Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sluts, Muppets and MC Craig G

In 1985, a B-side took off that almost managed to rival "Roxanne, Roxanne" in infamy. The Bad Boys featuring K-Love dropped their second single, "Mission" on Starlite Records. But it was the B-side, "Veronica," with the timeless "Oh, Veronica, Veronica; oh, Veronica girl" hook that everybody spun. Everybody except the radio stations, that is, because the song was filthy:

"She's a lovely lady, and she loves to fuck;
So I said, 'yo, Veronica;' she said, 'what's up?'
Said, 'girl, tell me something, if you're not a slut,
Then what's that thing, sticking up your butt?'"

And that's probably the only reason it didn't totally eclipse the "Roxanne" saga it was no doubt inspired by (it dropped in the middle of the whole "Roxanne wars" saga). Remember, 1985 was well before NWA and The 2 Live Crew*, and just after the controversy with Prince that lead to explicit lyrics warning stickers on albums. This is the original "talking nasty about a girl over a human beatbox" track that really changed the whole direction of hip-hop, from blatant rip-offs, like Just-Ice's "That Girl Is a Slut" to... a whole legacy of dirty raps. The fact that they spit it all over a crazy hip-hop version of Sesame Street's "Mahna Mahna" song just made the whole thing that much more bugged out and attracted more attention. Really, you had to feel sorry for any teenage girl named Veronica back in 1985.

So of course there had to be an answer record.

In 1986, Pop Art Records put out the female spin on the story of Veronica with "Oh! Veronica" by a duo called The Glamour Girls (their first and last record). And they actually got the same guy who produced the original, Tony D (not Tony D from NJ who produced The Poor Righteous Teachers, but the Tony D who Serch dissed on "Gasface"). But I guess they figured, if you're making the opposite of record featuring a group of guys rapping with a female beatbox, you didn't just need female MCs, but a male beatbox. So, even though Tony D regularly worked with K Love on his records, he brought in someone else for this one... he brought in MC Craig G.

Yes, that MC Craig G, the Juice Crew All Star. He's featured on this record, but only as a beatbox. The rapping is left entirely to the girls, who recount their own version of what happened when The Bad Boys met Veronica: "we were chillin' with Veronica, just hangin' out, When we met The Bad Boys - nothin' to brag about." But, interestingly, while they do use the opportunity to take a playful shot at the original "Veronica" rappers, they actually offer the same opinion of the fictitious Veronica that the Bad Boys had: she's just a huge slut. The verse ends, explaining what happened, "they thought they were slick; they all started illin'. Laid Veronica, now they're getting penicillin!"

I mean, usually when you have an answer record to a song like that, the idea is: sure, that's how so and so told you it was, but here's how it really happened! But this is an unusual case we're they're on message - they actually agree with the initial group's assessment. But then they wind up turning an easy excuse to tell "that girl's so slutty" quips into something a little more fun: hiking on the Boys for their inability to handle her:

"Bizzy walked in and he was coppin' a plea.
He said, 'I'm still a virgin; please don't hurt me!'
He went into a panic, and started to cry;
She said, 'it's okay, Bizzy, send in the next guy."

This version forgoes the Muppet music, and replaces it with a fresh whistle (sort of along the lines of the famous Good, Bad and the Ugly whistle) over a big, programmed beat (this was 1986, after all) and a lot of simple but loud scratching. And, no. No human beatboxing.

Craig G isn't on the Radio, Long or Instrumental versions of the song... the ones that most people are probably familiar with and that wind up on all the compilations. They save his contribution for a specific Beat Box mix which eschews the whole instrumental. It's all just Craig's mouth-made beats and Tony's cuts.

So, yeah, like I said, this was the one and only Glamour Girls record. At least together - the girls themselves both went on to other things. One of the MCs, Glamorous, went on to become an official Juice Crew member herself, featuring on the songs "Evolution" and "Juice Crew All Stars." She's still around, too, check out a track she dropped this year. And the other girl? She went on to release a string of hits by the name of none other than Sweet Tee; and more recently came back as Suga on The Show soundtrack. And if I have to tell you what Craig G went on to do, I think you're on the wrong blog. ...That's the (other) great thing about sluts - they wind up giving birth to so many interesting people! ;)

*Actually, technically, the 2 Live Crew was around back then... But it was before they hooked up with Luke & Brother Marquis and became controversial by rapping about sex.

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