On the 15th, I got a bunch of messages (thanks Mirateck, Iain and the slew of others) telling me to check youtube’s front page. As soon as I got back to my computer, I was greeted with an officially HP-sponsored ad:
(Fake) Camron – HP Hands commercial
What you must understand, though, is that this was up on the front page of youtube, with an HP banner. HP was officially endorsing this. It’s confusing, because the Killa Cam (killa!) is essentially lamenting his (killa!) being forced to shill for HP (killa!) to pay his bills (killa!). Which one would think casts HP in a negative light. Regardless of the fact that this actually sounds like something (killa!) Cam would say – why sponsor something like this? Why not actually have the real Cam’ron do an HP commercial? Why go with a parody, when you could get something serious?
I’ll tell you why – because somewhere, some young advertising intern had an epiphany. And that epiphany is:
There is nothing serious about hip-hop*. It is a parody of itself.
I remember when I first got Soulja Boy’s “I Got Me Some Bathing Apes”. I thought it was the most hilarious thing ever. And I’ve always found something inherently amusing about Dipset, to be honest. Rap at this stage is so cooned out that nearly everything is a ready-made caricature of itself.
*I shortened this phrase to make it cuter. By “hip-hop”, I mean “90% of today’s mainstream hip-hop”. Obviously not the stuff that I play on this show, though some of that is also funny to me.
Let’s see some evidence, shall we?
Kanye West and Lil Wayne
This cut contains what is currently my favorite Lil Wayne quote. “Sometimes I pick up a magazine / or a tabloid / or a tambourine / Sometimes I wanna go and just smoke a bag of weed / and leave the Earth on a motherfucking trampoline”
So strange! So creative! Clearly the work of a
drugged out of his mind tortured genius. A lot of people don’t “get” Lil Wayne’s more esoteric stuff, but I think I do.
One problem – that’s not Lil Wayne, or Kanye. It’s a parody – but it’s damn near as good as anything either of them would put out (possibly better). Listening to this thing, there are some funny lines, but one of the things that was keeping commenters on the Youtube thread confused as to whether or not this is an authentic track is that so many artists – Lil Wayne being a prime example of this – dance the line between “insanity” (genius?) and sanity (mediocrity?) so often and imperceptibly that you’re never really sure why you enjoy a song.
Is because the media pushing it down your throat? Are you just settling for it because nothing better is out there? Or is the song actually good?
And for that matter, does an artist actually need talent to make a song that is “good”?
Deadly Adventures – Michael Vick vs 50 Cent
I don’t have any point to make here, I just think this video is hilarious.
Lethal B – Pow! (Forward Riddim) (Original Video)
Here, we see that this has even infected the UK’s grime scene. Am I the only one that laughed through this whole video? I mean, dig D Double E – that dude looks like he’s had polio for 22 years and somebody just found the cure but it hasn’t quite worked its way through his body yet. Why is he moving like that? And is he vomiting blood? Then you have Discovery Channel outtakes with Napper, and by the time Forcer comes on with the spinning rims and unnecessary booty, it’s one white boy short of a Weird Al song.
Don’t get me wrong, though, this is an awesome song. The fact that the song itself was banned is also pretty cool, I guess.
I don’t know, kids. I feel like I could make some point here, but I suddenly find myself losing the desire. Rap is funny, in a Kurt-Vonnegut-so-it-goes sort of way, because on one hand it entertains me, but on the other hand I realize that a lot of kids don’t quite understand how to differentiate between reality and fantasy and they actually believe what these men are saying.
Tears me up inside, innit.
I also wonder if I should feel bad that I produce a show about something that I can’t take seriously.