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Luke Ski's Rap Dementia Manifesto

Note: This was the first thing ever posted at www.LukeSki.com. It was written in late 1998, so it's a little outdated. I intend to re-write it and add some new artists to the list (Eminem, the Bloodhound Gang, No Time, C.W.A., etc.) but the ideas behind this dissertation remain the same. Word.

~ Luke Ski, 11-15-2002

Written by Luke Collis Sienkowski, October 21st, 1998

Luke Ski's Rap Dementia Manifesto -
Introduction: As we go a little something like this, hit it!


As I grew up a socially-challenged white boy in the small, rural, tourist town of Lake Geneva, WI, I spent the majority of my spare time listening to two kinds of music: Rap and Dementia. I'm sure you all know what 'Rap' music is, or at least what your personal interpretation of it is. For those who are not 'in the know', 'Dementia' is the name of the genre of funny music ("Weird Al" Yankovic, Tom Lehrer, Adam Sandler, etc.). So occasionally, I would run across a song that fell into both those categories, and my curiosity and sense of humor was peaked. 10 years later, I have used my love of the two genres to create my own CDs of funny music, most often taking on old school rap. My 3 year crash course in the underground Dementia counterculture has opened my eyes to the sporadic use (and even abuse) of rap music as it applies to comedy. So, now that I have an official forum in which to discuss things that mean a lot to me, I decided to put my 3 years worth of ponderings down on virtual paper. So here we go…

Luke Ski's Rap Dementia Manifesto;
Part I: The 6 Categories of the Rap-to-Dementia Spectrum.


The Funny Side of Legitimate Rap


One of the things that drew me towards rap when I was young was that it seemed to me that out of all of the genres of popular music, rap had the most sense of humor in it. Sure, Rock & Pop had the occasional David Lee Roth here and there, but back then, if you picked up any album by any well-known rap artist, you could bet there's at least one blatantly humorous track on the album. By not taking themselves too seriously, the rap artists made the listener chuckle, thereby letting down their defenses and preconceived notions about the myths of rap, leaving them much more open to listen to what the artists were trying to say in their music. I have many fond memories of coming from Junior High & High School, turning on "Yo MTV Raps" weekday afternoon edition, and watching Dr. Dre & Ed Lover goofing off, and playing the best (and the funniest) rap music videos of the day… and Flavor Flav had a cameo appearance in all of them. My first 2 categories in the spectrum begin just over the borderline of legitimate (serious) rap, where the goofing off begins on the road to dementia.

Category 1:
Fun Rap

Luke Ski's definition:

Legitimate rap music done by a legitimate rap artist that's not necessarily 'funny', but 'fun'.

Everybody put your hands in the air… and wave them like you just don't care… Was there ever a decent dance party that didn't include at least one of the 5 songs?

Luke Ski's Top 5 best examples of "Fun Rap":
(SONG - ARTIST / ALBUM)
1. Doowutchyalike - Digital Underground / Sex Packets
2. Jam On It - Newcleus / Electric Breakdance compilation
3. La Di Da Di - Doug E. Fresh & MC Ricky D / RapMasters 7 compilation
4. Baby's Got Back - Sir Mixalot / Mack Daddy
5. Wild Thing - Tone Loc / Loced After Dark

"Baby's Got Back" and "Wild Thing" will be remembered as 2 of the most popular rap songs in history. I'm fairly sure that every portion of the song "La Di Da Di" has been sampled at some point by the collective rap community (the immortal phrase 'As we go a little something like this, hit it' is from this song). "Jam On It" is the breakdance classic in which Superman is defeated by 'Cosmo D from outer space' in a DJ-ing contest. And finally, "Doowutchyalike" is the song that introduced 'Humpty Hump' to the world, and later spawned his famous dance.

Category 2:
Novelty Rap

Luke Ski's definition:

Legitimate rap music done by a legitimate rap artist that has a 'gimmicky' theme.

I don't like the term 'Novelty' music. Calling something 'Novelty' implies that it's something that you're not supposed to listen to all the time. Like, once a year, in December, you pull out your dusty old copy of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer", play it once, chuckle, and put it back in the collection for another 364 days. That sucks. But unfortunately, I can't come up with a better term for this category. So please keep in mind that 'Novelty' is just the name of the category, and that these 10 funny rap songs are to be celebrated, and listened to often. Merry Christmas.

Luke Ski's Top 10 best examples of "Novelty Rap":
(SONG - ARTIST / ALBUM)
1. Wipeout - Fat Boys / Crushin'
2. The Humpty Dance - Digital Underground / Sex Packets
3. Parents Just Don't Understand - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince / He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper
4. Just A Friend - Biz Markie / The Biz Never Sleeps
5. Christmas in Hollis - Run DMC / Run DMC's Greatest Hits 1983-1991
6. Girls - Beastie Boys / Licensed to Ill
7. The Gas Face - 3rd Bass / The Cactus Album
8. The Devil Went Up To Michigan - KMC Kru / KMC Kru
9. Funky Col Medina - Tone Loc / Loced After Dark
10. Barbie Girl - Aqua / ???

