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And all the girlies say they’re pretty fly…
You can feel it in the air, it’s hot at night n’ shit and that means the inevitable: another summer will bring about another summer banger. Ladies will shake their asses, men will chase said asses, DJs will get bored and spin the Baltimore House remixes and the internet will get really really sick of the damn song. Last year, T.I pretty much walked away with the crown based on the ubiquity of “Whachu know”, with Rick Ross coming in a distant second. This year though, I can’t help but chuckle that the strongest early contender is The Shop Boys’ Party like a Rockstar. In the interest of full disclosure: I actually like the damn thing. The verses have just enough stoopid references to white people to be worth listening to and the guitar line/hook is the kind of addictive brain candy that’ll have people yelling “TOTALLY DUDE” for no damn reason. Still, I was sure it was a one trick pony until I saw the jaw-dropping video.
In a year where everyone from Don Imus to Al Sharpton is trying to make rap’s seedier elements into a racial issue, it’s incredibly refreshing to see a rap act point out that African-American youth don’t have a monopoly on acting totally fucking retarded. From mosh pits to body piercing to some sort of weird ICP facepaint dance, the Party like a Rockstar video features the best appropriation of stereotypical hard rock elements since M.O.P or even Onyx. Now jock rock is an easy target (sort of like gangsta rap) but ever since Hip Hop overtook it as the mainstream lingua franca, cultural critics have been hesitant to diss it, lest the genre die off completely and white musicians get limited to American Idol and indie rock. But beyond making the point that pouring champagne on video hoes is no worst than flailing yourself against a mud caked white girl, it’s great to see the tables turn and have emcees making fun of the guitar scene for a change.
Ever since Rappers Delight blew up and label executives dismissed Hip Hop as “a fad” that would come and go like disco, white artists and comedians have had no qualms with appropriating rap music to terrible results. For every Chronicles of Narnia and Rage Against the Machine there were 10 Malibu’s Most Wanteds and Limp Bizkits: movies and bands that showed white people trying to be down (sarcastically or earnestly) and failing horribly in cringeworthy disasters. Even when these things were funny, you couldn’t help but feel the joke was at the expense of those who actually liked Hip Hop seeing as there was rarely the nuance or detail afforded to loving spoofs such as Spinal Tap ( rap’s got its own). So imagine my joy when I saw a bunch of perfectly ignant crunk kids accidentally pissing on the whole concept of mainstream punk-metal. By being just as clueless and careless as the average comedy writer or rock band dealing in rap signifiers (SAT word alert) they’ve turned the tables on a 25 years worth of bad jokes by white people. Or to put it simply, Fred Durst and his ilk had no clue about rap and now it’s payback time. Half the K-rok crowd will laugh with it and half will be pissed but at least the playing field will be a little more even next time someone wants to pull out a whiteboy-goes-ghetto joke. Word to the Offspring.
Plus it ain’t a bad anthem. I don’t support skull t-shirts anymore than I do long white tees, button ups, throwback jerseys or Fubu apparel but whatcha gonna do about it? If anything it’ll be interesting to see if it crosses over to rock radio: the ironing would be delicious.