This pie's so good it is a crime.
July 9, 2010 1:22 PM   Subscribe

On April Fool's Day, MC Chris made a song about Twin Peaks. Here is a fan made video for the song
posted by P.o.B. (37 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's right. He put the Ghostbusters tag in a post about Twin Peaks. Now everybody's happy!
posted by GuyZero at 1:26 PM on July 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


I really, really hate M.C. Chris, and most other parody rap, but... well, the song isn't that great, but I appreciate the effort.
posted by codacorolla at 1:28 PM on July 9, 2010


Hah! Pretty amusing, even if the auto-tune chorus did get kinda old.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:31 PM on July 9, 2010


How is MC Chris 'parody rap'? He raps about the stuff that matters to him, just like everyone else.
posted by Huck500 at 1:36 PM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, my Friday has been made.
posted by komara at 1:56 PM on July 9, 2010


How is MC Chris 'parody rap'? He raps about the stuff that matters to him, just like everyone else.

Well, you see, mc chris (lower case, no dots) is white...
posted by explosion at 2:20 PM on July 9, 2010


That was pretty fun. It could use lyrical subtitles, I think, but my ears suck.
posted by graventy at 2:20 PM on July 9, 2010


Huck500: "How is MC Chris 'parody rap'? He raps about the stuff that matters to him, just like everyone else."

I have a theory that rap is a medium for defining and discussing African American identity, and the cultural expressions of the African diaspora in America. Everything else using the musical structures of rap with alternate content will be treated as a joke at best, or dismissed altogether as irrelevant.

In my opinion much of what passes for a discourse on African American culture in rap is a fucking joke of another sort, but it's pop culture, you can't expect too much from it.
posted by idiopath at 2:36 PM on July 9, 2010


I worked with MC Chris for two weeks before I realized he was MC Chris. He's an awesome guy.

This, by the way, is awesome.
posted by toekneebullard at 2:38 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Weak sauce.
posted by cazoo at 2:41 PM on July 9, 2010


Everything else using the musical structures of rap with alternate content will be treated as a joke at best

It shouldn't be, though. I'm not saying that you think it should be, I have no idea, and I think you have a point, but it's a shame. Art is art; or isn't, depending on the consumer.
posted by Huck500 at 2:42 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Huck500: "It shouldn't be, though."

And it would be great if we could all wear tutus at work. Conventions and mores often seem inexplicable to me, but the older I get the less energy I have for tilting at them. The fact is that music is not an art of sound in time (well European art music ("classical") aspires to be that, but even it fails). Music is a social ritual, performing a role in defining identity, strengthening social bonds, and facilitating the selection of mates. One aspect is that it involves making sound, but there is much more to it.
posted by idiopath at 2:51 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This was a triumph.
posted by the painkiller at 3:34 PM on July 9, 2010


Kinda funny, but I still think his best work is as "Hesh" on Sealab 2021.
posted by WerewolvesRancheros at 3:36 PM on July 9, 2010


Rest in peace, Harry.
posted by Evilspork at 4:10 PM on July 9, 2010


I have a theory that rap is a medium for defining and discussing African American identity, and the cultural expressions of the African diaspora in America. Everything else using the musical structures of rap with alternate content will be treated as a joke at best, or dismissed altogether as irrelevant.

Really? Still? In 2010?

But yeah, that's why no one involved with hip-hop ever took Eminem seriously. Dr. Dre was all like, "a white guy doing hip-hop?? That's just crazy." Sorry, I am not incredibly up on current hip-hop so I'm sure there's hundreds of better examples of non-black American rappers. Not to mention the thriving scenes in the UK, France, and pretty much the whole rest of the world by now.

The reason this is seen as "parody" or "novelty" is because it's about freaking Twin Peaks. The only reason this "nerdcore" type stuff doesn't get taken seriously is because most of the time the artists themselves have that attitude of "ha ha, it's me a nerdy white guy doing hip-hop. Isn't that adorable?"

Basically, "nerdcore":hip-hop::burlesque:stripping.

If you're gonna hedge your bets with "I just fool around with this stuff, but I would never REALLY do it; that's for poor people," then of course you're going to come off as a soulless novelty.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:05 PM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


MC Chris is periodically awesome, and this is a good example of that. Thanks, P.o.B.!
posted by Edgewise at 5:10 PM on July 9, 2010


Question about the lyrics:

Was it Donna the elitist, packin' peaches for James?

Is 'packin' peaches' some kind of hip sex/relationship reference I don't get, or have I forgotten a scene where she is literally packing peaches?
posted by komara at 5:41 PM on July 9, 2010


drjimmy11: there is a reason I didn't say Black. Eminem is white, but like many whites in America lived in a cultural context that was significantly African American, and he was speaking to a significant degree in that cultural context. regardless of his genetics. I am not talking race, I am talking culture.
posted by idiopath at 5:43 PM on July 9, 2010


I'm so tired of people tacking colors and genders onto things that were created by and for the enjoyment of expression of the human race. MC Chris can get annoying sometimes, but he has always thanked his inspirations and inspiration can be a hard enough thing to come by; even harder if you try to limit who can do what and why.
posted by june made him a gemini at 8:26 PM on July 9, 2010


The only reason this "nerdcore" type stuff doesn't get taken seriously is because most of the time the artists themselves have that attitude of "ha ha, it's me a nerdy white guy doing hip-hop. Isn't that adorable?"

