Monday, September 13, 2010

Rappin' Wrapped Rapper

I know. I know. A real groaner. But y'know I really didn't understand what "rapping" was. As a small boy, when I was first exposed to it through Rodney Dangerfield's "Rappin' Rodney" video I could have sworn he threw piles of wrapping paper in the air. When it was time to wrap the Christmas presents I strutted around singing the chorus, "no respect, no respect." It turns out he does nothing of the sort in the video. It was just another one of those things I thought I saw. Sort of like the robots in Ice Pirates break dancing or the ghost of my grandfather.

When I got a little older. It was explained a bit more clearly as the thing Vincent Price does in Thriller. Well that cleared that up. It had nothing to do with Christmas after all. I kind of thought this made it boring. If it had no connection to presents what was the point? Keep in mind that I didn't really care about music outside of Weird Al until I was in Middle School and my buddy Ben started taping me his Anthrax and Iron Maiden cds.

As far as rap goes, it wasn't until I heard "It's Tricky" that I started to see that rap could be kind of fun, and that was mainly because Penn and Teller were in the video. Plus they had their own helicopter and a Batman-esque phone in their plush van interior. And D.M.C. wasn't at all embarrassed by his big glasses like I was. I kind of thought they were cool. Plus with all their warm clothes they looked ready for Christmas and it all came full circle.

This challenge card is for the performance of a rap song. These are actually the hardest karaoke songs to perform. It's hard to stay in time with the beat when you're all boozed up. I've embarrassed myself with rap songs a few times now. As much as I love Will Smith, I simply cannot match his verbal dexterity. I mean, "I've never seen so many Dominican women with cinnamon tans," from the hit song "Miami" sounds nice in theory but after a few shots it's more like "I neberseesomanydomcanwimbenwitcinmantans ."

I highly recommend "Gettin' Jiggy wit It" for many reasons. It shows that you're not a hip-hop snob and living in the bay area now it's hard to spit without hitting one. It also is quite probably the greatest rap song ever written. And finally, it inspires a suprisingly high level of slutty dancing. And isn't that the real goal of karaoke anyway?
Also recommended for karaoke nights, Missy Elliot songs are fairly manageable in tempo although rhythmically can be a touch off-putting. Salt and Peppa's nineties hits are fun. And you won't make any enemies with "Nothin but a 'G' thang". Contemporary rap songs are not a preference for me as I got bored after ODB died and then stopped listening completely after "Drop it Like It's Hot" sort of closed the book on rap for me. Especially, after DJ Prince elevated it with this amazing mash-up!

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