It just so happens that today Complex.com is running their 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Skits List (which you can check out by clicking here), and lo and behold, it’s written by an egotripland dude, the Alvarez guy. It also just so happens that there was an overflow of skits that couldn’t be crammed into the ‘Plex list no matter how hard everyone tried, so the extra spillage ends up on our turf.
Skits. We all love ‘em, especially if you were addicted to rap back in the late ’80s and throughout the ’90s. Usually hilarious, violent and vulgar, the best skits keep you in awe with their power to project uncensored movies in your skull.
Sadly, skits slowly started to sorta fade away just a few years past Y2K. They’re still around, of course, but their heyday seems to be over. So while we wait for the hip-hop tradition to make a serious comeback, let’s look back at some of those special moments in between album cuts.
PEEP THE 15 SKITS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE COMPLEX LIST… AFTER THE JUMP…
1. Masta Ace Incorporated –“Hardcore Rap 101 Classroom Skit,” SlaughtaHouse (Delicious Vinyl, 1993)
By the start of the ’90s, the East vs. West Coast feud was already heating up. Perhaps one of the most clever insults fired at wack gangsta rappers was from Masta Ace and company right after the opening track, “A Walk Thru the Valley.” Eavesdropping on a classroom full of children, we get to hear an earnest teacher (Ace) dictate the rules and regulations of Hardcore Rap 101 (“It’s not important if you have a gun or not. Just act like you have a gun.”). The INC. takes the perpetrators to school with this one.
2. Ice Cube—”The Shot (Intro),” Lethal Injection (Priority, 1993)
Do you remember when Ice Cube was controversial? The shocking opening to Lethal Injection might be the last time Mr. O’Shea Jackson scared White America, back when he still had race relations heavy on his mind. The skit takes place inside a doctor’s office (appropriate given the album’s title) and revolves around an uptight “Mr. White” who is there to get his “shot.” Enter the doctor played by Cube, who goes through the regular procedure of any routine examination: flipping through the patient’s medical records, rubbing alcohol on White’s arm, making small talk. All this attention to realistic detail is crucial for what comes next. Credit to producer Sir Jinx for one helluva intro.
3. Prince Paul—”The World’s A Stage (A Dramady),” Psychoanalysis (What Is It?) (WordSound, 1996)
Prince Paul is recognized as one of the mad scientists behind the evolution of the skit, most notably the epic creations with De La Soul. The mastermind has done tons of other amazing work, but his first solo LP was riddled with zany humor and outrageous fun that demonstrated to the world that the man could do damage to funny bones all by his lonely. This stand-up comedy routine from another dimension is un-PC hilarity, with jokes about the homeless and mentally unstable hitting on all cylinders (“I didn’t know you went to college.” “I don’t, my name is Ucla.”). Plus, the canned laughter is just the right touch.
4. Redman—”G.P.N. (Skit),” Doc’s da Name 2000 (Def Jam, 1998)
The Miss Cleo parody, “G.P.N.,” or the Ghetto Psychic Network, hosted by Alotta Vagina (the impressive Nadja Green Parker) is a perfect marriage of great writing and near flawless comedic performances by all involved (even Reggie Noble shows why he was able to parlay skit cameos into acting gigs). Truthfully, the idea behind this skit is a bit dated, since the fortune telling phenomenon is a fad that comes and goes, but best believe it will be back. If you’re lucky enough to be around then, don’t be surprised if this artifact is as hilarious in the future as it still is now.
5. Kanye West—”Blame Game,” My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella, 2010)
Chris Rock is in top form as he goes on and on for two and a half minutes marveling at the newfound sexual powers of his girl who answers every question about her improved status in bed with the now famous phrase, “Yeezy taught me.” The non-stop stream of raunchy humor from Rock (“I’ve never even seen this part of Pussy Town before!”) is essentially a laugh riot of a skit embedded into a somewhat somber song about the emotional back-and-forth of break-ups. It’s a very ill and stark contrast that shows the ups and downs of rocky relationships.
6. Ghostface Killah—”Bad Mouth Kid,” Fishscale (Def Jam, 2006)
This on-point prelude to the rough and tumble childhood memories of parental discipline that is “Whip You With a Strap” features a snotty-nosed kid rowdier than one of Bébé’s brood giving Ghost a hard time. The little brat has a mouth worse than a sailor, making Tony wish he could teach the little shit a lesson about respect while his moms is in the other room. You can always count on Ghost to keep it real. (And, if you ever want to ask him for directions, you might want to think twice.)
