Music History: The Golden Age of Terrible White People Rap
We’ve come to a point in America where hip hop is probably the most popular form of music, at least for teenagers currently growing up in the states. It has embedded itself every facet of our society and you’d be hard pressed to find a corner of the country where people don’t listen to it on a daily basis or even worse, don’t acknowledge it as a viable art form. I personally grew up in an era where rap music was still having it’s growing pains as it began to infiltrate Top 40 radio. Gangster rappers actually murdered each other, for a week MC Hammer was the richest man on the planet, and old white people were terrified that these young black men would defile their daughters and steal their good china right in front of their very eyes.
Yes, we’ve come a long way since DJ Kool Herc changed the way shit was done down on Sedgwick Ave. Or when an already aging rock band named Aerosmith hinged their come back success on a collaboration with a group from a genre that they didn’t quite understand. And since Tipper Gore proved what a monumental dip shit she was by creating the Parents Music Resource Center (or PMRC) and forcing the RIAA to create the “Parental Advisory” sticker. But I want to go back. I want to leave behind Kanye, ‘Hov, and the WU MOTHER FUCKING TANG and go back to a simpler time. Possibly my favorite era of rap music. The mid to late 80’s. What many refer to as the “Golden Age of Rap” is also what I like to call “The Golden Age of Terrible White People Rap.”
Don’t get me wrong, white people rapping like shit is still something that is going strong today. But at least by this point, most of the people rapping poorly understand the basic elements of the genre. The use of rhythm, cadence, the sampling techniques, etc. And if anything, it makes the poor rapping of today even more awful because they’re raping (Note: This is not rapping misspelled, it the present tense of rape) a form of music we now all understand and love.
Alright. I may have shot myself in the foot with this. Maybe we DON’T get it.
But unlike today, the “Golden Age” of the 80’s was a time when whitey was blissfully ignorant to the intricacies of rap music. Most people thought it was just fast talking over synthesized drum tracks, you know, like that Micro Machines guy but with electric drums behind him. The ones that nice Phil Colins fellow uses. It didn’t help that the content was coming from places and from people that white America genuinely didn’t understand. There was a misconception of “if these poor black guys can do it, no reason I can’t.” It’s easy.
And it opened the floodgates to a million and one different ways to warp a blossoming art form. Whether it be the a movie exec trying to capitalize on the new music his pot smoking son that doesn’t love him any more listens to, all the way to the suburban white kid who just wants to be heard. And I don’t think anyone embodies the latter more than Denny “Blazin” Hazin. Or as most of the internet knows him, “The Average Homeboy.” When his audition footage was found in MTV’s basement 20 years after the fact and posted on the web, it was like a time capsule was opened. And while his music video is possibly the sole purpose the internet was created, it’s also a revealing glimpse into the general public’s view on the rap genre at the time. Have you seen this? Heard about this?
Please tell me he’s never gotten laid because of this.
What have we learned from this? Well. From the get go, at least we all understood that street cred was everything in the early days of rap. And that’s what this video is trying to create…and fails miserably at. I would say that this is essentially Denny’s version of “Jenny From the Block.” But he might have taken being “from the streets” more literal than most people. Or maybe the general public DID think all rappers were just aimless urban wanderers living in boxes. Kind of like “Kung Fu” but with more cursing. Which actually would explain suburbia’s initial hesitation to accept it. Imagine what you believe to be a “hobo culture” infiltrating our every day life? One day you let their gypsy music into your home and the next thing you know, your children have packed their bindles up and run off to join a roaming colony of hobos on the rails. Terrifying.
Then there were gems like this.
This was basically Ma$e’s retirement plan.
Lets face the facts. Jesus was black. And I assure you, even he thought this was awful. Intent plays no part in this. This is an abomination against God. And it makes me remember why I never went to church. It was because of “in the know” Youth Leaders who tried to trick you into sitting through hour and half long sermons because he knew this cool ska band that sang about God. And we could all sit on shitty couches and listen to them together in the Teen Room later. Awesome…
But by far, my favorite thing from the early years of rap culture is when Hollywood tried to cash in on it. There are plenty of examples. However, none stands taller than the title song from the 1987 Dragnet movie. It’s called “City of Crime.” And it is a rap song, ABOUT the movie, rapped BY the movie’s lead actors. Which just so happen to be Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks. Rapping.
Rap TOGETHER in a video.
There is a God above. And he loves humor blogs run by immature assholes.
I pray every night that the dance choreographer for this still gets steady work in LA.
I don’t even know where to begin. Dan Aykroyd is a comedy legend and a great lover of music. And “Blues Brothers” is one of my favorite movies. Tom Hanks is equally as great and has the Oscars to prove it. He also gave me “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific.” So I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this is them at a career low point. It is a perfect storm of musical ineptitude and an attempt to cash in. And sadly, for a movie that isn’t awful. I’d have more sympathy but this has brought me so much joy. Also, Dan’s trying to sell me shitty vodka from a skull now. And I won’t have it.
Despite how magical this time in music history was, I think we can all agree that it’s a good thing American society no longer fears black culture. Because for every Beastie Boys, there are thousands of Blazin Hazin’s. And the world would be a much, much darker place. No pun intended.
Before I sign off, I’ll leave you with a palette cleanser. Mostly because I need one.
Posted on September 21, 2011, in History Lessons, Kyle McVey, Music, Pop Culture, Video and tagged Dan Aykroyd, Dragnet, Kyle Mcvey, loljk, music, rap, tom hanks, white people, white people rapping. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.