Where does I’m on a boat come from?
The hit single I’m on a Boat was released by The Lonely Island on February 3, 2009 and premiered on NBC’s Saturday Night Live as a Saturday Night Live: Digital Short on February 9, 2009. It features comedians Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, alongside special guest rapper T-Pain, performing on a boat.
The digital short depicts Samberg and company as they bask in the luxury of a 221-foot “mega yacht.” Much of the song’s lyrics are bombastic and profane observations about being on a boat, such as “I'm on a boat motherfucker take a look at me, /Straight flowin on a boat on the deep blue sea.” The song and video are meant in part to parody the opulence flaunted in rap media.
I’m on a Boat became the #1 video on YouTube and the iTunes video charts shortly after its release. It received a nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 52nd Grammy Awards.
Who uses I’m on a boat?
People often humorously allude to the song by declaring in speech or text I’m on a boat when actually on a seafaring vessel. The phrase is typically proclaimed in a loud or obnoxious manner, similar to Samberg’s delivery in the music video, and it is often meant to express how being on a boat is a special experience
The allusion can be both sincere and ironic, and it is frequently referenced with nostalgia. In some instances, I’m on a boat is used to anticipate upcoming boat-based trips such as cruises, possibly with a nod to the song/video.
On April 9th, 2016, Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully landed their Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship floating in the ocean. Shortly after, Musk tweeted (and just as quickly deleted) a video of the landing with I’m on a Boat playing in the background.
I'm on a boat! #irishferries doing 45 knots over the Irish Sea in a catamaran ferry ftw
@The_Rachel_W, February, 2018
Bobbing my head on the train has got passengers thinking I’m listening to some deep R’n’B when in reality I’m still blasting out ‘I’m On A Boat’ all these years later
@NathPJA, February, 2016
The Lonely Island's epic comedy song and corresponding video ‘I'm on a Boat’ came out way back in 2009. But you probably still hear it in your head (and caption your social media photos accordingly) whenever you're actually on a boat yourself. It's a timeless ditty, you might say, that just begs to remain relevant.
Tamara Palmer, Bravo, September, 2017