What a time to be alive: DB Admin raps about Microsoft SQL Server and he ain't even paid to do so

It's 2020. Things are weird. So maybe it's time to dance alone to 'Back Dat NAS up'


If you thought things couldn’t get any more weird right about now, then this may be the nadir of an already odd 2020: COVID-19; Trump being Trump; a likely hard Brexit; and now someone working in tech rapping about SQL Server has just released some sounds.

The album is by database admin Homer McEwan, who styles himself as Killa Dba. It is called Hug a DBA and topped and tailed by tracks "SQL Server 2017" and "SQL Server 2019", with plenty of anthems in between from "MS Ready" and "Big Data" to "Migration Plan (Parody)" and "Back Dat NAS up".

El Reg listened to it so you, dear reader, will not have to. Or maybe you will. You're alone in the garage in your slippers with a laptop, no?

The album is reminiscent of bass-heavy late '90s hip hop. The beats and tunes are not offensive to one's ears, but then this correspondent is well past his sell-by date. A bit like Tim Westwood... but less hip.

The tracks? Well, they're far better than Edward Snowden and Jean-Michel Jarre's "Exit" and much less derivative and cringey than "Gangnam EMC Style" or "Cloud Freaky and we know It", for example.

As for the lyrics, Killa Dba - like any self respecting MC - chats about what he sees every day in his life, and in this sense he was indeed keeping it real while parsing very serious social commentary on "Identity Theft" and "Women in IT".

The album follows his seminal five-track EP of 2017, Putting Your Bits Where Your Bytes Should Be. The themes were very similar then too from "Data Protection" to "Types of Indexes". Microsoft blogged about Killa Dba in the spring of that year; he is a father of three that works as a database admin for a travel company that uses SQL Server.

Killa said his musical influences include Stevie Wonder, Outkast, er, Genesis (quiet at the back) and Dolly Parton.

So why? Why rap about this? He said that as a DBA he's "responsible for understanding all of its features and benefits. I found that putting a musical framework around the things I needed to learn helped me remember them better."

Apparently: "I didn't get serious until last year. I've written songs in the past and talk about writing and recording technology-focused songs for years… But it wasn't until my birthday last summer that I made the decision to blend my passion for music and technology."

Killa Dba's ultimate goals? World peace? Bring an end to poverty?

"Ultimately, I'd like to reach mainstream audiences and teach them about technology through my songs. Creating tutorials through song, and performing in front of IT people, would also be at the top of my list. I've even considered writing a musical about technology — and who knows how far that could go."

El Reg contacted the Atlanta-based DBA-cum-rapper and asked if he'd been paid by Microsoft to promote SQL Server.

"No, I do not get paid to do this by anyone... however, I have been fortunate enough to have a few opportunities to write custom techie songs and perform for various tech organizations. I've been in the IT field for over 20 years and I have combined my passion for technology and music. I do it because I love it and it keeps me engaged in both music and technology."

Happy Friday, everyone. ®


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