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I love you too Coco.
January 24, 2010 11:44 AM   Subscribe

A rap song that mentions Chomsky! Coco Love Alcorn steals the hearts of nerds, geeks, and Mensa members everywhere by ditching all those muscle-bound playas in favor of brainiacs. Thought this would play well on Metafilter.
posted by crazylegs (74 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Brian Wilson - Smart Girls
posted by box at 11:49 AM on January 24, 2010


For many, this will be an exercise in restraint.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:50 AM on January 24, 2010


Oh, Jesus. Yeah, it totally subverts stereotypes, because all hip-hop is anti-intellectual and stupid. This parody gimmick song is so clever and original for doing that! In case you couldn't tell I'm being sarcastic. Man, I hate this kind of crap. Get in a boat with MC Frontalot and sail far away, Coco.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:53 AM on January 24, 2010 [27 favorites]


I was kind of hoping it'd be crunk.
posted by cmoj at 11:54 AM on January 24, 2010


DecemberBoy: Oh, Jesus. Yeah, it totally subverts stereotypes, because all hip-hop is anti-intellectual and stupid. This parody gimmick song is so clever and original for doing that! In case you couldn't tell I'm being sarcastic. Man, I hate this kind of crap. Get in a boat with MC Frontalot and sail far away, Coco.

That's about the long and short of it, right there.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:58 AM on January 24, 2010


DecemberBoy, I would advise you not to bring up Weird Al's "White and Nerdy", or there may be fisticuffs.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:59 AM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why is it that posts that say "Thought this would play well on Metafilter" generally don't?
posted by dunkadunc at 11:59 AM on January 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'd like to just remind anyone who might still find geeky hiphop a "novelty", that, before nerdcore, yes, we had Wu-Tang, The Hieroglyphics, Deltron, Jeru the Damaja, Blackalicious, Outkast, Redman and Missy Elliott pulling out references to comics, videogames, and obscure science-y stuff, to name a few.
posted by yeloson at 12:00 PM on January 24, 2010 [16 favorites]


Also, I can think of at least a few other rap songs that mention Noam Chomsky, including one by noted intellectual Canibus.
posted by box at 12:02 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Been there, done that.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:03 PM on January 24, 2010


Chomsky break dancing next big thing
posted by Postroad at 12:10 PM on January 24, 2010


Hey, I liked it. I've even got a girl-on-girl crush goin on for her, which is not my thing, usually.
posted by angrycat at 12:16 PM on January 24, 2010


See also: Chomsky's van.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:25 PM on January 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why is it that posts that say "Thought this would play well on Metafilter" generally don't?
posted by dunkadunc


I guess I spend too much time here. I wouldn't have even clicked through to this thread if that phrase hadn't been there. Soon as I saw it I came in to make popcorn and warm myself by the snark.
posted by Babblesort at 12:26 PM on January 24, 2010


more chomsky musical love
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 12:26 PM on January 24, 2010


Nerdy Girls. How can you resist a man dressed like an mad doctor?
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:27 PM on January 24, 2010


There is no excuse for rhyming like the Fresh Prince or wearing a hat to the side in 2010. None.
posted by dhammond at 12:28 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think this song (and the entire culture behind it) misses the point, because it mistakes rejection for deconstruction.

I don't see how establishing a distinct metric for coolness does anything to avoid the exclusionary intent inherent in a system that relies on these kinds of arbitrary social valuations. It's just trading one set of cultural markers for another. Why not instead try to dismantle (that is, deconstruct,) these systems of valuation themselves?

I think this is very clear in how shallow the allusions themselves are. Bill Gates comes up in this song, and I suspect he is meant to be juxtaposed against typical male idols: musicians and actors and sports stars. But Bill Gates is just a senior manager and a businessman - how does he embody intellectualism, other than that he looks stereotypically nerdy and his company sells computer software? Is he supposed to be geekier than some popular athlete who has devoted his entire life to the pursuit of expertise in his field? Or are we just supposed to accept the abstract labels of Microsoft as belonging to the geek column and Minnesota Vikings as belonging to the jock column (despite how many iPhone programming Brett Favre fans it might alienate)?

