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I'm a funky man, I got funky bones, I'm a funky man, my name is Dee Dee Ramone!
January 18, 2008 11:20 AM   Subscribe

In the 1980s, some artists successfully managed the transition from punk rock to rap. Others, not so much.
posted by Afroblanco (45 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -- Hunter S. Thompson

Dee Dee Ramone, R.I.P.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:25 AM on January 18, 2008


Poor old Dee Dee, he couldn't rap worth a shit.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:35 AM on January 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


Just last week the Boston Phoenix did a feature called "Defending the Universally Loathed" in which they (attempt to) make a case for things like Zubaz, QVC, Ishtar, and Dee Dee's rap album. I thought they did a pretty credible job with most of them, but I just wasn't willing to go along with Geraldo Rivera. That guy is truly indefensible.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:41 AM on January 18, 2008


Heroin is a helluva drug.
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:41 AM on January 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Ye Gods.

On the other hand, as bad as he was at rapping, the Beasties weren't much better a punk band.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:44 AM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


That phoenix article is hilarious. I love this quote about Dee Dee's rap album :

"it’s a happy accident that captures the raw, naive talents of an outsider artist."

I suppose this does sort of qualify as outsider art, even if the artist himself was no outsider.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:44 AM on January 18, 2008


Rub a dub dub dub
I like to relax in the bathtub
I am somebody
I'm Max the cat.


Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreal fucking high on drugs.
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:48 AM on January 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


"I couldn't do rap, I was trying, I don't know how, I'm not good enough to know, I don't, you know, I'm not a Negro or something..."

Comedy gold.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:55 AM on January 18, 2008


A friend of mine and I have a tradition a few years old now. For Christmas, we give each other the worst album we can think of. You can't just go for something easy/obvious. There has to be a certain sense of ... style to the choices.

The tradition was inaugurated by him giving me a Steven Seagal album, and me giving him Dee Dee Ramone's album along with the single on which Dee Dee raps. Bizarrely, that track is not on the album proper.

But Debbie Harris is. She helps out on a song about how it's "mashed" "potato" "time."
posted by sparkletone at 12:03 PM on January 18, 2008


You forgot another success story: Johnny Rotten.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:03 PM on January 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


God, I remember seeing that Dee Dee King video on MTV when I was a kid.

At least Dee Dee admitted in that interview he couldn't rap. And even still, I've heard much worse. What he needed was Blondie to back him, and he coulda hit the charts.

Now, if only Ween would start doing hip-hop, we'd have the Ypsilanti All-Stars.
posted by not_on_display at 12:07 PM on January 18, 2008


Sorry to derail, but in the "not" video, who's the artist behind the first frame? It looks like the guy who did that Tom Tom Club video.
(not derailist)
posted by kimota at 12:11 PM on January 18, 2008


Have you ever seen a glider flying in the wind? I bet you didn't know I'm half German.
posted by YoungAmerican at 12:11 PM on January 18, 2008


it's just not fair to bring this up. LET THE MAN REST IN PIECE!
posted by shmegegge at 12:23 PM on January 18, 2008


But Debbie Harris is. She helps out on a song about how it's "mashed" "potato" "time."

That's Debbie Harry. "Mashed Potato Time" was a number 1 hit for DeeDee Sharp in 1962. I always assumed that DeeDee couldn't resist performing another song by a DeeDee.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:30 PM on January 18, 2008


What do have for entertainment? Cops kicking gypsies on the pavement...
posted by stammer at 12:34 PM on January 18, 2008


as bad as he was at rapping, the Beasties weren't much better a punk band

Yeah, I think they just cashed in on something they could do. Such as Kid Rock having his early Rap career killed by Vanilla Ice, he did...other music.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:37 PM on January 18, 2008


Poor Dee Dee.

Ok, Ok, if you insist.... the Dee Dee Ramone story...


See... I was a high school kid, walking down the street in Boston (skipping school, in fact). A big black limo, driving way too fast screams to a stop at the curb, right in front of me. The limo's back door flies open... out stumbles ... Dee Dee Ramone.

DD: "Hey um... Where's the record store, huh? "

(We are standing directly in front of the record store - I believe it was a "Strawberries Records")

Me: "um, (points at "Strawberries") this one?"

DD: "yea I hope so.... don't tell no one you saw the limo ok?"

Me: "um ok."

DD runs into the store, and for some reason I don't follow him.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:03 PM on January 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


The older Beastie Boys punk stuff (like the stuff of 'Some old Bullshit') isn't great, but the newer punk-ish songs that they threw in randomly in their albums are some of their best songs...it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that 'Sabotage' was one of the best crossovers ever.
posted by schyler523 at 1:07 PM on January 18, 2008


One of the first hardcore shows I've ever been to was Beasties and Reagan Youth and Kraut (I think) at the old A7. What a lot of people don't remember is between the hardcore and rap, they had a very brief period as an art rock band experimenting with noise a la Sonic Youth and the no wave stuff.

