The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Definitive Proof That 2 Live Crew Are Somehow Responsible for All Bad Southern Hip-Hop

Earlier this year, I posited the ridiculous yet vaguely plausible theory that the success of 2 Live Crew's brand of raunchy novelty hip-hop in the early 90s, opened the floodgates for rappers everywhere trying to pander to the lowest common denominator. With label execs seeing the dollar signs that could be had in artists whose only talent lay in their ability to devise an inane, self-debasing and sing-a-long friendly hook, hip-hop post-2 Live Crew has always featured a sizable component of what Bol described as "minstrel show rap."

At first I was a bit skeptical of my own theory that songs like "Chain Hang Low," "Fry that Chicken" and that godawful "Party Like a Rockstar" song. all had their roots in "Pop that Coochie." After all, "Pop that Coochie" might be ridiculous but it can't hold a candle to the abject minstrelry of Ms. Peachez and a bunch of children dancing around a plantation holding fried chickens. Consequently, I'd always harbored the doubt that perhaps 2 Live Crew were innocent of the wrongdoings I'd accused them of. However, after watching the above video, no doubt remains.

Behold, "Yo' Momma's On Crack Rock," a 1991 video box hit by a Miami Bass group called The Dog's, who even All Music describes as a "second-rate 2 Live Crew." "Yo Momma's on Crack Rock" might be the Rosetta stone of the genre, the missing link between The Crew and Ms. Peachez. The most astonishingly frightening thing about the song is the fact that it doesn't even try to be cautionary , instead taking the ostensibly sad story of a single mother on crack and turning it into a joke. So watch it and laugh, cry, and hang your head in sorrow that most major label rap bears a closer resemblance to "Yo Momma's On Crack Rap" than it does to Rakim or Big Daddy Kane. Blame the labels for putting this shit out, blame the fans for buying it, blame the hipster critics for big-upping it, blame the radio's for playing it, but most of all, blame Luke.


At 4:07 PM, Blogger ian said...

wait, so you didn't like "fry that chicken"?

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

part-comment, part-counter.

i cannot blame luther campbell, nor disco rick, for what you see as "lowest common denominator" music. many misunderstand flaw-da music. i remember when the crack rock song came out (well before the video). the doggs were a local crew and this was a local song, whose chorus came straight from the playgrounds. while DC and NY dealt with the extreme violence that stemmed from crack, florida felt the brunt of the usual externalities of crack cocaine, namely strung out single mothers, of which the song mocks. the kids in the video were unlike the kids in knew in my daycare program.

the music that 2 live crew made was for the county boys (dade, broward, west palm), plain and simple. i remember sending tapes out to people in LA and Oakland in the mid 90s and they had NEVER heard of real bass music. sure the lyrics are reprehensible, but it reflected the lifestyle, scantily clad women and loud cars. it is what it is.

i cannot blame luke for writing what was (is) real about south florida. before madanna and the WMC, miami was a sh*t-hole. the scarface miami never happend. the bottom was haitian gangs, cuban ex-pats and low budget folks (black and white). it is important to understand this, because disco rick, 2 live crew, poison clan, all sprung from such an environment. low budget thugs, strip clubs and flea markets.

strip clubs were (are) a staple for working DJs, and bass music was meant for strip clubs. luke's business model started out with employing djs for strip clubs (ghetto style djs), then turned it into making songs for strip clubs. i cannot fault a man for making nasty music for strip clubs. granted, later albums still mined the same subject matter, but if it ain't broke...

fast forward, and we have this "minstrel" argument, which is more self-loathing than anything else (another topic). this is not cooning, rapping about being a gang member and doing dirt for the sake of appealing to a pop radio audience, is cooning. doing a song about fried chicken, is well, doing a song about fried chicken (check out organized konfusions 1st LP). people make songs about drinks, drugs, yet food....

have we forgetten that sing-a-long hooks are the norm. the catchier the better. we can throw some d's, throw some bows; try to get by, stay so fly; talk about this or that, but in the end it is all pop. we cannot blame luke for that, only a slavishly lazy public that needs to be spoon-fed redundant, nonsensical choruses because they lack the attention span to go any deeper.

if BDK can do "pimpin ain't easy," then allow disco rick the crack rock song.

note: i am glad you mentioned spank rock (previous post) but no one (that i've read) has mentioned the white-gyrl invasion that started with peachez and continues with amanda blank, roxy cottontail and the scurge of everything in hip-hop that i hold sacred....effie .

i guess skinny white women get a pass....


At 7:39 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Blis, thank you very much for that comment and for shedding some light on it, way more light than I am obviously capable of. One of the best comments I've gotten here..ever Completely see your argument and those pts are valid. It definitely is what it is, I just wish the major labels put out good stuff along with it. I mean Red and Pharoahe Monch produced two of my four favorite records this year and they had to fight tooth and nail to get them released in the first place and when they finally did get them released it was only after years of delay.

Meanwhile, the major labels instead flood my inbox every day with emails about Mims releasing a new video, or the Party Like a Rock Star remix or any number of crappy indistinguishable and vulgar stuff I'm about rap you can have a good time to, but it's gotten to the point where it seems to be 95 percent of major label rap has become.

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous bLis said...



i worked for a minute in radio (loooong agooo), fondly remembering those wednesday and friday mail drops, anticipating the next "bring the pain" or company flow. i am not a 'backpacker' and embrace all sorts of rap/pop/hip-hop. for every stones throw release, there was a slip and slide record, and so on and so forth. it was the balance, the balance that embraced heavy d/fresh prince/native tongues/digital underground and g. rap/rakim/lynch mob/wu-tang. those curmudgeon old-schoolers are right, sh*ts different.

i can only imagine what it is like now. the majors are lost, hip-hop is definitively pop music and listeners/fans must suffer through a 50s-esque tidal wave of bubble gum music. chew it up, spit it out.

redman is my hip-hop barometer. an uncomprimising artist, highly adept in the ways of emcee, a great performer and funny, funny man (that mtv cribs...hah). never the huge seller, but incredibly satisfying. def jam may have the worst product managers in record history, but how can you not want to sell a redman record. i spoke to a 50 fan who NEVER heard of redman. it was shocking. but the poor performance of the record means to me that.... sh*ts changed.

what is troubling, is that a mojority of the majors are staffed with people who've hustled records for the last decade. what has changed is that the majors are or apart of public companies, with stock holders and quarterly reports. artist development... whatever. chew it up, spit it out and increase these earnings.

maybe the success of the recent koch releases will change the game, maybe the mixtape game will step up and we'll see more artist releasing unmarketable singles through that format, maybe drm-free downloads will invigorate the labels by allowing them to monetize singles, take more chances on talent instead of upstreaming and subsidizing one-hit wonders that have no business releasing LPs nationwide (*cough* rich boy).

chin up.

we must keep the torch raised.


At 2:11 PM, Blogger Onetokenblackguy said...

Yeah...Luke's Scarred is still one of my all time favorite party thumpers. Oh to be in junior high again dancing innapropriately at someone's house party.

At 11:45 PM, Blogger 911 said...

Know the ledge. comments made it that much better.


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