I guess, though, a cynical observer might say it's just a crass attempt to market to a niche audience. You don't have to try as hard to be talented when you can just pander to a self-selected audience.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:34 PM on January 24, 2010 [13 favorites]


Took politics too far to become a big douche
Slapped on a bumper sticker for the Khmer Rouge

posted by Inspector.Gadget at 12:35 PM on January 24, 2010


Oh, Jesus. Yeah, it totally subverts stereotypes, because all hip-hop is anti-intellectual and stupid. This parody gimmick song is so clever and original for doing that! In case you couldn't tell I'm being sarcastic.

Or, maybe, she's likes hip hop and intellectual guys. I know, it's crazy, right? If you're going to rap you should stick to the common tropes, like smokin' a blunt or the various ways that you exceed your peers.

And why are you calling out Frontalot? It's Pitch Dark is one of my favorite rap tracks of all time, nerdcore or otherwise. But it is a white guy rapping about a videogame, so obviously he's mocking the art form.
posted by bpm140 at 12:37 PM on January 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


naomi klein was like "psssh bitch, please: you cadence is off and you stanzas is tortured
posted by Hammond Rye at 12:40 PM on January 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Careful with that mic, Coco.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:42 PM on January 24, 2010


Pants on the ground, pants on the ground

Gold in yo' mouth, hat turned sideways

Walkin' downtown, lookin' like a fool with your post-structuralist and postmodern criticisms of science.

posted by longsleeves at 12:44 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I get the complaint, (about missing out on a tonne of awesome intellectual, creative, smart, and erudite lyrical content all throughout hip hop..), not really personally a fan of things that make it seem like all hip hop is about is the stereotypes... (and I don't know her, so I don't know what she thinks personally...

But that said... I love her song about her biciycle.
posted by infinite intimation at 12:45 PM on January 24, 2010


Her wikipedia entry makes no mention of rap/nerdcore, instead mentions Jazz and Pop.

Youtube says the video is a response to what do you know about math, in which the young math geek/rappers state that their love of math doesn't help them socially and that girls aren't at all attracted to math geeks. Perhaps her video was simply meant as a response and to give intellectuals in high school some hope that there are bright attractive girls who appreciate an intellect.

In my experience this is true; there are woman attracted to intellect - in high school I had no idea this was the case. I might have been more hopeful then if I had realized this.

If that is indeed the point of this song and video (which it seems to be), one could be more forgiving of her initial attempt at nerdcore.

I thought the video was touching and sweet.

Instead of judging this as a 'nerdcore' video, how about judging this as a heartfelt homemade PSA?
posted by el io at 12:51 PM on January 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ruined it for me when she said "nukyular."
posted by StrangerInAStrainedLand at 12:52 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Before this gets out of hand, I suggest we give her a Uke, dress her in leather and brass watch parts, and let Jess move this whole thing over to the Boing....
posted by HuronBob at 12:52 PM on January 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


<Mr B, the Gentleman Rhymer>

I am led to understand that she likes boys.

</Mr B. the Gentleman Rhymer>
posted by zippy at 1:02 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think some people here are approaching this song from the wrong angle - they see a reference to Chomsky in the write-up and they assume that this song is supposed to be deep and intellectual. It's not. Intelligent music isn't music that name-drops or fetishizes intelligence - it's music that says something intelligent itself. This song is just another version of 'I like boys/girls who are like X', which is standard pop. And there's nothing wrong with that.
posted by Consonants Without Vowels at 1:05 PM on January 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah, but writing and performing a song this dumb about how much you like "intellectuals" is, to be fair, pretty counterintuitive. It's like making a huge "Vegetarians Taste Better" sign out of meat.
posted by RogerB at 1:13 PM on January 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Intelligent music isn't music that name-drops or fetishizes intelligence - it's music that says something intelligent itself.