"Barbie Girl", cute song. I can't help but like it. Interesting fact, "Funky Col Medina" (and "Wild Thing") were written for Tone Loc by Young MC of "Bust a Move" fame (another song that belongs in these lists somewhere). "The Devil Went Up To Michigan" is a great song where the Devil faces 'the Butcher' in a DJ-ing contest, where the stakes are the Butcher's soul for the Devil's turntable of gold. "The Gas Face" tells you to fight those who spread ignorance and oppression by giving them 'the Gas Face' (shake your head and yell, letting your jowls jiggle, producing a "wubulbulbulbulbul…" sound). "Girls", need I say more? "Christmas in Hollis" is the first rap song about Christmas that I ever heard. "Just A Friend" galvanizes the agonizing plight of nice guys trying to get the girl, but failing under the eternal female cop-out flag of 'let's just be friends'. "Parents Just Don't Understand" was a hit for all the right reasons, is there any other more universal theme? "The Humpty Dance" is your chance to do the Hump. Yet another song that gets sampled quite often (even the Spice Girls have sampled it). And finally, "Wipeout", in which the New York rappers, the Fat Boys, switch places with the California classic rock group, the Beach Boys, resulting in the first wipeout-beat box solo. Beautiful.

The Elusive Realm of pure Rap Dementia

This is the area that somehow has gone all but ignored by both the Rap community and the Dementia community. The phenomenon where an artist from either side of the spectrum makes a great effort and pulls no punches in making a legitimate sounding rap song whose intent is nothing else but to make the listener laugh. This is the area that has fascinated me the most, because it fused together the 2 musical worlds that I enjoyed the most, rap and dementia. For some bizarre reason, rap radio DJs and distributors seem to shy away from any group that creates exclusively funny music, probably because they feel it's 'weak' or that they are 'sell outs' or something. And similarly, funny radio DJs and distributors seem to shy away from any group that creates legitimate sounding rap music, probably because they believe the myths of the 'evil gangsta rappers' and feel threatened by the medium. This is a shame, because both sides are missing out on a great deal of the funny and the funky. So with out further ado, let me break it down for all-a-y'all.

Category 3:
Rap Dementia by Rap Artists

Luke Ski's definition:

Legitimate rap music done by a legitimate rap artist whose sole intent is to be funny.

Does the average music listener stop to think about exactly how hilarious a rap musician can be? Here's 10 songs that'll make you think twice.

Luke Ski's Top 10 best examples of "Rap Dementia by Rap Artists":
(SONG - ARTIST / ALBUM)
1. My Nuts - Fat Boys / Crushin'
2. You Be Illin' - Run DMC / Run DMC's Greatest Hits 1983-1991
3. Underwater Rimes - Digital Underground / Sex Packets
4. Roaches - Bobby Jimmy and the Critters / Roaches: The Beginning
5. House of Horrors - Insane Clown Posse / The Great Milenko
6. Then She Bit Me - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince / And In This Corner…
7. Flippin' Off The Wall Like Lucy Ball - 3rd Bass / The Cactus Album
8. Milky Cereal - LL Cool J / Mama Said Knock You Out
9. Skat Strut - MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob / The Adventures of MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob
10. Down Wit' MTV - Dr. Dre & Ed Lover featuring Todd 1 / (single)

"Down Wit' MTV" was one of the first parodies of a rap song by a respected rap artist that I can remember, running the gambit of MTV's 1991 Veejays. "Skat Strut" was by a great song by a great concept group that I wish had continued on. This was the fictional animated rap group led by 'MC Skat Kat', the cartoon cat who sang with Paula Abdul on her song "Opposites Attract". In "Milky Cereal", LL Cool J gives us a day in the life of him in a cereal world. "Flippin Off The Wall Like Lucy Ball" is a goofy little tune, which I'm guessing was improvised, where MC Serch 'recalls' his youth growing up as a white boy down south, where there are no white people around. "Then She Bit Me" is a lost classic by the Fresh Prince, where he tells a story, but keeps changing it as he goes, Jon-Levity-liar style. "House Of Horror" is just one slice of the piggie pie laid out in the joker's cards of the Insane Clown Posse. "Roaches" is probably the most well known Rap Dementia song of all time. "Underwater Rimes" tells us of the sub-Atlantic adventures of the deep sea gangster 'MC Blowfish'. "You Be Illin'" tells us of a guy who can't seem to get anything right, from the KFC to the basket ball arena, and so on. "My Nuts" is a hilarious double-entendre song where we learn that the 'nuts' the rapper is referring to are the two other members of the group. Silly and fun.

Category 4:
Rap Dementia by Dementia Artists

Luke Ski's definition:

Legitimate sounding rap music done by a dementia artist whose sole intent is to be funny.

Does the average music listener stop to think about exactly how well a comedic performer can bust a funky rhyme? Here's 15 songs that'll make you think three times.

Luke Ski's Top 15 best examples of "Rap Dementia by Dementia Artists":
(SONG - ARTIST / ALBUM)
1. Amish Paradise - "Weird Al" Yankovic / Bad Hair Day
2. Oui! It's So Humid! - 2 Live Jews / As Kosher As We Wanna Be
3. Shoot! Deer It Is! - Shad Rapp / Shoot! Deer It Is!
4. Straight Outa Locash - CB4 (Chris Rock) / CB4 soundtrack
5. The Mouth - Sudden Death / Unplugged
6. Mama Rap - the Dead Alewives / Take Down The Grand Master
7. Eat All The Old People - No Time / (as yet unreleased single)
8. Ice Age Baby - Gabe Green / (unreleased single)
9. Deep Deep Trouble - Bart Simpson with DJ Jazzy Jeff / The Simpsons Sing The Blues
10. Boogie In Yo Butt - Eddie Murphy / Eddie Murphy
11. 3 Little Pigs - Green Jello / Cereal Killer
12. Oooh! Don't Touch That - Laszlo & Gary / (unreleased single)
13. Fight The Power Bands - Brak, with Zorak and Space Ghost / Space Ghost's Surf 'n Turf
14. Down With V.E.G. - The Amazing Onionheads / Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes Vol. 3
15. Da Turdy Point Buck - Bananas At Large / Da Turdy Point Buck Album

