Recent Rapzilla Freshman Class inductee PEABOD takes us back to school—literally. Featuring guest vocals from Chad Mattson of the band Unspoken, this upbeat anthem is one we can all relate to from adolescence to adulthood. He also answered some questions about the song.

Watch Peabod Below:

1. What’s a bit of the inspiration behind and the meaning of the song?

On a surface level, “Left Out” is a reference back to being in school. Being left out of something was a feeling that I hated more than just about anything else. I’ve always been very aware of when other people are being excluded from something. More often than not, it’s an easy problem to fix! A simple friendly invitation goes a long way.

On a deeper level, this song is about God’s love and my hope for the attitude of the global church. God loves all of his children, and my hope is that churches around the world would be as welcoming as possible for people of all backgrounds to come and experience that love first hand. The main theme that I point back to in all of my music is that knowing Jesus brings great joy – that’s cause for celebration! That’s why the whole song is referring to a party. If I’m throwing any kind of party (a church service, a small group, some gathering of believers, etc.), I want everyone to feel welcome to come and know the Jesus that saves me.

2. Any personal favorite pieces or pop culture references in the song?

I was really excited about the reference to Cole Sprouse and The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. It just cracked me up that I found an excuse to rhyme Sprouse in a song. I was also pumped about the Seattle reference, “Sodo to Soho, we in the same dojo.” Sodo is a really cool area of Seattle, and one of my favorite venues is there.

3. What was it like heading back to school to film the video, and why did that feel like the right fit for the song?

It felt good and weird all at the same time. It’s always weird being back in a school after you’ve been graduated for a while. Being in the cafeteria felt very nostalgic in the perfect way, though. As I mentioned earlier, the inspiration for this song came from a feeling that most kids feel for the first time in elementary or middle school. I think filming the video in a school works great; it’s like trying to address the problem as a way of thinking at its earliest stage.

4. Any other fun facts about “Left Out”?

  • Chad Mattson from Unspoken is a legend. He had a crazy schedule when we sent him the idea for the hook, but he made time to record it and be in the video. Super grateful for that.
  • If you listen closely, you’ll hear some sampled vocals in the background that sound like a bunch of voices talking at once. And that’s exactly what it is! I was thinking about the concept of everyone hearing voices in their heads – saying things like, “You don’t belong here.” or “You’re not cool enough.” I thought it would be fitting to bring in a production element at that line in the song. So I recorded myself singing a bunch of different lines like that, layered them over the top of each other so you couldn’t quite tell what anyone line was saying, and then chopped it up and sampled it.

Purchase or stream Peabod here.