That first single Pollywog Stew was revolutionary when it came out. And it was GREAT. It was the departure from punk to hardcore in New York, a very big deal for us kids who were watching Los Angeles very closely.
posted by cazoo at 1:18 PM on January 18, 2008


I've always had a fondness for the version of the Beasties' "Egg Raid on Mojo" on Speed Trials, even though it - and everything else - pales in comparison to the massive Swans song on that compilation.
posted by googly at 1:21 PM on January 18, 2008


And even still, I've heard much worse

Really? And your ears didn't melt?
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:42 PM on January 18, 2008


Oh my yes. I used to play Dee Dee's album on my college radio show. I always wanted people to call in and request things, and no one ever did. So I turned to spite, hoping folks would call in just to tell me to stop playing whatever I was playing. "Commotion in the Ocean" got about as much play-time as "One Night In Bangkok." Good times.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:46 PM on January 18, 2008


I'll see your Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Rotten rap songs and raise you Wot from the Damned's Captain Sensible.
posted by item at 1:49 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, that's food for thought. That "Max The Cat" number is officially the worst rap song I have ever heard, and that includes Rappin' Rodney and an '80's-era Canadian drug scare film for kids ("Choose," I think it was called) in which a video game comes to life and...raps (sadly, it doesn't seem to be on YouTube).
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:55 PM on January 18, 2008


Those Johnny Rotten and Captain Sensible tracks, terrible though they are, sound like Public Enemy compared to "Max The Cat."
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:59 PM on January 18, 2008


What with Dee Dee blazing new trails, why is this guy not topping the charts?
posted by Brocktoon at 2:24 PM on January 18, 2008


Greg Nog: I did the same thing on my show with Sammy Davis Jr.'s take on the Hawaii Five-O theme song. I maintain that no one called to stop me from playing it because my taste was impeccable.
posted by Old Man Wilson at 2:35 PM on January 18, 2008


Those Johnny Rotten and Captain Sensible tracks, terrible though they are...

Terrible? World Destruction?! The fuck?
posted by mr_roboto at 2:35 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I, mean, seriously. That's a good song. Afrika Bambaataa and Bill Laswell? That's solid, solid stuff.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:37 PM on January 18, 2008


I guess the Suicidal Tendencies/ Infectious Grooves thing doesn't quite cut it. I'm pretty sure I've heard Mike Muir do some kinda rappin' though.
posted by snsranch at 3:04 PM on January 18, 2008


I've gotta admit, "The Goon" is a keeper. If the Dickies, the Dead Milkmen or the Warlock Pinchers had recorded it, it would've been praised as a classic.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:06 PM on January 18, 2008


Just last week the Boston Phoenix did a feature called "Defending the Universally Loathed" in which they (attempt to) make a case for things like Zubaz, QVC, Ishtar, and Dee Dee's rap album.

Hey now, Ishtar may be infamous, but universally loathed? It simply hasn't yet won the acclaim that's due.
posted by rottytooth at 4:13 PM on January 18, 2008


Bass! How low can you go?
posted by furtive at 4:25 PM on January 18, 2008


Anyone who thinks "World Destruction" is terrible needs to get a taste adjustment.
posted by litlnemo at 6:39 PM on January 18, 2008


I don't think it's terrible. But anyone who thinks anyone who thinks it's terrible needs to get a taste adjustment needs to get a taste adjustment.
posted by Flunkie at 6:57 PM on January 18, 2008


Did you see the Sopranos they used it in? Just great.
posted by mr_roboto at 7:00 PM on January 18, 2008


Worst rap video ever: Grill Skillz (Wendy's Training Video
posted by cinemafiend at 7:17 PM on January 18, 2008


cinemafiend, that's nowhere near as bad as the rapping in this bizarre Microsoft promotional video for Windows 386.

There's a taste of it at about the 7 minute mark, but it only reaches its full potential at some point after 8 minutes.

Via my favorite deleted thread.
posted by Flunkie at 7:35 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


No, anyone who thinks anyone who thinks anyone who thinks it's terrible needs to get a taste adjustment needs to get a taste adjustment needs to get a taste adjustment.

;)
posted by litlnemo at 7:50 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Let's just say that I disagree.
posted by Flunkie at 8:33 PM on January 18, 2008


Fuck the system!

Fuck the Fuck the System system!

Fuck the Fuck the Fuck the System System system.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:22 PM on January 18, 2008


Flunkie writes "cinemafiend, that's nowhere near as bad as the rapping in this bizarre Microsoft promotional video for Windows 386."

Wow.

I was skeptical. That's much worse than I thought it could have been. It's truly hard to imagine the sort of thinking that went into it. And then it outdoes itself and plunges further into the depths of badness. Can you imagine the meeting when the whole company got to see it for the first time?

I wish the MST3K guys had done this one.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:31 AM on January 19, 2008


don't tas(t)e (adjustment) me, bro.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:23 AM on January 19, 2008


Dee Dee is no Calculus Genius.
posted by sparkletone at 5:11 PM on January 19, 2008


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