"Da Turdy Point Buck" didn't strike me as a rap song at first. It took a few listens for me to realize that they were lampooning rap. It was that kind of subtlety that made me like this song. "Down With V.E.G." may not make a lot of sense, but hey, who needs to make sense? This vegetarian rap got me yelling 'bobba-ganoosh is in the house!' I'm sorry, but I just had to include "Fight The Power Bands" on this list. I can't help but be paralyzed with laughter at everything that comes out of Brak's mouth, and his hip-hop tribute to his supposed best friend, Zorak is an instant classic. "Oooh! Don't Touch That!" gets bonus points for having the most impressions per minute in any demented song I've heard. "3 Little Pigs" and the rest of the 'Cereal Killer' album defined my summer of 1993. "Boogie In Yo Butt" was the perfect album to listen to on overnight trips to friends houses, huddled around a tape player, giggling incessantly while trying to make sure your parents didn't hear you were listening to an Eddie Murphy album. "Deep Deep Trouble" is a prime example of what happens when a merchandising tie-in product is done correctly and made with style. Both Bart and Jeff live up to their reputations in this song. "Ice Age Baby" is a highly impressive song for two reasons: great lyrics, and the fact that it made a Vanilla Ice groove not only tolerable, but also fun. "Eat All The Old People" is the most recently recorded song to make it onto any of these lists, but boy-oh-boy, does it ever belong here! I can picture their live shows in my head, crowds of people jumping up and down with their hands in the air shouting "You gotta eat all the old people!!!" I'd give a lot to see that, and I hope and pray these guys make an album. "Mama Rap" by my acquaintances, the Dead Alewives, is so damn good that I was compelled to listen to it over and over so I could memorize it and recite it to my friends on command (and I can). Bonus points for the use of the human beat box. "The Mouth" by my new compadre, Devo Spice of Sudden Death, is a 5-minutes-plus soliloquy in which Devo tells us of the worst roommate in history, 'the Mouth', played by guest performer, Mr. Zipp. "Straight Outa Locash" is a parody of NWA's "Straight Outa Compton" which was done by Chris Rock for his rap-spoof movie, "CB4". "Shoot! Deer It Is" gives all those north woods deer camps some bumpin' music to hunt to. "Oui! It's So Humid" makes you glad to not be in south Florida in the middle of August. And finally, "Amish Paradise", why is "Weird Al" at the top of this list? Well, then it comes to the subject of the comedy music of the absolute highest quality, Al belongs at the top of every list.

The Living Hell that is "White" Rap

Okay, here's where the gloves come off. I hate to spread negativity in any way, but I am forced to here if I am to combat what I feel has been ruining it for all those who make the effort to sound good. This is what it boils down to. There is a myth out there, which for some reason, has been accepted as truth throughout most of society. I hate to even speak its name, but I must in order to point out how stupid and wrong it is. Well, here goes. The myth is… 'White people can't rap'. AAARRRGHH! That is about the dumbest, most ill informed statement that I could possibly think of. And yet, everybody believes this and accepts it as fact! Why?! Well, let's look at where this myth comes from. This myth comes from its counterpart myth, 'Only black people can rap'. Why these myths still exist in 1998 is beyond me. 

Here's the deal… In the mid 80's, when the rap phenomena was new to mainstream society, it was dominated by black artists. So, the most obvious joke for your run-of-the-mill comedy writer to fall back on would be, to have the type of person who's most diametrically opposed to rap, rapping… meaning, back then, 'white people'. So you'd turn on Saturday Night Live and see Jim Belushi and Alex Karras doing their 'White Guy Rap' (or whatever it was called, the titles of those songs were all the same). And you'd see white stand-up comedians like Barry Sobel making up cute little raps in their stand-up acts. Okay, fine. I'm willing to grant you that BACK THEN, it was fresh, and it was funny… back then.

But this is 1998. The contemporary music scene has changed so much since then. I mean, the 'Borg' of alternative depression music, the death of Rock 'n Roll's sense of humor, and the creativity drought in the hip-hop community (thank you, Coolio) all eventually resulted in a backlash reaction from the new music community, which was the fusion of almost all other genre's of music, which brought the advent of many new and interesting groups with neat, fresh musical ideas. So why, why, WHY do people still insist on believing that 'White people can't rap'? I mean, in the past 16 years of pop music history, I have seen people from every walk of life, and every color of skin, take the mic and express themselves in the rap medium, and do it well. (Don't make me have to lower myself to point out the fact that the groups 3rd Bass, House Of Pain, Lucas, the Insane Clown Posse, and the Beastie Boys are all successful rap groups composed by mostly white people, because I don't want to (and anyone who mentions Vanilla Ice gets bitch-slapped on the spot).) So we've established that in this day and age, rap is not exclusive to just black artists, and that all races can, will, and do participate in the medium. SO, if rap is a non-exclusive medium, then that means EVERYBODY can do it, and that includes 'white people'. It is because of this reason that I do not ever refer to the rap sound as being 'black'. To borrow a term from MC Hammer, when it comes to performing the authentic rap sound, you're either 'Legit' (legitimate), or you're not.

