And a crazy shout-out to Monica Crowley!
Beware. This “rap” video is why scare quotes were invented:
I have to protest the Wonkette post where I first saw this after Jesse sent it to me. There is no reason that someone who objects to the existence of hip-hop should write a response to this weak ass attempt at a hip hop video. You can’t recover with words like “desecration” when you write a sentence like this:
Apologies in advance for those who still enjoy the Hippitty Hop and the Rap, because after watching this excruciating video, you too will finally agree that this genre of pop music probably went on for about 15 years longer than necessary ….
Anyway, even though the post is a few months old, I feel compelled to respond, because that post just doesn’t do it. Someone needs to take the time to really honor what is absolute worst piece of “music” ever recorded. And I say this as someone who has knowledge of this:
There’s a lot of objections that can be made to the political claims in this video, but I’m going to leave that to y’all, and instead talk about some major aesthetic mistakes made. Yes, in chronicling this, I made myself watch this video all the way through more than once. I do this for you, people, all for you. (Shout out to the Pandagon tip jar!)
1) Our MC, Hi-Caliber—as his name suggests—sees threats to his penile integrity from all corners. He removes all doubts about the phallic issues behind his gun nuttery by following a complaint about gun control with anger at legal abortion and gay marriage. The theme tying these things together is, of course, “Perceived Threats To My Tenuous Grasp On Manhood”. But while comical in itself, what makes this a major error in basic lyric-writing is this—Hi-Caliber declares gun control, abortion, and gay marriage as collective signs that shit has gone all crazy. He makes this claim while not understanding that nothing he calls “crazy” could hold a candle up to the fucked-up-ness that is his belief that he can rap. Believing that the stars are made of twinkle berries and that babies come from catnip chowder looks like sober-minded brilliance compared to Hi-Caliber’s belief that he should have even attempted to perform that “rap” thing you hear so much about.
2) It’s not that it’s wrong to portray the powdered wig aesthetic of the late 18th century in a rap video. However, the pinnacle of the form has already been reached.
All other attempts should be prevented by shame at not being awesome enough to have done “George Washington” yourself. Of course, a complete lack of self-awareness seems to be Hi-Caliber’s dominant personality trait, so I can’t imagine he’s physically capable of taking into account considerations like this one.
3) He disses Kanye West. (Insert joke about letting him finish.) Now, I don’t think anyone really thinks Kanye West is some great rapper or anything, but nonetheless, if I were Hi-Caliber, I would not invite the comparisons. Calling Kanye a “jackass”—even through the snotty method of using Barack Obama to do so—doesn’t have the effect that Hi-Caliber seems to think. What it does is call to mind a bunch of questions that, if considered at all, do not help Hi-Caliber’s already-weak claims at being a rapper. Questions like the first one to pop into my head, which is, “Did Hi-Caliber know who Kanye West was before he interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech?” My guess is that the answer is, “Probably not.” It’s clear that at some point in time, someone introduced Hi-Caliber to the idea of rap, but from the quality of this video, it’s also likely that his main exposure has been through late 80s advertisements for cereal, where beloved shills decided to do a rap song about their favorite product.
I’m torn between wondering if Hi-Caliber sleeps with his beloved copy of the Fruity Pebbles rap under his pillow, or if he threw it out because he knew, in his heart of hearts, he’d never be as good as Barney Rubble playing CD Rapper.
4) I’m not expert, but I do believe that this rap is intended to fall into the “serious rap about important issues” bucket, but for some reason, Hi-Caliber begs the “patriot people” to put their hands in the air, and yes, wave them like they just don’t care. But I was under the impression that the tea partiers do care, very much. About what, they’re not so sure. But they do care.