Maybe Rap Really is the Poetry of Our Time...
December 22, 2007 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Watch Sam Harris read "Soulja Boy" in....a unique style. (YT, slightly NSFW due to language) (skip to 0:15 for the actual video) And the original song.

People have said that rap is the poetry of our generation...Sam Harris gives it a shot. There's also a Texas Tech University version.
posted by DMan (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
:|
posted by p3on at 8:37 AM on December 22, 2007


Haha omg low culture = high culture? Noe wayz!!!!?1!! He's white and everything.
posted by SassHat at 8:38 AM on December 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


I don't know who Sam Harris is, but his little musical glamor shot montage at the beginning of his video makes me really dislike him.
posted by delmoi at 8:38 AM on December 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


I don't know who Sam Harris is, but he's a cunt.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:40 AM on December 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


(insert disparaging comment about if this is the best of the web...blah blah blah).

Man. That guy loves himself quite a bit, doesn't he? Well that makes one...
posted by Brockles at 8:44 AM on December 22, 2007


you said it, delmoi. a dance number like that undoes any possibility of good stuff following.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:47 AM on December 22, 2007




I don't know who Sam Harris is, but his little musical glamor shot montage at the beginning of his video makes me really dislike him.

I still like the video, even if the guy comes off as a jerk...but I have to agree with you, the beginning is horrible.
posted by DMan at 8:48 AM on December 22, 2007


Try this one asshole
posted by anomie at 8:52 AM on December 22, 2007


I don't know who Sam Harris is, but his little musical glamor shot montage at the beginning of his video makes me really dislike him.

One wonders what his intent is with that opening, as my guess is that this response would be universal.
posted by billysumday at 8:52 AM on December 22, 2007


pyramid- maybe it's just cuz I've not slept, but that many white people waving that many little flags is scaring the piss out of me.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:52 AM on December 22, 2007


That's disappointing. I was looking forward to seeing this Sam Harris. That other guy is a dork.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 8:56 AM on December 22, 2007


anomie, that's an excellent poem.

Of course, the current poetry establishment (and there is one!) would disagree, because it rhymes and actually means something.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:57 AM on December 22, 2007


Not to be meh but "meh."

This has been done better by pretty much anyone. I can't find it, but whoever did the old "Ebonics Delta" commercial did a similar reading of Snoop Dogg's "Gin N Juice". That one was funny, because 1. dude sounded professional and 2. It was a good 10 years ago (give or take)

Further, even if this guy were as good as an actor as he thinks he is, he needs some better equipment. Having a glossy E! Entertainment style intro and then following it up with mom's camcorder is jarring. At the very least, get a decent mic! As cornball as that video was, if I could actually hear the fellow a little better, it might have made all the difference in the world.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:59 AM on December 22, 2007


Oy, I was really hoping it wouldn't just be the whole 'uptight/classy white guy simply reading rap lyrics straight' thing. But it was. And it's kind of tired schtick...
posted by the other side at 9:02 AM on December 22, 2007


James Lipton does it better.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:07 AM on December 22, 2007


Try this one asshole

Yes, Lauryn Hill is amazing. Langston Hughes is even better. Don't compare either of them to Soulja Boy.
posted by The White Hat at 9:08 AM on December 22, 2007


it's an OLD gag, folks
posted by pyramid termite at 9:17 AM on December 22, 2007


Who is Sam Harris? This is someone famous?
posted by wfc123 at 9:50 AM on December 22, 2007


WHY ARE YOU ALL HATING IT'S IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE HE'S A WHITE PERSON WITH A SNOOTY ACCENT BUT THE WORDS ARE FROM A BLACK PERSON HAHAHA LOL GET IT CAUSE WHITE PEOPLE TALK LIKE THIS BUT BLACK PEOPLE WRITE WORDS LIKE THAT LOL!
posted by dersins at 10:12 AM on December 22, 2007 [4 favorites]


*runs away from exploding FPP*
posted by DMan at 10:19 AM on December 22, 2007


Oh, it's the guy who was always winning Star Search.
posted by emelenjr at 10:22 AM on December 22, 2007


YOU!!!!
posted by Curry at 10:46 AM on December 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