So there it is. Saying that 'White people can't rap' is as ludicrous a statement as saying that 'Black people can't be funny'. Keeping this supposedly valid comedy premise alive is an outdated and racist notion, and I'm sick of it. Unfortunately, since I am probably the only one who ever takes the time to stop and think about these things, nobody else has adopted this enlightened attitude of mine (Well, a few people have, but I'll discuss them later). So, comedian after comedian keeps pumping out all these allegedly funny rap songs that are performed badly, sound nowhere near authentic, and that all fall under annoying premise of 'I'm white and I'm rapping and it's funny'. That's why I've labeled the next 2 categories as 'White Rap', because naming them after the myth they're all based on makes them easier to identify.

The surreal, Twilight Zone-esque twist on the whole thing is that all the 'White Rap' songs get virtually all of the airplay! Anything done by the legitimate Rap Artists is all but completely ignored (with the exception of the occasional tune by the "Fresh Prince"), and rarely does any legitimate sounding rap by the Dementia Artists get any regular airplay (unless your name is "Yankovic"). So the never-ending parade of 'White Rap' goes on and on forever. Why? Can you think of any other sub-genre of dementia where the performer is rewarded for performing it badly? Think about it. Rock, folk, metal, blues… can you think of any demented song from another musical genre that remained popular under the premise of 'look at how bad I'm doing this'? It's sad, wrong, and unfair that this phenomena has been going on for so long.

Well, I'm here to help you identify which songs are 'White Rap' songs, not necessarily so that you can avoid them, but just so you can be a more conscientious listener. Here's the biggest red-flag indicator that the song you're about to hear is a 'White Rap' song: The word 'rap' is in the title of the song. If you're trying to do a funny song, and you have to point out the fact that what you're doing is a rap song by putting the word 'rap' in the title, than chances are you're about to do a 'White Rap' song. Just for yuks, I recently visited Jeff Morris's dementia search engine, and entered the word 'rap' just to see what would pop up. What I found was 16 years of agony. Here's some of the titles I found (please keep in mind that I have NOT actually heard any of the songs on this list, therefore I won't review them, but I'd wager that at least 90% of them are exactly the kind of 'White Raps' I've been talking about)…

Arnold Rap, Asthma Rap, Butthead Rap, Chicken Soup Rap, Chiropractic Rap, Church Chat Rap, Classical Rap, Cowboy Rap, Elvis Rap, Engineer's Rap, Football Rap, Guru Rap, Hillbilly Rap, Hippieland Rap, Initial Rap, Insipid Rap, Ipanema Rap, Monsta Rap, Policeman's Rap, Shakespeare Rap, Spoiled Brat Rap, Stutter Rap, Tourist Rap, Wapner Rap, Wine Snobs Rap, Rappin' Richard, Rappin' Rocky Rambo, Rappin' Nerd, Rappin' Winos, Rappin' Computer, Rappin' Mother, Rappin' Jerry, Rappin' Abbott and Costello, Rap Yodeler, Rappa This, Breakin' Rappin' & Scratchin', Raparound, Hambo - First Rap: Part II, Dueling Rappettes, 'Bush It' by the Bush Rappers, (and if those weren't bad enough)… Rappin' Paper, Wrappin the Bear, Wrap It Up, Christmas Wrapping, Merry Christmas Wrap, (oh, I get it, it's a pun)… Ronnie's Rap, Rap Master Ronnie, Rappin' With Ronnie, (did we really need 3 different versions of the whole 'Ronald Reagan rapping' thing? And finally)… Jewish Rappers, White Bread Rap, and Plain White Rapper (I am in pain. I am in actual physical pain right now.)

…Another strong indicator that what you're hearing is 'White Rap' is the quality of the background music. The words 'Casio Keyboard' come to mind. If it sounds like it came from Radio Shack, chances are it's another 'White Rap' tune. A final thought for all of you comics who think doing 'White Rap' will get you somewhere… the last time I saw Barry Sobel in anything was an almost completely unnoticeable bit part in which he had one line in the movie "That Thing You Do", which his buddy Tom Hanks directed.
So now that I've exposed these myths for the shams that they really are, let me spell it out into more specific examples of the best and worst that 'White Rap' has to offer.

Category 5:
Good "White" Rap

Luke Ski's definition:

Rap music done by a dementia artist, in which the comedic premise is based on that someone who wouldn't normally rap, is rapping.

Now, despite the intense amount of bitching I just did, I have to admit that there are at least some of those 'White Rap' songs that managed to have enough charm instilled within them to be granted diplomatic immunity from my shit list. These are a few of that upper 10%.

Luke Ski's Top 5 best examples of "Good White Rap":
(SONG - ARTIST / ALBUM)
1. Spock Rap - The Neural Paralyzers / (unreleased single)
2. Rappin' Rodney - Rodney Dangerfield / Rappin' Rodney
3. Honeymooner's Rap - Joe Piscopo with Eddie Murphy / New Jersey
4. City Of Crime - Dan Akroyd & Tom Hanks / Dragnet soundtrack
5. Wappin' - Darrell Hammond & Christopher Snell / Dr. Demento's 20th Anniversary Collection

"Wappin'" is yet another track from the non-existent 12 CD box set called '257 songs sang by people pretending to be Elmer Fudd'. Interesting Fact: Darrell Hammond is currently a SNL cast member. "Wappin'" is funny, and has earned it's place on this list, but I personally prefer "Buggin'" by the authentic Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd from the "Space Jam" soundtrack (go check it out). "City Of Crime" was put together by Dan Akroyd and his brother Peter as a tie-in promotion for the 1987 film "Dragnet". Leave it to a Blues Brother to do the genre justice. "Honeymooner's Rap" came out during the Honeymooner's revival of the mid 80's, and Joe & Eddie played Ralph & Norton to a tee. "Rappin' Rodney" consisted of Rodney Dangerfield putting his best material to music and letting his own comic timing and personality shine through, without a single unnecessary 'Yo'. "Spock Rap" was put together by some of the people behind the 'California Raisins' just for kicks around the studio. They had the perfect mix of Trekkish music, sound bites, and references to make this a classic. Fascinating.