7. Eminem—”Dr. West,” Relapse (Aftermath/Interscope, 2009)
It’s time for Marshall Mathers to check out of rehab, but as he’s soon to find out, there’s something wrong. The problem isn’t with him (or is it?), but with his increasingly uncaring medical provider. “What do I do if I find myself in a situation where maybe somebody is drinking around me?,” a concerned Marshall asks. “Take a drink,” replies an nonchalant Dr. West (portrayed by actor Dominic West, better known as McNulty from HBO’s The Wire, speaking in his normal brogue). Baffled by the response, Em soon discovers why there’s been a sinister air in the room as Slim Shady reveals himself to be back, ready to torment the rapper once again. Creepy.
8. Little Brother—”Make Me Hot,” The Listening (ABB Records, 2003)
With all due respect to LB’s excellent sophomore effort, the conceptual Minstrel Show – which you might even describe as skit-terrific (okay, maybe not) – we opted to go for a track off the group’s debut, namely “Make Me Hot,” the blatantly jokey plea for a blazing beat. “Sung” by Phonte and produced by 9th Wonder, this richly crafted endeavor started off as a gag, but ironically, took off overseas as a legit hit when British producer Yam Who? banged out an edit of the tune that turned it into an international club favorite.
9. Ludacris—”Come On Over,” Back For The First Time (Disturbing tha Peace/Def Jam, 2000)
Luda effortlessly strings along a gullible girl on the other end of the phone, selling her big dreams of riches only to zing her with a “gotcha!” style ending. This amusing put-on by the rapper takes a light swipe at the large expectations of groupies who stay dreamin’ about gettin’ paid.
10. Beatnuts—”Engineer Talking Shit,” Intoxicated Demons: The EP (Relativity, 1993)
Long before mad rappers, there were mad engineers. The trash talkin’ and racial slurs is too funny to offend and the Monty Python-esque climax is out of left field, but totally works. (As does the simple yet classic voicemail towards the end of this remarkable EP.)
11. King Tee—”Where’sa Hoe Sat”/ “Where’sa Hoe Sat (Cont.)” Tha Triflin’ Album (Capitol, 1993)
Irresistible P-Funk inspired insanity disguised as a condom ad. “Where da hoez at?!” indeed.
12. Keith Murray—”Jungle Boogie,” It’s a Beautiful Thing (Jive, 1999)
A delighted Green Eyed Bandit lives up to his nickname when he sells an unsuspecting herb on the street some of that weak-ass homegrown pot, or as it’s also known, “Backyard Boogie,” all to the melody of Kool and the Gang’s hit “Jungle Boogie.”
13. Black Rob—”Cop Skit,” Life Story (Bad Boy, 2000)
Gettin’ pulled over by the highway patrol high as hell, Black Rob thinks it’s a good idea to try and talk himself out of trouble. Evidently, the officer at the scene is unimpressed with Rob’s credentials.
14. Mad Kap—”Dickie’s Emporium,” Look Ma Duke, No Hands (RCA, 1993)
The world’s only one-stop shop for gangbangin’ citizens. It’s a khaki explosion! Run, but don’t set trip for the latest fashions custom tailored for the active thug, including the red-blue reversible jacket—for those emergency situations.
15. Naughty By Nature—”Ghetto Bastard,” Naughty By Nature (Tommy Boy, 1991)
Social commentary set in a hospital that addresses the problem of fatherless children in the black community. Naughty’s massive hit single might have been censored for radio airplay, but the acted-out intro for the explicit version on the album didn’t pull any punches in speaking out against deadbeat dads.
BONUS (ADULTS ONLY!):
Kool Keith “Stuck On Pussy Drive,” Sex Style (Funky Ass, 1997)
A dirty, kinky, XXX phone conversation between Keith and a lady friend. Listener discretion is strongly advised.
No Good—”They Shootin’” Gameday, PBB (Artist Direct, 2002)
The girl caught on tape probably won’t win any Mom of the Year Awards, but at least she’s got a sunny disposition.