes up. I think what's memorable is that bass line and how bouncy the song is in general. It's a great tune, with very memorable melodies. It's so hot. I love when people use words with multiple meanings in lyrics. Bare necessities, and it's a bear, bro?"

“The Bare Necessities,” The Jungle Book
(Disney, 1967)
"Friend Like Me," Aladdin

(Disney, 1992)

NATE FOX: "I'm a big Robin Williams fan, so hearing him do a musical number was great. He's so animated. It was definitely a song that I was impressed by vocally, coming from a comedian. As an adult you learn to appreciate the things you saw as a child a little differently."

"Friend Like Me," Aladdin
(Disney, 1992)
"Prince Ali,” Aladdin

(Disney, 1992)

PETER COTTONTALE: "I remember that song verbatim. This is the scene where Aladdin gets the magical powers from the genie, and he's all rich, and he pretends to be a sultan from another country. He has this parade—it's a musical thing—where Robin Williams is just going ham. A lot of it was very theatrical, as far as the vocals; everything that he said was either sung, or he would impersonate the voice of whatever subject he was speaking about. It was Robin Williams doing a shit ton of voices."

"Prince Ali,” Aladdin
(Disney, 1992)
“Whistle While You Work,” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

(Disney, 1937)

NATE: "You can imagine someone in an accounting office just walking around, whistling this song. It's something that everybody knows, everywhere. Then it got turned into the Ying Yang Twins' 'Whistle While You Twurk,' which is a classic. I hope they were entirely inspired by Snow White. They definitely had to write a little check."

“Whistle While You Work,” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
(Disney, 1937)
“I Wanna Be Like You,” The Jungle Book

(The Jungle Book, 1967)

DONNIE: "It's one of the most racist scenes in a movie ever, but it's an amazing song. It's a bunch of monkeys telling a white man they want to be like him, and it's the only jazz-inspired song on the soundtrack—it's supposed to be like Louis Armstrong. There was already a lot of controversy over how Louis Armstrong was portrayed in the media and how he carried himself around white people. He was kind of the face of the entertainment industry during that extremely racist era. Jungle Book came out in '67, so you can imagine."

“I Wanna Be Like You,” The Jungle Book
(The Jungle Book, 1967)
“You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” Toy Story

(Disney, 1992)

DONNIE: "I heard a lot of Randy Newman songs growing up from my parents—not just because of Toy Story, but because his music is awesome. That influenced me a lot. I love his work and his writing. Our generation grew up with the Toy Story movies. Those toys grew with us, and that music grew with us."

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” Toy Story
(Disney, 1992)
“Circle of Life,” The Lion King

(Disney, 1994)

PETER: "'Circle of Life' from The Lion King is pretty awesome. When I was a kid, I'd watch a movie, and I'd like it, but then I'd listen back to the music and think how cool it was to hear those things go together. I didn't really understand it as a child. I guess I'm looking at it differently now, as a musician."

“Circle of Life,” The Lion King
(Disney, 1994)
“I Won’t Say (I’m in Love),” Hercules

(Disney, 1997)

DONNIE: "I always reference music from Hercules as something we should study and learn from. All the instruments and crazy vocals that they would stack resonated with us for so many years. I recently had an argument with Chance. I was in the booth, and I told him, 'I'm recording something in the spirit of that main song that Meg sings in Hercules, when she realizes she's in love with him.' He said that Lion King was the best, and I said, 'No, Hercules, because the music is so good.' 'I Won't Say (I'm in Love)' is an amazing song. I remember the scene perfectly and could sing it word-for-word."

“I Won’t Say (I’m in Love),” Hercules
(Disney, 1997)

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The Definitive Disney Songs Of Our Childhood, According To The Social Experiment