Tuesday, May 8, 2007

News:: Alanis and White Rappers, (Wannabe) Brothers In Arms?

Issue me a late pass on this one if you'd like, but I only just thought of it. I enjoy Alanis' humps-based parody as much as the next man, it's well done and as everyone and their hipster mom has already said, she does a good job of skewering not only Fergie and the Black Eyed Peas, but also herself. But seeing it again the other day, it occurred to me that she chose her target very carefully. As this article from XXL describes quite well, there's an un-written rule in hip hop - white MC's do not attack black MC's. Well it seems that might hold true in the pop music world as well: over-dramatic female singers from Canada who once dated Dave Coulier do not make humorous videos parodying black artists.

I think, as part of the un-official deal that allows white dudes to partake in the rap game, if white MC's want to beef with someone, they are required to beef with other white MC's. If you want to be down with the brothers, you do not publicly diss the brothers. This tradition goes back to 3rd Bass beefing with Vanila Ice or the Beasties, and leads up to Eminem battling pretty much every white dude up to, and including, Greg Brady.

There are exceptions, as 3rd Bass' attacks on Hammer prove, but as the aforementioned article claims, those attacks led to a 60K bounty being placed on the scalps of Serch & Pete, so really you have to wonder if it was worth it. I do know that this post is now worth it, as mentioning the fact that Hammer wanted 3rd Bass dead because he thought they were making for of his mother is not something you get to do every day.

So why exactly did Alanis choose "My Humps"? Why not Destiny's Child's Bootylicious? Surely it's lyrics are as ridiculous as the humps song? The word "Oh" comprises 80% of the lyrics in Ciara's cleverly titled Oh, and the video she made for it features her humping a car. Christina Milian's Dip It Low is an instructional track for the ladies detailing the proper way to dip your ass low. The video features Ms. Milian rolling around in a vat of black paint semi-nude.

So why couldn't Alanis choose any of these songs? It could be coincidence, and perhaps it's simply the fact the BEP song was newer and more popular than the examples I've given. But something tells me this video was very carefully planned, and like many a white rapper before her, Alanis didn't want to deal with the fallout that would occur if she offended a black artist, or worse, was accused of being racist in some way. So she went with Fergie, a mighty-white chick singing hooks for a (sort-of) rap group who appears to have had more work done than my old Cutlass Ciera (The Golden Ghost RIP), and who once pissed herself on stage.

So what am I saying here? Surprisingly little considering I've written so much. Am I saying she shouldn't have singled out Fergie and BEP? Certainly not, that humps song is terrible, Fergie is terrible, and so I have no problem with that. I guess I'm simply saying that perhaps since Alanis singled out a white artist from a genre of music dominated by black artists, it wasn't the bravest choice she could've made. Perhaps we'll hold off on giving her that Nobel prize for parody just yet.

And so I say in closing...

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Posted at 8:43 AM by naedoo :: 1 comments

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At 2:24 AM, Blogger erasmusa did sayeth:

oh my. i didn't expect this. i'm not sure how to react. i think i prefer "my humps".


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