Friday, April 1, 2011

Mr. Wallenrod's Laff Attack

"I've heard of a heart attack... and a Big Mac Attack... but what's a Laff Attack?"

Laff Attack: Rappin' and Goofin' is the first (and still one of very few) hip-hop compilation albums to focus on funny rap songs. It came out on Priority Records in 1986, and features songs from various other labels.

Now. funny/novelty rap records have been around almost as early as rap records themselves. One of the handful of hip-hop records released before the 1980's was Steve Gordon & the Kosher Five's "Take My Rap... Please." Sugarhill put out records by Wayne & Charlie the Rapping Dummy, and even Sylvia Robinson's answer to Mel Brooks' novelty rap record "It's Good To Be the King," "It's Good To Be the Queen." So there was no shortage of potential material.

But this album makes some surprising selection choices. Rockmaster Scott's "The Roof Is On Fire?" That's a hip-hop classic, but there's really nothing funny about it. "Don't You Dog Me" must be on here because the album's producer's thought anything by The Fat Boys is funny... but why a fairly serious song about being treated poorly in relationships as opposed to something like "Double-O Fat Boys" or "Jailhouse Rap," where they rap about going to jail for robbing a Burger King?

Other songs are more obvious and appropriate choices, however. Yes, "Rappin' Duke" is on here, as is "Hambo - First Rap, Part 2" by Hambo, who even disses the Duke ("who's the rappin' duke who thinks he's so patriotic? 'Da-ha, da-ha' sounds pretty idiotic. Don't youse think that sounds stooopid?"). Also, funnier raps my more legit artists are included: "La Di Da Di" is a genuine rap classic, even more so than "The Roof Is On Fire," but I can't act so bewildered about what it's doing here.

Also included is Spyder-D's "Buckwheat's Beat" (though we all know the X-Rated Version that was included on the B-side of the original 12" was funnier) and one of the more unabashedly comic entries in the epic Roxanne saga, Ralph Rolle's "Roxanne's a Man." And a final curiosity, they (naturally) include the great "Honeymooner's Rap" by Joe Piscopo, Eddie Murphy and the great Grandmixer D.St... but they credit it to a group/artist named Lost Episodes, which is a little perplexing. And Priority did it again in 1989, on their Rapmasters compilation. The phrase "lost episodes" doesn't appear anywhere on the original 12"... It's just weird.

Anyway, there's nothing original or unique on this album (except the crazy illustration used for the cover). every song was previously released before. But it's still an undeniably enjoyable listen, and even the un-funny entries are still fun and fresh songs. I'd be hard-pressed to name a better album to listen to today... Happy April's Fools!

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