Ever since I was 11 years old I’ve been trying to work out what music I liked, other than the Beatles / classical music / west-end musical / intricate guitary combo I was brought up with. I remember buying the Cranberries album in 1993/4 for Zombie, and feeling a bit unsettled that – other than Zombie – it wasn’t quite what I expected. And since then I found my feet in a rock/alt rock/folk rock and occasional hip-hop melange that feels like “me” when I turn the volume up.
One slightly more niche genre that keeps rearing its head is musical comedy, and more specifically – comedy rap. My brother introduced me to Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince when I was 11 years old and I distinctly remember thinking that the song “I think I can beat Mike Tyson” was one of the funniest things to be composed ever at the time (I now know itâ€™s not). In it, Will Smith challenges Mike Tyson to a fight and gets seven types of crap kicked out of him.
Needless to say, when The Lonely Island materialised with their epochal ‘Incredibad’ album a couple of years ago, featuring such works of self-deprecating parody as “On a boat” and “Like a bossâ€ (all LI videos are NSFW, btw) I felt that the void that had been made as the Fresh Prince evolved into Wiki-wiki-Will Smith had once again been filled. So it was with not a little anticipation that I checked out some tracks from the new album, Turtleneck and Chain.
Sadly, for me, for the most part, it doesn’t live up to the heights of its predecessor. The tunes aren’t as catchy, the raps aren’t as articulate or funny. But two things made me smile.
First, the song “Rocky”, in which Andy Samberg challenges Rocky to a fight and gets seven types of crap kicked out of him. Sound familiar? I wonder if it was a deliberate homage to the Fresh Prince (in which case it’s clever-ish) or if its (in)advertant plagiarism (in which case, not so much).
Second, “Jack Sparrow”. There are few people whose swagger I’d like to match, but Captain Jack has a certain slurry je ne sais quois that has got to make for a hell of a party trick. Michael Bolton feels the same way – check it out:
Done so many wonderful things this weekend with wonderful people at the 10th annual coast party Damian hosts. A few brief highlights (in no particular order):
Spent time talking, singing, dancing and hanging out with some of the loveliest people in the world (the whole wide world)
Drove a Porsche
Ran 12 miles
Tried ‘rock’ fish (Huss, a white fish)
Threw actual rocks at other rocks
Contributed to the construction of a giant sand village (chief Architect: Nicky. Chief Engineer: Pob)
Got bowled out in one ball in a game of beach cricket, sulked
Swum in indoor and outdoor pools
DJ-ed for 3 hours
Danced for 3-4 hours
Told many embarrassing story about ‘Banana Oops’ Damian
Got styled as Bowie (check out my current FB profile pic)
Acted out all the moves to ‘I’m on a boat’
Ate fresh apples off a tree
Lost a sprint race
Won a push-up challenge
Failed to ignite a grass-filled moat/trench defence at midnight on Saturday
Learned how to play an exceedingly complex board game designed to halt the rise of Cthulu (Arkham Horror, I think)
Was impressed by Serena’s mad poetry skills.
Failed to play any poker due to an inadvertently early bedtime
Failed to go to bed till morning due to an advertently late bedtime
Referenced FoTC at every possible occasion
Tried to take some good pictures with my recently acquired Nikon D-80 (need to work out depth of field).
Discovered I actually like marmite. Never thought I did.
Amazing weekend. Massive props to all involved. Big up yourselves.
For people who catch me referencing the Lonely Island over the next couple of months, it’s the fault of the inimitable @patrickyiu, who made the mistake of telling me about the following song whilst we were on a boat. The video is slightly NSFW, if you work in the kind of work environment that frowns on excessive swearing, or, erm, boats.
I’m going through that phase I get of obsession with things I quite like, and am listening to the album more or less on repeat and annoying everyone I know through repeated reference to the lyrics, video, etc. It’s almost as if I believe that things get funnier through endless repetition (they totally do)…
If anyone has any suggestions on music that will get these songs out of my head, or an explanation of (or cure for) my love of musical comedy, let me know.
Armand David's personal weblog: dadhood, technology, running, media, food, stuff and nonsense.