This is pretty far from "intelligent". It's a joke, and the punchline of the joke is a fucked up classist assumption that hip hop is the music of the uneducated (black) hordes who have no depth of thought beyond bitches and the size of their genitals, so a rap song about, like smart stuff is hilarious. It even says so in the description: only "muscle bound playas" create or enjoy real hip hop, right? Fuck everything about this.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:15 PM on January 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


i also see quite a bit of "the people who picked on me in school listened to hip hop" in this kind of "humor" as well, which is just laughably pathetic.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:17 PM on January 24, 2010


Or, maybe, she's likes hip hop and intellectual guys. I know, it's crazy, right? If you're going to rap you should stick to the common tropes, like smokin' a blunt or the various ways that you exceed your peers.

Yeah, way to reinforce exactly what I'm saying. Sure, OK, this is real hip hop produced by someone with no intention of making fun of it. Okay. I'll say the same thing I said about MC Frontalot: find me one person on Earth that has this kind of shit next to Jay-Z or Nas or Wu Tang or even some backpacker shit like Aesop Rock and I'll take back everything I said.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:28 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


So let's make this thread about songs about loving nerdy boys, instead. I like this one by Candypants.
posted by bobobox at 1:32 PM on January 24, 2010


Judging by the recording quality, it's hardly likely that this little ditty was meant as anything other than a bit of fun. It really doesn't need a huge amount of meta-critique.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:34 PM on January 24, 2010


Yeah, the whole nerdcore etc. type stuff seems like a reaction to people who get their hiphop from Clear Channel alone: it's like pulling out Kenny G as edgy and progressive in Jazz when all you've listened to is Muzak.
posted by yeloson at 1:35 PM on January 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Chumbawamba (yes, that Chumbawamba) didn't just name drop Chomsky. They recorded an entire double CD album with him doing spoken word on the first disc.
posted by justkevin at 1:41 PM on January 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Don't blame the singer/song for the idiotic framing of the FPP. There's no indication in the song that she dislikes hip hop, in fact I think it's clear that she does.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 1:41 PM on January 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I went on a date with Coco a few years ago after she opened for my band. She is extremely talented and very cute - she rides her bike everywhere. I would not say that this is her best work.
posted by weezy at 1:47 PM on January 24, 2010


Whats the problem if people who listened to hip hop were cruel to her, and that was some subconcious reason to make this (which it does not seem to me to be), (white males who are "muscle bound playas" and general dicks listen to hip hop too... and misinterpret the messages, and use their (mis)understanding of hip hop as excuses to be said dicks).

The first point, that quote is not in the actual description... and seems to be imparting your own impressions onto it a bit... but again, I don't know her mindset at all, and like I said, I DON'T like music that does "hip hop bad" on purpose, as if that makes some point that "hip hop is an unworthy genre", or music that mocks hip hop by the stereotypes, without paying homage to the masters.
It's not any music that is a problem... it is whether or not a listener THINKS about the words and meanings of what they are listening to.

But there is a lot of stuff out there that the big labels put out, and that they try to market as "hip hop"... this is not hip hop, this, as you said, is a joke... but so is some of modern "biglabel" hip hop... so I don't see this as particularly egregious... Big Daddy Kane this is not, nor is it Masta Ace... and I wish her to hear some of Masta Ace's material... he's surely an intellectual musician and often spoke of the value of education, as did Tupac, and it is hard to think of someone promoting a strong societal value of community strength and co-operation like Tupac did... todays music, tupac and Masta Ace it is not.

"so a rap song about, like smart stuff is hilarious."

But as pointed out above... this is NOT about smart stuff... it is just as much about the superficial images of "smart stuff" ... just as much as the music you will hear on clear channel is.
I am going with the idea that she was being ironically clever. (as I do with most things the first time they are on the blue).
posted by infinite intimation at 1:57 PM on January 24, 2010


find me one person on Earth that has this kind of shit next to Jay-Z or Nas or Wu Tang or even some backpacker shit like Aesop Rock and I'll take back everything I said.

*raises hand*

Also, I'm working on some nerdcore stuff myself, and I wish I could spit verse like Talib Kweli.
posted by ShawnStruck at 2:02 PM on January 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Don't blame the singer/song for the idiotic framing of the FPP. There's no indication in the song that she dislikes hip hop, in fact I think it's clear that she does.