Category 6:
Lame White Rap

Luke Ski's definition:

Rap music done by a dementia artist, in which the comedic premise is either almost entirely or entirely based on that a white person is rapping.

You know what this is by now. Being #1 on this list is by no means a good thing.

Luke Ski's Top 5 best examples of "Lame White Rap":
(SONG - ARTIST / ALBUM)
1. Beastie Wrap - the Utensils / (single)
2. Squirrels - the Beastly Boys / Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes Vol. 5
3. Dueling Rappers - Alan Gary & Scott Free / (single)
4. Hanukkah Homeboy - Doc Mo Shé / (single)
5. The Contra Rap - Rich Little / (single)

I'm sorry, but I can't bring myself to openly like "The Contra Rap". I know it's Rich Little, but the rhymes are still too Dr. Seuss for me. "Hanukkah Homeboy" is just one of the many religion related rap songs I could have picked to fill this slot. "Kosher Delight", "Mormon Rap", they're all the same to me. If they all paid as close attention to the legitimate rap scene as the 2 Live Jews do, these songs could have been much better. "Dueling Rappers", Oh Gee! Look at me! I'm a white guy, and I'm rapping! Oh, isn't this just so funny! Because everybody knows that white people can't rap! Oh, this is such a funny song! Yada yada yada.
Now, before all you hard core dementia fans reach down my throat and rip out my spleen, let me explain to you WHY the song "Squirrels" ended up on this list. Here is what I like about the song "Squirrels": I like the premise, I like the lyrics, and I like the chipmunk voices. Okay? Now, here is what I don't like about the song "Squirrels": The music, and the performance. They are on the virge of having a perfect example of Rap Dementia, but they fall so short because they completely gutted all of the intensity, the drive, the fun, and the spirit of the original classic Beastie Boys tune "Girls" out of the tune by giving a flat monotonous delivery, and a horribly simplistic, and often unstable background beat. I mean, not even Alvin, Simon, and Theodore have ever sounded that stagnant, even when they premiered 35 years ago. Now, my guess is that the guys who made this song were not professional music makers. They were probably a few funny music fans that had a great idea, and put together the best song they could given the situation they were in with the equipment they had at the time. If that was the case, then I can forgive them. I mean, I've been in that same exact situation myself. However, I'd like to get in contact with whoever the "Beastly Boys" are and ask them if they'd give me permission to do a remake of the song, so I could do the song justice, and deliver it with the proper Beastie Boys annotations and attitude.

Okay, we have now reached the bane of my existence… "Beastie Wrap" by the Utensils. I am now going to the stereo to play it again so I can properly rant about this song… …In the words of the King Ad Rock, "AAAAAAAAHHH!!!! I CAN'T STAND IT! I KNOW YOU PLANNED IT!" WHITE WHITE WHITE WHITE WHIIIIIIIIIIITE!!!! The reckless lack of research that went into this song boggles my imagination. The Utensils seem to have been under the impression that the Beastie Boys don't know how to play any instruments. WRONG. Go buy their CD of instrumentals if you think I'm lying. They also seem to think that the Beastie Boys were funded by their supposedly rich parents. Gee, I didn't realize that Rick Rubin and Russel Simmons could conceive children. And to think they had to raise 3 talentless musicians and run the Def Jam label at the same time! Wow! After listening to this song again, suddenly "The Contra Rap's" lyrics are sounding better and better. What the Utensils were trying to do was a Stan Freberg style spoof of the Beastie Boys (Circa 1987), in which they claim that the Beastie Boys have no talent, and will fade away into obscurity once this whole rap fad blows over, much like Stan spoofing Rock 'n Roll, claiming it was on the way out as well. Well, I guess the Utensils did invoke the spirit of Freberg, because just like him, they were wrong. Rock 'n Roll is here to stay, and so are the Beastie Boys. I must say to be fair and honest that every other song I've ever heard by the Utensils has been funny, and more than worthy of repeating (I luckily found a copy of 'Worse Than Slime' on CD). I just think that in this particular song, they crossed the line. I guess it's stupid for me to take this issue so personally, but I do.

Luke Ski's Rap Dementia Manifesto;
Part II: The 13 Best Artists of Rap Dementia.


Well, now that the dissection is over, it's time for me to give you the master list of the artists that dominate this little known genre that I've come to be so passionate about. Some of these names are more familiar than others, so feel free to take notes before heading to your local record store. (This is not a "Top 13" list. They are listed in the order of the "categories" they are from.)

