Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Sense Of Humor Is A Terrible Thing To Waste

Dear Hip Hop,

Waddup son.

Yo did you peep that Alanis Morissette video? It's fire.

I think the song itself is better executed than the video; but with a stroke of inspiration like this, nitpicking is silly. The genius here has nothing to do with the execution, and everything to do with Alanis Morissette, artist, having a sense of humor.

How come you don't ever do stuff like that? Caucasians have no problem hamming it up, and sometimes even being funny with it (see Weird Al, and Em); but for the most part you're like, "nah, strictly girls and money, or maybe politics, that's all I got respect for. Real ni**a ish."

This "keeping it real" impulse is the same sensibility that allows critics to call pre-Humps Alanis Morissette a "drippy flower child." My art is too serious for jokes. My ish is too real for humor. This ain't a game. You're always saying that.

And I understand, I'm not hating. You are who you are. I mean when you were on your grind, on the come-up, no one wanted to take you seriously. So this stance makes sense. Anyone who's overcome a lot to to achieve their position is not going to be all enthused about jokes that possibly shortchange all the work they put in. Unfortunately, it might leave you looking like a humorless a**hole. I think Kanye might know something about this.

But yo, you're all grown up now son. And part of growing up is you can laugh at real ish. You don't need cartoons and ridiculous silliness. I mean everyone likes cartoons sometimes, but I know your sense of humor is definitely more nuanced than you let on.

I know you can do parody and satire. I know you got jokes-and-jokes-and-jokes son. That's why I thought you needed to hang out with Chappelle more. His show was like you. When I first saw it I thought, "this ni**a is just like hip hop." Funny sketches followed by dope music was a hot formula. "Pee On You" was scalding.

Anyhumor, I hope you get the balls to do some Alanis Morissette type flame-throwing. If you got one of your "serious artists" to do a cover of "This Is Why I'm Hot," or one of these other idiotic songs proliferating the airwaves and clubs, that might spark some nice buzz. I'll definitely be looking forward to it.

Peece,

TAN

7 comments:

  1. You can't spoof "This is Why I'm Hot," it's genius.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous4/08/2007

    Too old? Too blasphemous? Too crappy? I got a chuckle...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTFhQw6n80U

    ReplyDelete
  3. Trin Trin4/09/2007

    While the Alanis M. “remix” is somewhat amusing, I was inclined to take issue with the lack of knowledge you display of the rap game TAN. While the proverbial "keeping it real" sentiment does permeate most of rap music - satire and parodies can also be found in abundance...if one isn't too assimilated and actually still follows more than "This is why I'm hot". Ironically, you need to look no further than the artist you chastised as Kanye is actually quite amusing...In his "Workout Plan" video - the moment the kid and his moms look at Jay-Z and Bill Gates and the kid says "DADDY" is hilarious and priceless. His amusing "Throw Some D's" video and song helps display the “humorless a**hole” in a new light and is flawless extension of a wack joint about rims. And I don't even need to point out the "Touch the Sky" which was so good it got him sued.

    Oh - and just to show one doesn't need to be on Kanye's d*** to find some good humor - check out Brick's City's own Redman's "I'll be that" - classic ish. The shorty running into the parked car never gets old... (By the way TAN – here’s some advice…check for his new album – and turn off HOT 97! Word)

    Sounds like negroes need to listen to some old WRTC tapes to find that real ish. Rockin Alanis Morissette and using that as the barometer for rap music? Be easy homey…

    Kanye - Workout Plan
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUvMKwPyYLE&mode=related&search=

    Kanye - Throw Some D's
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lWlK9v3Wsw

    Redman - I'll Be That
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y73-z6ffPW8

    ReplyDelete
  4. anon - ahhh, The Mighty Casey. Funny enough, I knew him when he was just Casey.

    trin trin - you make some valid points, my friend. And Kanye has certainly made many efforts to show his sense of humor. Of course we have also seen the darkside.

    I guess it's about more factors.

    Vulnerability is crucial. I think a hip hop artist of Morissette's status and reputation doesn't put themselves out there like that. It's not just the song, it's who's doing it. Who in hip hop really lets the joke, at least in part, be about them?

    Weird Al is someone who's made a career with himself often positioned as the butt of the joke.

    ReplyDelete
  5. eauhellzgnaw4/09/2007

    I expect mainstream rock critics to say that black rappers are too serious and that only white ones are vulnerable, goofy, or self-deprecating, but you should know better.

    There are tons of examples in rap history (De La and Pharcyde probably being the most realized examples), but the following artists are still putting out the kind of material you say is missing: Devin, Red, J Zone, Juggaknots, Doom, Kanye, Louis Logic.

    But why would anyone want to be like Weird Al? His parodies were only mildly amusing 20 years ago. Today, they're pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
  6. tenpin4/09/2007

    De La comes immediately to mind. Also, Ludacris. And Field Mob, Sick of Being Lonel.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous10/27/2007

    Dude, you also forget, Alanis got her start i think on an old Nickelodeon sketch comedy show, "You Can't Do That On Television".

    Comedy isn't that strange for her, hoever, your point is still well made

    ReplyDelete

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