Bears repeating. Wigging out about the framer's FPP text is one thing. The song itself is just saying she likes intellectual boys over guys who are into cars and clothes - as el io pointed out, it's a video response to a bunch of math-oriented rappers lamenting their numerical skills don't get them girls. It's not a giant smirking middle finger at hip-hop. The FPP text might be.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:02 PM on January 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


DecemberBoy: This is pretty far from "intelligent".

I won't disagree with you on that - that was my point. It doesn't really have any depth, so any depth you see in terms of social commentary is depth that you're putting there.

Let's try it this way - do you think it should be verboten for anyone to rap about math or D&D because it's obviously offensive and classist?
posted by Consonants Without Vowels at 2:11 PM on January 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


See also: Chomsky's van.
I bought one of those prints!
It seemed clever at the time, but I was totally baked.
posted by Flashman at 2:28 PM on January 24, 2010


That's how Chomsky would've wanted it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:30 PM on January 24, 2010


Fucking Chomsky
posted by Flashman at 2:37 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I heard he invented gravity hits.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:41 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The devolution of this thread is complete.
posted by nosila at 2:51 PM on January 24, 2010


> Why not instead try to dismantle (that is, deconstruct,) these systems of valuation themselves?

If you meant deconstruct, why didn't you just say it an spare us the ()?
posted by pelham at 3:02 PM on January 24, 2010


Brian Wilson - Smart Girls
Wow. That's... sad.
posted by Flunkie at 3:15 PM on January 24, 2010


um... Paul Barman? ...anyone?
posted by oraknabo at 3:34 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


weezy: I went on a date with Coco a few years ago...

When I worked at [liberal think tank, name redacted], I formulated a theory that everyone who worked there had once dated, or knew someone who dated, a New York Times columnist. I'd like to advance a similar theory on Metafilter and minor YouTube parody artists.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:08 PM on January 24, 2010


I have to agree with Sangermaine about the references— Bill Gates? Weird Science? No, find me a girl who namedrops Steve Wozniak and Real Genius, and we can look forward to some long nights together investigating the behavior of complex exponentials.

But I like the song much better than I like crazylegs' framing of it. The song itself spends vanishingly little time comparing itself to other song styles, rap or no. It's mostly a positive expression of what the singer likes. (Boys, apparently: intellectual ones. Who know about alloys.) Compare to, say, Baby Got Back.

Actually what I like about it is that Coco has a really nice singing voice.
posted by hattifattener at 4:20 PM on January 24, 2010


Stuff White People Like
posted by melorama at 4:21 PM on January 24, 2010


find me one person on Earth that has this kind of shit next to Jay-Z or Nas or Wu Tang or even some backpacker shit like Aesop Rock and I'll take back everything I said.

1) Raises hand.

2) I like the album cuts on All Eyez on Me as much as the next guy, but I've yet to listen to Pac and say "self, he's really speaking to me."

3) As a geek / nerd / pop culture nut, I connect with the references in MC Chris' Fett's Vette far more. And the dude's got fuckin' mad flow.
posted by bpm140 at 4:26 PM on January 24, 2010


Thought this would play well on Metafilter.

So much for my date with Coco.
posted by crazylegs at 4:26 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck everything about this.

Phew. It's a good thing you shot her down or Hip Hop could have been totally destroyed!
posted by Sparx at 4:36 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


A band out of Austin called the Horsies used to do a little ditty about Noam Chomsky.
posted by pomegranate at 4:36 PM on January 24, 2010


MC Paul Barman's Anarchist Bookstore both name-drops Chomsky and celebrates leftist nerdy gals who work at anarchist bookstores.
posted by jonp72 at 4:39 PM on January 24, 2010


> Stuff White People Like

Right, because black people are all anti-intellectual and/or stupid, right?
posted by hattifattener at 4:39 PM on January 24, 2010


BITCHES DON'T NOAM BOUT MY CHOMSKY
posted by dunkadunc at 4:41 PM on January 24, 2010


I do find the "rapping about smart things = funny" meme to be way played out, though. there's definitely something racist or at least classist going on.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:43 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


so, essentially you hate a lot of the 1990's corporate culture? :)