Artist #1 - Categories: 1&2
Beastie Boys

Members:

MCA, Mike D, King Ad Rock

Memorable tracks:
"Fight For Your Right To Party" / Licensed to Ill
"Girls" / Licensed to Ill
"No Sleep Til Brooklyn" / Licensed to Ill
"Paul Revere" / Licensed to Ill
"Egg Man" / Licensed to Ill

Example lyric, from "Paul Revere":
"I said, 'I'll ride with you if you can get me to the border.
The sheriff's after me for what I did to his daughter.
I did it like this, I did it like that,
I did it with a Whiffle Ball Bat. So…'"

I don't care what the Beastie Boys say in all of their recent interviews, they will always be remembered for their best album, which is, was, and ever shall be "Licensed to Ill". Despite their attempts to convince everyone that they are above all that now, you can still hear in their music and see in their videos that they are still just 3 guys goofing off. The definition of "Fun Rap".

Artist #2 - Categories: 1,2,&3
3rd Bass

Members:

MC Serch, Pete Nice, Daddy Rich

Memorable tracks:
"The Gas Face" / The Cactus Album
"Flippin Off The Wall Like Lucy Ball" / The Cactus Album
"Pop Goes The Weasel" / Derelicts of Dialect
"Al'z A-B-Ceez" / Derelicts of Dialect
"Eye Jammie" / Derelicts of Dialect

Example lyric, from "Flippin Off The Wall Like Lucy Ball":
"Oh, Kevin boy… When you grow up you're going to go to the big city…
Meet a… man named Peter…
Gonna look like a white boy, but he's a def MC.
He's got soul… coming out his asshole!"

Unfortunately, 3rd Bass broke up a few years ago. But before they did, they made a couple of great CDs full of positive social messages, interspersed with little blasts of hilarity thrown in here and there. They get bonus points for having cameo appearances by Gilbert Gottfried in all of their videos.

Artist #3 - Categories: 1,2,&3
Digital Underground

Members:

Shock G, Humpty Hump, Money B, DJ Fuze, Goldfingers, MC Blowfish,
Baby Dope, Piano Man, Tupac Shakur (occasionally), and many others.

Memorable tracks:

"The Humpty Dance" / Sex Packets
"Underwater Rimes" / Sex Packets
"Doowutchyalike" / Sex Packets
"No Nose Jobs" / Sons Of The P
"Jerkit Circus" / The Body Hat Syndrome

Example lyric, from "Doowutchyalike":
"Homegirls, for once, forget you've got class.
See a guy you like, just grab 'em in the biscuits!
(OOH!) And Doowutchyalike!"

Think of them as "Parliament Funkadelic: the Next Generation". They're distinct grooving beats and basslines are sampled into so many other people's music, that they actually had a mock awards ceremony, "The Humpty Dance Awards" on their 4th CD. Humpty Hump, defined by his Groucho Marx nose and Pimpin' style gives this group it's sense of humor, which bleeds into every track.

Artist #4 - Categories: 1,2,&3
Insane Clown Posse

Members:

Violent Jay and Shaggy 2 Dope

Memorable tracks:
"Chicken Huntin'" / Riddle Box
"Joker's Wild" / Riddle Box
"Piggie Pie" / The Great Milenko
"What Is A Juggalo?" / The Great Milenko
"House Of Horrors" / The Great Milenko

Example lyric, from "What Is A Juggalo?":
Jay: "What is a Juggalo? A dead body.
Well he ain't really dead, but he ain't like any body
that you ever met before.
He'll eat Monopoly and shit out Connect Four."
Shag: "What is a Ju- …what the f***?!"
Jay: "Never mind my shit, just rap, motherf****r!"

If you've heard anybody say that the Insane Clown Posse are the '2 Live Crew'-du-jour, spreading vulgarity, explicit sex, and occult worship to our nations youth, (guess what?) they're wrong. If you know anybody who is taking their act seriously, feel free to point at them and laugh. ICP is our generation's equivalent of "Spinal Tap", and they are HILARIOUS!!! I mean, they're CLOWNS for god's sake! They wear clown makeup and douse themselves and their fans with hundreds of gallons of "Faygo" cola at each and every live show! If you can handle the vulgarity and cartoon violence, I highly recommend them.

Artist #5 - Categories: 1,2,&3
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

Members:

DJ Jazzy Jeff, Fresh Prince (Will Smith), Ready Rock C, and others.

Memorable tracks:
"Girls Ain't Nothin' But Trouble" / Rock The House
"Just One Of Those Days" / Rock The House
"Parents Just Don't Understand" / He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper
"I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson" / And In This Corner…
"Then She Bit Me" / And In This Corner…

Example lyric, from "Then She Bit Me":

"There she is, watching TV.
All My Children. No, that's Cosby.
No, Speed Racer. Shaft. No wait, that's Kimba.
My fault, the TV's off."

These guys are probably the most commercially successful group in the bunch, especially if you include Will's amazing Hollywood success after he put his rap career on hiatus. On the duo's classic albums, at least a third of the songs were humorous in nature, with Will's impeccable delivery, and the backup hands from the most talented DJ in the business. Recently, they released a "Best Of" CD.

Artist #6 - Categories: 1,2,&3
The Fat Boys

Members:

Prince Markie D, Kool Rock Ski, and Buff Love: the Human Beat Box

Memorable tracks:
"Human Beat Box" / Fat Boys
"Double-O Fat Boys" / Big and Beautiful
"My Nuts" / Crushin'
"Wipeout" / Crushin'
"R U Ready 4 Freddy?" / Coming Back Hard Again

Example lyric, from "My Nuts":
"I went for a run. (With who?) My nuts!
All around the block, took no shortcuts.
Ran all the way home, busted down the door,
and my nuts was draggin all over the floor."