My favorite of these has always been cutewithchris when he did T-Pain, Fergie, and Britney Spears.
posted by rfbjames at 11:02 AM on December 22, 2007


I came to comment how the montage at the beginning makes him look like a total cunt. I see I'm not alone.
posted by hamhed at 11:07 AM on December 22, 2007


I know that "Sam" is a popular name and "Harris" a common surname, but until today I had held out a glimmer of hope that the Star Search Singer and the Atheist Author were the same person... it just would've been so cool...
posted by wendell at 11:09 AM on December 22, 2007


Throw some D's on that bitch.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:01 PM on December 22, 2007


He's a professional actor and singer, his YouTube video informs us.
posted by meh at 12:27 PM on December 22, 2007


You owe everyone who watched that money now, DMan.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:24 PM on December 22, 2007


You owe everyone who watched that money now, DMan.

happy holidays everyone!

definitely staying away from fpp's from now on
posted by DMan at 1:51 PM on December 22, 2007


Hey, DMan, I laughed my ass off. Good show.
posted by John of Michigan at 2:58 PM on December 22, 2007


even without the shoepolish...

wasn't funny then, isn't funny now
posted by billyfleetwood at 3:13 PM on December 22, 2007


People have also said that Sam Harris could use a good supermanning himself.
posted by sklero at 4:49 PM on December 22, 2007


I don't think it's a bad FPP. I mean, Sam Harris and what he's doing in the video is rather pathetic, but it's still funny to me, just for different reasons.

Parodies when done well are one of the best forms of humor imo. But this kind of parody smacks of racism to me. "Soulja Boy Tell Em", like much hip hop music, is not about the lyrics so much as it is about the beat and the flow. It's all rhythm and movement. I disliked rap for a long time until I finally realized the power in an addictive beat and hypnotic flow (not saying Soulja Boy is the best representative, but this is what the music is, not the lyrics which might as well be random words). Sam Harris is telling us that the lyrics are stupid. Well I think he's unoriginal and prejudiced. I'm with billyfleetwood, it smells of blackface to me.
posted by Danila at 7:00 PM on December 22, 2007


This is totally worth it for the James Lipton and Steve Allen links.
posted by piratebowling at 7:26 PM on December 22, 2007


"Soulja Boy Tell Em", like much hip hop music, is not about the lyrics so much as it is about the beat and the flow.

not much of a beat, not much of a flow

like rock before it, hip hop's jumped the shark - it's inevitable
posted by pyramid termite at 7:56 PM on December 22, 2007


Travis Barker's drumming did a lot for pretty a mediocre song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKQgDY0pZ68
posted by Devils Slide at 9:35 PM on December 22, 2007


James Lipton is the only person who should be doing this sort of thing.
posted by sparkletone at 10:58 PM on December 22, 2007


Mad props to James Lipton.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:56 AM on December 23, 2007


"Soulja Boy Tell Em", like much hip hop music, is not about the lyrics so much as it is about the beat and the flow.

Hip-hop in the current mainstream has been heavily influenced by the southern styles in recent years. The "crunk" style is largely repetitive dance music. Like techno, like disco, like a lot of funk. I had never heard the original before this, but in the intro he says he is basically advertising a new dance. Yknow, like the twist, and locomotion and macarena and the dip? This is the same thing that comes up every couple years and has since the advent of the music industry, just with a sound updated to ape what has been popular with the latest cash crop of teenage mall-rats.

Party music is party music, not about lyrics, its not specific to hip hop, or the commercialized simulacrum that this is.

People have said that rap is the poetry of our generation...Sam Harris gives it a shot.

Total strawman. If David Allen Grier did a classical style reading of Donovan's "Atlantis" (sans intro, like this reading), it would simply convey that the lyrics are pretty much meaningless for this piece of music, or used for aesthetics in a performance.

A treatment of James Brown's "I feel good" would come out similarly. Would that denigrate the genre, or really capture anything about the musician or the song? Or really make any kind of point?

(Not to say solja boy has talent or is anything but crap, just to illustrate the futility of the excersize).

"You guys sell a lot of records, but where is your talent?"
--Gza

Sometimes I do wish irony had died on 9-11, like so many pundits had predicted. Then we could go back to being funny, and not just derivative and referential.
posted by lkc at 12:15 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


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