Do you even listen to nerdcore? It's about people rapping about the stuff they know and love: Videogames and RPGs and Comics and whathaveyou.

Now, that's not to say that certain people want rappers to be black and rapping about the gangsters and hos and whatnot, but that's on their shoulders. Those same people presumably think that my GF's cousin shouldn't be persuing an opera career since it's the domain of white people.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:29 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have a theory that rap is a medium for defining and discussing African American identity, and the cultural expressions of the African diaspora in America. Everything else using the musical structures of rap with alternate content will be treated as a joke at best, or dismissed altogether as irrelevant.

I don't think rap is as much a medium of black american culture as it is of low income urban american culture. Of course, the latter is largely composed of the former, but at least in its earlier days the genre proper was not exclusively black. I mean, the Beastie Boys were three new york jews who made some groundbreaking hip-hop records and had as much relevancy as contemporary black artists. Since then the mainstream rap world has changed becoming largely pop oriented, and today it is almost as much of a caricature of itself as country music as far as playing to stereotypes goes. Still, I think the modern underground scene would be more hospitable to a poor urban white rapper than a rich suburban black rapper, assuming equal skill and seriousness of subject matter.
posted by waxboy at 8:58 PM on July 9, 2010


Diane, it's no Fett's Vett
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:13 AM on July 10, 2010


Perhaps I'm misunderstanding mc chris, although I doubt it, but when you use rap as an easy joke, where you contrast your subject matter and skin color against what's typically expected of the medium as a quick punchline, then it's parody rap. Maybe less mc chris than Cpt. Dan and the Scurvy Crew or Asher Roth, who are utterly terrible.

I haven't kept up on mc chris, so maybe it's more that I think his style is lazy and his beats are boring, and his subject matter (regardless of what I think of it outside the song) is asinine.

I don't like Eminem much either, but he's rapping in the medium as an honest effort and not as a joke (regardless of how much he winks at his race in his songs). I don't like backpacker rap either, but the white artists in that genre are also rapping honestly. Race, aside from whatever the artist does with it, doesn't matter in what makes some rap rap and other rap an insulting joke.

Nerdcore is a joke, and for most artists an intentional one.

Basically what drjimmy said:
If you're gonna hedge your bets with "I just fool around with this stuff, but I would never REALLY do it; that's for poor people," then of course you're going to come off as a soulless novelty.
posted by codacorolla at 8:15 AM on July 10, 2010


Perhaps I'm misunderstanding mc chris, although I doubt it, but when you use rap as an easy joke, where you contrast your subject matter and skin color against what's typically expected of the medium as a quick punchline, then it's parody rap.

Then your expectations of medium, subject, and race are too narrow.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:45 PM on July 11, 2010


ChurchHatesTucker: "your expectations of medium, subject, and race are too narrow"

If you start throwing strong spices willynilly into French cuisine, it isn't French food any more. The amount of variety allowed in a particular genre is part of what defines the genre. What many people like about Rap is that it is extremely restrictive, even for popular music standards (I say this as someone who generally prefers less restrictive types of music, mind you).
posted by idiopath at 2:11 PM on July 11, 2010


Also, the amount and type of variety allowed in a music carries information. Typically a type of music that acts as a marker of group membership in a guarded or exclusive group (especially if a distinct social class) will have very rigid rules that are taken seriously (Classical music and almost any court music for example, as well as Rap). On the other hand a music that acts as a signifier of membership of an inviting, evangelical, or recruiting group will often have less stringent rules and allow more room for experimentation (for example hippy jam bands, sing along political folk songs, much of protestant church music).
posted by idiopath at 2:37 PM on July 11, 2010


What many people like about Rap is that it is extremely restrictive...

It is? As far as I'm aware it requires (a) rapping, and (b) a beat.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:16 PM on July 11, 2010


The simplicity is an element of the restrictiveness. Most simple musics are strictly defined.

In other words you can take rap and add things to it that make it no longer rap.

People may gush praise on the innovators, but the fact is it is a form that distrusts experimentation, and the praise has to do with the difficulty of the task they accomplished (effecting change in such a conservative artform). Furthermore the things that get called major innovations are actually relatively subtle changes, if judged by the standards of many other forms of music.
posted by idiopath at 3:43 PM on July 11, 2010


In other words you can take rap and add things to it that make it no longer rap.

No, anything that has both rapping and a beat is Rap. Take one away and then you have something else; add something and you have a style of Rap.

