That quote from Andy Warhol about everybody being famous for 15 minutes probably should have been amended a while ago to something like, “In the future, everybody will be a rapper for 16 bars.” That’s because every fuckin’ body raps. Which means there’s a lot of wack rap songs out there because — surprise, surprise – just because everybody raps doesn’t mean they do it well. Hell, even people who rap well are fully capable of making shitty music, so imagine when actors, athletes and non-hip-hop musicians take a stab at rap in a bid to cash in. Actually, don’t imagine. Just listen to the Bad At Rap mix by Cuzzo D of Not the 1s. He’s compiled some of the crappiest crap rappin’ known to man and woman – everything from Vanilla Ice (but not “Ice Ice Baby”) to actors like Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks to athletes like Darryl Strawberry. There’s also tracks by musicians who should have never crossed over to rap, like Beach Boy Brian Wilson. So take a listen while you read Cuzzo D’s accompanying thoughts on each individual track.
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Bad At Rap Mix by Cuzzo D of Not the 1s (AUDIO).
1. DC Talk – "I Luv Rap Music."
Cuzzo D: Yes, the flagrant Fresh Prince biting is lame, but it’s that pale, toothless Professor Griff impersonation in the intro that really kills me. And then the beat! Ugh, it’s the most lotion-soft sound ever crapped out of a Casio. Then dude whines for a bit about how rap has been corrupted by MCs bragging about money, girls, cars, and beepers. In other words, everything that was awesome about rap in 1990!
2. Outlaw Posse ft. David Faustino – "Brand New Star."
Cuzzo D: David Faustino (aka Grandmaster B) did have one thing going for him as a rapper—he was 100 times better than the three friends he got to join him in this silly group. I love a million things about this song, but the paucity of actual rapping is my favorite. It takes four guys to muster up three tiny 8-bar verses, which are puffed up into song length by a series of comically overlong choruses, bridges, and breakdowns. (Why YouTube exists: This Pump it Up clip of the Outlaws on the mean streets of—oh I dunno, Granada Hills?—spittin’ awkward game to two completely bemused adult women. Oh damn, is that fellow child actor Billy Jayne of Silver Spoons, Parker Lewis, and Just One of the Guys?)
3. Icy Blu – "It’s Your Birthday."
Cuzzo D: I shan’t front, I had a big crush on Icy Blu back when I was 15. I looked her up recently and she’s still a genuine cutie. This song makes me laugh, but I like to think that if I was listening to it with Icy Blu, we’d be laughing together.
4. Mr. T – "I Am Somebody."
Cuzzo D: T comes right out the gate firing shots at Run-DMC and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. What a dick!
5. Darryl Strawberry – "Chocolate Strawberry."
Cuzzo D: Many pro athletes-turned-rappers don’t write their own rhymes, but I have a feeling Straw didn’t hire out for this opening couplet: “My name is Darryl, I’m a baseball player. One thing I forgot to say-uh.” Damn man, you forgot to say something other than your name and occupation? Luckily you’re only on the second line of your verse, and you have the whole rest of the song with which to rectify your staggering absentmindedness.
6. Hulk Hogan & The Wrestling Boot Band – "Beach Patrol."
Cuzzo D: I want to enter a real serious DJ battle and just keep hitting a button that makes the sound that this song tries to pass off as scratching. “Chewy poops! Chewy poops! Chewy chewy chewy poops!” Yep, that’s Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart on the hook, playing Nate Dogg to the Hulkster’s Snoop. Of course. OF COURSE!
(Image from I-Mockery)
7. A to the D – "The Renegade Jew."
Cuzzo D: If you read The Source back in the early ’90s, you might remember A to the D, a random middle-aged Jewish guy who took out expensive full-page ads to promote this self-released single. The beat isn’t too bad, but lyrical Jew-els like “I’m the man to make an Arab eat ham” are straight bubkes.
8. Dee Dee King (aka Dee Dee Ramone) – "German Kid."
Cuzzo D: Turns out the only thing more wack than Dee Dee Ramone bustin’ Bobby “Boris” Pickett-style raps in English is when he does it in German.
9. Brian Wilson – "Smart Girls."
Cuzzo D: Ol’ Dirty Brian aka MC Drunk Uncle bellowing “I love hips and legs and breasts!” makes me laugh out loud each and every time I hear it. Read all about this weird-ass joint at WFMU’s Beware of the Blog.
10. MC Skat Kat & The Stray Mob – "I Ain’t No Kitty."
Cuzzo D: It was a slow week for new rap releases at The Wherehouse when I foolishly traded actual legal tender for the MC Skat Kat tape. That $9.99 I spent in 1991 would be worth $16.84 today, according to a random inflation calculator I found on the Internet. Meaning if I would have saved that money until now, then traveled with it back in time to then, I could (almost) afford to buy the CD version instead. Fuck!
11. Vanilla Ice – "Havin’ a Roni."
Cuzzo D: I know, I know. Easy target. But the “do some Popeye” part of Ice’s sidesplitting beatbox routine sounds like what the “rap is crap” classic rock bros at my high school used to do to make fun of hip-hop.
12. Biscuit – "Biscuit’s in the House."
Cuzzo D: “Straight from the New Kids tour to the studio.” NKOTB’s bodyguard steps into the limelight to repeatedly, nay, unrelentingly tell you his name … Biscuit! One of the crews he shouts out in the song is called “The Safe Sex Legion.” Haha!
13. Elvira – "Monsta’ Rap."
Cuzzo D: “Who’s a celebrity we could get for reallllly cheap to make one of those funny rap things?” — Asshole at Record Label.
14. Dan Aykroyd & Tom Hanks – "City of Crime."
Cuzzo D: MTV actually used to play this video, like, as if it was a real song you’d want to listen to. Remember that the next time you’re crying about how cool MTV used to be.
15. Surf MC’s – "Can’t Get a Tan."
Cuzzo D: I bought the Surf MC’s album when it came out in 1987, hoping it would sound like the Beastie Boys and Run-DMC, who my life pretty much revolved around at the time. While it did mix rap and rock in the popular style of the era, the record is—wait for it—a real wipeout! (On the plus side, groupmember Tone Capone went on to become a legendary producer responsible for dozens of Bay Area hip-hop classics. Gnarly!)
16. 2 Bigg MC – "High on Your Love."
Cuzzo D: MC Hammer’s former hype-man goes smooth for a slow jam that’s about as sexy as the word coitus. I bet his 15-year-old niece was so mad at him for stealing one of her diary entries to use as song lyrics.
17. Joey Lawrence – "I Like the Way (Kick da Smoove Groove)."
Cuzzo D: “I like the way you love me so I made up a dance, a prance, so you would give me a chance.” A PRANCE? You’re not even trying!
18. Gerardo – "My Name Is Not Rico."
Cuzzo D: Props to dude for having a sense of humor about “Rico Suave” and all, but this is flat out the most unnecessary song of all-time.
19. Aaron Carter – "That’s How I Beat Shaq."
Cuzzo D: You can just picture the Disney Channel writers’ room where this was conceived. Ten stinky guys cramped around a whiteboard, breaking down and analyzing the component parts of “I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson.”
20. Ron Artest – "Michael Michael."
Cuzzo D: Metta World Peace does his damnedest to out-Lil B Lil B on this tear-soaked tribute to Michael “Mike” Jackson.
21. Kids Hit Masters – "Crank That (Soulja Boy)."
Cuzzo D: Remember Kidz Bop? Well this is like that, but with a chorus of children bumbling through cute rap lyrics like “Superman dat hoe!”