(I agree with you certainly{I find the broken rhythm of the "comedy hop" and "im tough white guy" rap to not be my cupa tea...}; but I also hate putting people in boxes... like saying that you may not rap, and certainly not bout anything funny... and if it's smart too... no way... It sucks, it stifles.. especially if we aren't going to go through all the mainstream stuff, and be like, "yep, that's gotta go, that too, and that"... evolving is about mixing genres, about collaborations between diverse groups of ideas. There are people who aren't "white" doing things with a real flow, for fun, about "smart" stuff so I think blanket statements aren't the best.)
meh, I think it was a framing issue here...
posted by infinite intimation at 5:09 PM on January 24, 2010


it's just a nice little song.
posted by angrycat at 5:15 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I do find the "rapping about smart things = funny" meme to be way played out, though. there's definitely something racist or at least classist going on.

I feel the same way about the assumption that "rapping about smart things" is automatically being done for laughs ;)
posted by bpm140 at 5:18 PM on January 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Blackalicious is no laughing matter!
posted by dunkadunc at 5:23 PM on January 24, 2010


Huh. I thought every single song by the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy mentioned Chomsky. Or was I thinking Marshall McLuhan?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:48 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I do find the "rapping about smart things = funny" meme to be way played out, though.

Wow. How do you feel about "rapping about bitches, guns and bling = cool" meme? 'Cause I think it's got a bit of a lead.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:22 PM on January 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


I really liked her biking song.
posted by ropeladder at 7:35 PM on January 24, 2010


I find the "rapping about smart things = funny" meme to be way played out

An honest effort, and you don't give respect?
You need a Level One Diagnostic,
You're Tetley's decafe, you miss the spot,
My rhymes connect: Tea, Earl Gray, hot!
I got my man Spock, packing a Glock,
A banger, old-school gangster, a dealer,
While you're complaining, I'm saving Edith Keeler.
posted by zippy at 9:53 PM on January 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


find me one person on Earth that has this kind of shit next to Jay-Z or Nas or Wu Tang or even some backpacker shit like Aesop Rock and I'll take back everything I said.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:28 PM on January 24


I have every track Aesop Rock's ever put out and ever track MC Frontalot's put out. I listen to both reguarly. So, take it back.
posted by vito90 at 10:21 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, someone trying to start a flamewar over backpack rappers, in 2010. Some shit never changes.

For the record, doseone references Oliver Wendell Holmes in the Deep Puddle Dynamics album. And that was back in '98, so it's not like emcees referencing someone educated people would recognize is something new. Shit, it wasn't new in '98--that's just the first example that came to mind.

DecemberBoy, give the nerdcore guys like MC Frontalot some time. I mean, Nerdcore Rising only came out in 2005. I remember when backpacker shit was blowing up ten years ago (damn, has it been that long?). There were a lot of people that hated that shit at first, but by now most folks seem to respect at least one or two backpack rappers. I'm not big on any of the nerdcore guys yet, but I figure that even if no one is making nerdcore I like right now, I bet it will happen sooner or later.
posted by joedan at 11:40 PM on January 24, 2010


Yeah, way to reinforce exactly what I'm saying. Sure, OK, this is real hip hop produced by someone with no intention of making fun of it. Okay. I'll say the same thing I said about MC Frontalot: find me one person on Earth that has this kind of shit next to Jay-Z or Nas or Wu Tang or even some backpacker shit like Aesop Rock and I'll take back everything I said.
posted by DecemberBoy


Yeah, add me to the list. I don't think MC Frontalot is very representative of the problem you have here. Many of his songs are actually witty and funny, and intended to be so by virtue of their content and not any kind of culture mocking or just by virtue of their intelligence. Frontalot cites De La Soul and Del the Funkee Homosapien as two of his major influences, he clearly is aware of and loves intelligent hip hop, and is in no way claiming he is some messiah come to save everyone from the dumb stuff. You don't have to like it, obviously, but there are certainly those of us who like him and a plethora of other hip hop.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:20 AM on January 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


As a nerd/geek, please do not lump me in with those mensa people.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:36 PM on January 25, 2010


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