I'm not sure what mc chris is supposed to be adding or changing here, in any case. 'Frivolous' subject matter? Autotune? Being white? It's all been done.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:28 PM on July 11, 2010


It's not the subject of the lyrics of the song (though the lyrics are important, the style is more important than the topic), or the real person performing, but the identity represented. People who listen to rap can reliably come to a conclusion that a given artist is not doing real rap, but parody rap or backpacker music or whatever (and of course boundary conditions exist). This is because rap has strict set of rules about attitude, content, voice, language, etc. Even what counts as credible rapping or what counts as a credible beat is a vary small subset of rythmic usage of words or sounds. I am not inventing an abstract and idealized version of rap here but trying to describe the criteria the main group of rap listeners use in practice to differentiate real rap from other things they don't call real rap.

Many successful (and culturally credible) rappers are college educated, not from the ghetto, did not grow up poor, etc. Ludacris, Will Smith, and the Beastie Boys for example are all from Upper middle class backgrounds. But they successfully learned to perform a "street" identity and earned credibility. It is not about who the person is, but the performance of self, and that performance meet a certain evolving set of expectations (things that were credible in the past are often no longer credible, as is the case with anything subject to shifts of style or used as a test to differentiate insiders from outsiders).

Simply put, the mc chris track here is identifiable as parody rap or joke rap because it does not limit itself to a specific set of attitudes, identities, and styles of delivery that are eligible for rap credibility. You are a fan of parody rap. No biggie, and no judgment from me, parody rap is a much more popular style of music than the music I listen to. Personally I think real rap takes itself much too seriously. But you or I in isolation don't get to decide whether there is a real rap / joke rap distinction, or where that line is drawn.
posted by idiopath at 7:48 PM on July 11, 2010


It's not the subject of the lyrics of the song (though the lyrics are important, the style is more important than the topic), or the real person performing, but the identity represented.

Ah. Here's where we differ. I don't define music in non-musical terms.

Simply put, the mc chris track here is identifiable as parody rap or joke rap because it does not limit itself to a specific set of attitudes, identities, and styles of delivery that are eligible for rap credibility.

That's basically saying "Rap is what I (or some group I subscribe to) say it is."

I'm not sure if your contention is that the music is parody because it has humorous content, or that it's intentionally making fun of whatever you define rap as. If the former, I'd simply advise you to lighten up. If the latter, well he's not as far as I can tell.

Now there are acts that actively parody styles of Rap. Most of them aren't terribly good (and I suspect that's where you're getting your nerdcore disdain from. I can understand that.)

However, parodying a style is not the same as parodying the medium. After all, the reason most people bother to do that they love the medium, but are annoyed by, say, the prevalence of Gangsta Rap.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:33 PM on July 11, 2010


ChurchHatesTucker: "I don't define music in non-musical terms. "

Neither do I. as I said above:

idiopath: "music is not an art of sound in time (well European art music ("classical") aspires to be that, but even it fails). Music is a social ritual, performing a role in defining identity, strengthening social bonds, and facilitating the selection of mates. One aspect is that it involves making sound, but there is much more to it."

This model of what music is and why music is listened to is more coherent and has more explanatory power regarding which music people listen to than any theory that is limited to music being sound arranged in time. Treating music as sounds arranged in time is like treating writing as lines on a page - it has its place, but doesn't really explain much about what most people mean when they talk about the act of reading or writing.
posted by idiopath at 8:46 PM on July 11, 2010


Music is a social ritual, performing a role in defining identity, strengthening social bonds, and facilitating the selection of mates.

And which of those are musical terms?

You're confusing what X music IS with how X music IS USED.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:03 PM on July 11, 2010


You are confusing the European academic discourse about music for music. Personality and genetics do not predict what kind of music you will make or listen to as reliably as what music your peers and parents listen to does. Ways of listening to and appreciating sound are taught skills, and are culturally specific. Different ways of listening can change a piece of music at least as much as the sonic content, if not more so.

And as absurd as it seems, what kind of hat or pants a musician wears, or more to the point whether a listener judges that he has presented an acceptable display of sexual desirability, is extremely important in determining how music is listened to by the typical contemporary listener of rap music (as is the case with most musics)

In this case, the content and delivery style of a piece of music fail to frame the singer as a desirable sexual partner, therefore creating at best a novelty or a joke (if it was intentional), at worst a simple failure.
posted by idiopath at 11:22 PM on July 11, 2010


You are confusing the European academic discourse about music for music.

One of us is, surely.

And as absurd as it seems, what kind of hat or pants a musician wears, or more to the point whether a listener judges that he has presented an acceptable display of sexual desirability, is extremely important in determining how music is listened to...

'Music is how we listen to music' is a recursive definition.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:41 AM on July 12, 2010


I'm so tired of people tacking colors and genders onto things that were created by and for the enjoyment of expression of the human race.

Seriously. What difference does it make whether you feel like his music is a "joke" or if it's "honest" or whether it counts as rap or whether it's something else? I understand the desire to share one's opinion about a piece of art, but not the desire to pronounce judgement as if there is some undeniable core truth about it's validity as this or that. There isn't.
posted by Sharakov at 1:39 AM on July 16, 2010


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