In the 80's African-Americans introduced the concept of time as an event, as in "our time has arrived" and "time to get paid", meaning that the goals they had worked for had come to fruition. The African-American "rapper", Flava-Flav, one of the performers in the "rap" ensemble Public Enemy, went so far as to wear an oversized clock around his neck to emphasize this concept.

In a satirical twist, Keane turns this paradigm on its head, substituting Caucasian children for "ganstas". Billy and his friends look innocuous enough, but remember the importance of color when looking at art. Billy's predominant color is red. His two friends share the color blue. Obviously, they are representatives of rival Los Angles gangs the Crips, whose color was blue and the Bloods who favored red. Billy, heavy-lidded and giving off cavalier attitude speaks directly to the leader, the boy in the blue shirt, arms crossed in disappointment.

Whose "turf" the boys are meeting on is unclear. What is clear, however is that Billy is "laying down" the new power structure to the Crips (blues). The writing is some of the most powerful and effective of Keane's career. Using the allegory of "time" in one short sentence he manages to convey not only that the power has shifted ("if anybody needs to know the time", but whom it has shifted to ("I'm wearin' my new watch). One scholar claims that this line is directly lifted from the "gangsta" movie "Straight Out Of Compton", but this has not been verified.


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