When I comes to a legitimate rap act doing funny music, they were by far, the best, ever. They were billed all over as a 'Novelty' rap act (remember what I said about the term 'Novelty'), but I never saw them as a gimmicky flash in the pan, and neither did the rest of the rap community. Pick up most of the legitimate rap albums made in the late 80's and early 90's, and you'll find the Fat Boys listed in their 'special thanks and acknowledgements' section. They made 6 albums of the best old school rap rhythms the world had ever heard, and their over-the-top style and delivery even got them a feature film, "Disorderlies". Unfortunately, the broke up in 1990, due to pressure from their record label, who wanted them to make weak-ass pop music. What is even more unfortunate is that 1995, Buff Love passed away of a cardiac arrest during a severe bout with respiratory flu at age 28. He was working on the Fat Boys comeback album at the time, and it's rumored the Mark and Kool will finish it, using the tracks he cut before his untimely passing. Rhino Records recently released "The Best Of The Fat Boys: All Meat, No Filler!", which has their 18 most popular, well known tracks. I highly recommend this CD to anyone who can't find their old albums. The touching liner notes by Barry Benson bring a tear to my eye. That's just the cherry on the top of the All-you-can-eat-buffet that is the Fat Boys legacy. Buff Love, rest in peace.

Artist #7 - Categories: 3&4
Bobby Jimmy and the Critters

Members:

Bobby Jimmy, the Critters (I'm not sure who they are specifically)

Memorable tracks:
"Roaches" / Roaches: The Beginning
"Big Butt" / Roaches: The Beginning
"NY/LA Rappers" / RapMasters 7
"Somebody Farted" / Hip Hop Prangsta
"Close The Door, You're Letting The Flies In" / Hip Hop Prangsta

Example lyric, from "Roaches":
"Roaches think they cute.
Girl, I'm not impressed.
It ticked me off when I seen them
Wearing my momma's dress."

Admittedly, of all the groups on this list, this is the one I know the least about. I was given the info on this group by Tom Rockwell, the only person who knows more about Rap Dementia than I do. (Thanks Tom!) Bobby Jimmy and the Critters are the only group that is balancing perfectly on the borderline between being a Rap Artist and being a Dementia Artist. He earns this rare honor by being the first person to openly parody rap artists from within the rap industry itself.

Artist #8 - Category: 4
"Weird Al" Yankovic

Members:

"Weird Al" Yankovic, Steve Jay, Jim West, Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, & Rueben Valentierra

Memorable tracks:
"Twister" / Even Worse
"Isle Thing" / UHF Soundtrack
"I Can't Watch This" / Off The Deep End
"Taco Grande" / Off The Deep End
"Amish Paradise" / Bad Hair Day

Example lyric, from "Amish Paradise":

"I'm the piased guy the little Am-lets wanna be like.
On my knees, day and night, scorin' points for the afterlife.
So don't be vain, and don't be whiny,
Or else, my brother, I am gonna get medieval on your hieney!"

All right, Al is by no means exclusive to the genre of Rap. In fact, the 5 songs I listed are the only rap songs he has ever done. But his name goes on the list anyway, for exemplifying the best of what dementia has to offer, no matter what the genre is. Any song style he went up against, he did without skimping the least bit on authenticity to the genre, and that included rap. His last album, led by it's first single, "Amish Paradise" sold over a million and a half copies, and has become his most popular album, ever. I hope that will encourage Al to take on more rap artists in the future. Go Al. You rule.

Artist #9 - Category: 4
Chris Rock / CB4

Members:

Chris Rock / CB4: MC Gusto, Stab Master Arson, Dead Mike

Memorable tracks:
"Straight Outa Locash" / CB4 soundtrack
"Sweat Of My Balls" / CB4 soundtrack
"Your Mother's Got A Big Head" / Born Suspect
"Luther Campbell" / Bring the Pain
"Introducing Mary Wong" / Bring The Pain

Example lyric, from "Straight Outa Locash":
"Straight outa Locash, a crazy motherf****r named Gusto.
I'll f*** your wife, cause the bitch is a big ho.
I'll f*** your sister, I'll f*** your cat.
I would f*** your mom, but the bitch is too fat!"

I'd always wished that Chris Rock had kept his fictional rap group "CB4" together, so they could have cut real albums and gone on tour, like "Spinal Tap". But alas, I guess the rap-spoof film about censorship sensationalism wasn't commercially successful enough to justify that. Chris has obviously made a name for himself I the comedy world. The most impressive rap related track I've heard of his is not actually a song, but a Dickie Goodman style break-in interview he recorded with 'supposedly' O.J. Simpson and Ike Turner, in which the responses to all of the interviewer "Mary Wong's" questions were brief musical excerpts from the greatest rap songs of all time. I've never heard anything like it.

Artist #10 - Category: 4
2 Live Jews

Members:

MC Moisha & Easy Irving

Memorable tracks:
"Oui! It's So Humid!" / As Koshser As They Wanna Be
"Shake Your Tuchas" / As Koshser As They Wanna Be
"J.A.P. Rap" / As Koshser As They Wanna Be
"Jokin' Jews" / As Koshser As They Wanna Be
"Matchmaker" / Fiddling With Tradition

Example lyric, from "J.A.P. Rap":
"She's a Jewish American Princess, the shopper of the year.
Jewish American Princess, her daddy loves her dear.
Jewish American Princess, spends money all the time.
Jewish American Princess, I can't think of another rhyme."

