Friday, September 22, 2006

Hip Hop Humor

Recently, a good friend of mine - one who I can normally count on for some good old fashioned indie-rock swappin' (have you heard? no, but i did hear...what did you think of? it was pretty good, but i really loved...) - you know the routine - has declared that she is "sick of indie rock." Frankly, this isn't the first time I've heard such things from her (and the last time, as i recall, it was in reference to And You Will Know us By The Trail Of Dead - at the time implying that this new 'real" rock band was going to usher in some new era to the sissified genre...needless to say we were both disappointed on that score...).

Nonetheless, this friend has decided that she'd like to get into Hip Hop. So, in my mind, I'd taken it upon myself to write a little - "what you should get if you want to get into hip hop" post. But as I was thinking about it, I thought about something far more important....

"What Skits You Should Be Listening To If you Want to Listen to Hip Hop Skits"

Now I'll be the first to admit that the Hip Hop skit is becoming a dead art form. Most of the time they're just lame weed, gun, or "ho" jokes. And in fact, most of the skits I'm gonna give you are probably lame weed, gun, and ho jokes as well, but they're the best around. So, from the top of my head, here goes...
  • OutKast - "Kim & Cookie" (Stankonia)- If you haven't heard this one by now, you're in trouble, because it is without a doubt one of the greatest of all time. You WILL act this skit out with your friends. You will have no choice. It's better to just accept these things and enjoy the ride.
  • Wu Tang Clan - "Where's My Killa Tape?" (Enter the 36 Chambers) - Wow. Where to start on this one - this is a sketch that has a lot of repeat value because it takes a little while to understand the storyline (if you could call it that). the question remains..."how you ain't got my shit when i let you hold it?"
  • Notorious BIG - "The Madd Rapper" (Life After Death) - In addition to being one of the most amazing double-albums in Hip Hop history, this sketch boasts one of the funniest "characters" to be invented for a skit -The Madd Rapper - and let me tell, you he's real mad. (You can't be askin' him no questions!) The "Madd Rapper" even went on to make his own album. I don't know if a single person bought it. There's such a thing as taking a joke to far.
  • Wu Tang - "Straight Torture" (Enter the 36 Chambers) - In this skit, we find the various members of the Wu Tang Clan engaged in a jovial form of one-upsemanship as they describe their respective torturing techniques of choice. Dave Chappelle based one of the "Lost Episode" sketches around this premise - placing his character Tron as the victim of the Wu's gruesome wrath. Not necessarily a skit for everyone, but a must for everyone who's anyone.
  • Q-Tip - "busta rhymes freaks out" (Amplified) - this isn't quite a skit, but it is quite funny, at the end of a guest spot on a (very cool) Q-Tip track, some sort of mishap occurs, causing Busta Rhymes to miss his cue, and subsequently freak out on everyone in the studio, cursing frantically while you can Q-Tip and the crew laugh hysterically.
  • Beastie Boys - "Biz Markie tells you" - (Hello Nasty) - again, not quite a skit, but amusing - this little snippet tacked on to the end of "Intergalactic" is valuable only in that it will add a new catch-phrase into your daily life. As the Biz expounds upon the virtues of "the echo" (an effect used in the track), repeats the phrase "tellin' you!" Hey, it's a Beastie Boys album -where most of the humor is in the songs themselves. Surprisingly enough, these guys were one of the few crews not to indulge in a Hip Hop skit. The fact that anything funny at all happens between tracks is noteworthy.
  • OutKast - "Drinkin' Again" (Stankonia) - In this one we find two N'eer-Do-Well's bemoaning their fate, and drowning their sorrows. Worth hearing for the pronunciation of the word "compruder" alone.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dirty Little Secret

Obviously, not cool like Spoon - but damn if "Move Along" isn't one of the catchiest songs I've heard in a long time. That's right - I like an All-American Rejects song. Hell, I bought the whole album! But for now let's stick to the's got a great hook, great harmonies, and a fun shuffle-beat that will keep you bopping along - trust me. Plus there's the additional guilty pleasure of rocking out just knowing that you're listening to the All-American Rejects. Don't knock it 'till you've tried it.

To make the song truly ridiculous, there's even a dramatic middle bridge section with a children's chorus - completely over the top in epic emo-pop super-style. This is not for the faint of heart.

Now, I'd warn you away from the album unless you can meet the following criteria:
1. You like Jimmy Eat World (really just the songs "The Middle" and "Sweetness" will suffice)
2. You can remember a time in your life - fondly - when a power (pop) ballad was a meaningful thing, something you wouldn't necessarily mind revisiting
3. You have no problem with all of your friends making fun of you.