Thursday, August 9, 2007

High Art

If you're looking for another post about lost classics, dusty breaks, over-intellectualized, obscure indie rap 12"'s, check back tomorrow. But if you're in the mood for a great, cheesy/silly rap song that could only have been recorded in the 1980's, then sir, you and I are on the same page.

Following up their hit single (and the last record they would put out on Macola), "Doo Wah Ditty" - a remake Manford Mann's gianormous pop hit of the of 60's, featuring, bizarrely, Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk, that got a lot of play on Yo! MTV Raps - The 2 Live Crew decided to repeat the formula for their cut on the soundtrack to Ivan Reitman's Twins, this time remaking The Coasters' "Yakety Yak."

It's produced by Luke Skyywalker (back before George Lucas made him changed his name... Boo, Mr. Lucas! I shall continue to call him Skyywalker; and what's more: I'm not buying Star Wars on DVD until you do it right!) and sole writing credit is given to Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller... though I somehow doubt they actually wrote the raps that Brother Marquis and Fresh Kid Ice take turns kicking.

No, this is corny, but it's pure hip-hop. It opens up with Mr. Mixx scratching up the chorus. Each MC sticks pretty close to the concept of the song with very short verses, "When you're told to do something by your mom and dad, don't frown in their face or get mad. Because as long as you're livin' under their roof, you better mind your mouth or get Dad's boot!" It's interesting to note that even though this is a 2 Live Crew song recorded between Move Something and As Nasty As They Wanna Be, this song is completely clean and sex isn't even hinted at (probably Universal Pictures' decree), but there's still a decidedly hip-hop bent whenever they drop lines like, "you better act like you got some sense!"

Then Luke joins them on the record, sounding like he got good and drunk for this, singing verses of the song as the famous horn riff is finally allowed to play for the chorus. The rapping is simplistic and unimpressive (after all, The 2 Live Crew never really aimed much higher... at least not until they replaced Brother Marquis with Verb and formed The New 2 Live Crew, years later), but it works. And the real talent of the crew, Mr. Mixx, steals theshow on the breakdown when he starts cutting up the line "Pick Up the Papers" from the original song. The only thing that would be better than what we've got here would be a 5 minute performance of just Mr. Mixx mixing up two copies of "Yakety Yak" over the beat.

Oh yeah, by the way. Everything else on this soundtrack is garbage. I'm not even sure I've ever listened to it all the way through. This is certainly the only rap song. It comes right at the end of side A, so you don't have to worry that anything like Phillip Bailey and Little Richard's duet, "Twins," will come blaring through your speakers at you if you're not quick enough to turn it off.

It should also be noted that this was released as a 12" single, as well; but it only features some remixes and a shortened, "radio edit" of this song. If you want the proper version, you've gotta get the soundtrack. ...I mean, it's not like it's gonna cost you anything, anyway. ;)

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