When I first heard of the 2 Live Jews, I didn't make an effort to actually hear any of their albums, because I assumed by how they looked on the surface that they were just another "Lame White Rap" group. The a couple years ago, I was at a comic convention with my friend George, a fellow funny music fan, who had the 2 live Jews "As Koshser As They Wanna Be" album, and insisted I give it a listen. I did. "J.A.P. Rap" began, so far so good. Then they hit the chorus (the lyrics printed above). I nearly jumped out of my seat. "Oh my God! This is a parody of "B-Girls" by Young & Restless!!!" "Who?" asked George. From that point on, I listened intently, and began to realize that these southern Florida comedians are not "Lame" in any way. They are in fact hard-core, old school rap fans, giving the rap industry a cultural twist while maintaining the original's spirit and sound. Songs like "Hanukkah Homeboy", "Kosher Delight", and "Mormon Rap" pale in comparison to the work of the 2 Live Jews. Shtup!

Artist #11 - Category: 4
Shad Rapp

Members:

(Real Names) Todd Hagens, Nathan Hagens, Andy Strand, Eric Nelson, Mike McGill

Memorable tracks:
"Shoot! Deer It Is!" / Shoot! Deer It Is!
"We Want Some Crappie!" / Shoot! Deer It Is!
"Big Bucks" / Double Barrel
"Beer" / Double Barrel
"Superbowl" / (single)

Example lyric, from "Beer":
"Beer.
We only drink Wisconsin beer.
Get that Budweiser out of here.
And crack me open one more beer."

Yet again, another group I wish I knew more about. Hailing from my home state of Wisconsin, these guys are giving the sub-sub-genre of "North Woods Dementia" a hip-hop twist. I unfortunately only own one of their CDs, the single "Superbowl". I'd have more, but they're hard to find outside of the Milwaukee area. I'd love to hook up with these guys someday.

Artist #12 - Category: 4
Sudden Death

Members:

Devo Spice (the leader), MC Squared, Piles, Bozhead,
Swanky DJ Dynomite MC Crankmasta Positive T (or something like that)

Memorable tracks:
"Psychic Enemies Network" / Brain Dead
"Abby Normal" / Brain Dead
"South Park Junkie" / Unplugged
"Hip Hop Gangsta" / Unplugged
"The Mouth" / Unplugged

Example lyric, from "Hip Hop Gangsta":
"We do gang-bangs and drive-bys
And when it comes to blunts, we got a year's supply
But we only act tough on the video screen
'Cause we ain't really part of that gangsta scene."

The myth that has been running through the contemporary Dementia scene is that Sudden Death and I are "rivals". This is untrue. Sure, he and I were each trying to be the first to come out with a "South Park" song (which by the way, he managed to do, beating me by a few days), but once I discovered who Sudden Death were and what they were all about, I soon became fast friends with them. I even make a guest appearance on their first CD "Unplugged". Straight outa Rochester, NY, Devo Spice and the Sudden Death crew reach the four corners of the maps of the rap universe. I can't wait for their old demo cassettes to get re-released on CD, so I can have the complete Sudden Death box set.

Artist #13 - Category: 4
the great Luke Ski
& Luke Ski's Psycho Potpourri!

Members:

the great Luke Ski,
J Styles, Miss Tricia, Rocknroll Ray, Sir Real, J.T. Sienkowski, Michael Sienkowski, Brody Railton

Memorable tracks:
"What's Up Spock?" / Fanboys 'n da Hood
"Insane and the Brain" / Fanboys 'n da Hood
"Spam (Let The Pork Be Pork)" / Fanboys 'n da Hood
"The Great Cornholio" / Shadows of the Bunghole
"Aliens Just Don't Understand" / Shadows of the Bunghole

Example lyric, from "What's Up Spock?":
"Body: bionic. Brain: positronic.
Compared to Mr. Data, Albert Einstein's moronic.
I'm the big, bad baldie of the whole Federation,
And I'll rock Q from here to Farpoint Station."

Okay, I'm not so crass as to review my own work. I just felt I belonged on the list. If anybody out there has my CDs, and would like to send me your review of my work, please do so.

Luke Ski's Rap Dementia Manifesto;
Conclusion: Here's a little story I'd like to tell…


To close, I want to tell you a story from one of my impromptu live appearances. I went to the "InConJunction XVII" Sci-Fi and Fantasy convention, where their guest of honor was the one and only "Dr. Demento" himself. This was a couple months after my first 2 CD set came out, before they had gotten any major airplay. Dr. D was featuring songs about science fiction in his "Evening of Dementia" presentation, during which he was nice enough to include my song "Fantastic Voyager" (which is a parody of Coolio's hit rap song, "Fantastic Voyage" about "Star Trek: Voyager"). Doc said that the song could be considered a contemporary sounding version of "filk", and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. Afterwards, a woman came up to me (I wish I could remember her name), and told me how much she liked the song. The comment she made that stuck in my head was "You know, I always thought I didn't like rap music, but I guess I was wrong. It was just that I never heard a rap song about something I could understand before." It made me feel good to know that I just opened her eyes to a whole new area of music she had never considered before. That's what Rap Dementia means to me. Using the medium of rap in an authentic way to discuss and lampoon the endless sea of pop-culture.

The point of all this was not to stir up any controversy, but to point out a facet of both Rap and Dementia that nobody really noticed was there before. I encourage you to support Rap Dementia, and give those who keep the beat alive with a sense of humor a fighting chance. 
Thank you for reading, stay demented, we outta here, SEE YA!!!

-Luke Collis Sienkowski
(a.k.a. the great Luke Ski)
October 21, 1998

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