Glee's Ten Most Cringe-Worthy Rap Moments

Glee's Ten Most Cringe-Worthy Rap Moments

The phenomenally successful Glee kicked off its second season earlier this week, with Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' home-town anthem "Empire State Of Mind" showcased in the opening song spot. But while entire episodes of the show have been effectively hooked around the music of pop icons Madonna, Lady Gaga, and (next week) Britney Spears—a factor which has helped cast recording CDs shift over seven million copies, while also giving a sales boost to the original artist's songs—Glee's rap routines exist unceremoniously between the embarrassing and the horrific. ("Did you know that there's a forum on my blog that's begging you to stop rapping?" the school's blogger asks club leader Mr. Schuester, a teacher whose main educational maneuver seems to be performing tacky rap hits, at one point.) Here are ten Glee-flipped versions of rap songs—and the occasional rap-related r&b ditty—that will have you thinking perhaps Vanilla Ice wasn't that bad after all.

Vanilla Ice, "Ice Ice Baby"

When the Glee kids are feeling down about themselves, club leader Mr. Schuester decides to inspire them by performing a rap song. This happens a lot in the show. Looking teacher-fabulous in an open-necked white shirt and beige chinos, Mr. Schu, as the kids call him, kicks a worryingly enthusiastic version of the most famous rap song ever performed by a man named Van Winkel. More worryingly, this inspires some of the group to tackle a song by Ice's pop-rap pal MC Hammer...

MC Hammer, "U Can't Touch This"

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The wheelchair-bound Artie has become something of the go-to-guy for rap moments in Glee. Here he tackles super-dancing machine MC Hammer's mega-hit, "U Can't Touch This," complete with four backing dancers rocking the obligatory billowing parachute pants. Bafflingly, they perform the song in the school library in a bid to raunch-up their reputations. It fails: The elderly librarian tries to book them to perform at her church.

Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys, "Empire State Of Mind"

In their continual quest to prove to the other students just how cool and hip they really are, the Glee club decides to perform Jay-Z's second most showtune-sounding hit. Unfortunately, they're clad in 'New York City' t-shirts that make them look more like they're in a Frankie Goes To Hollywood video from the '80s than paying homage to mid-'90s State Street chic. As if testifying to the nuanced complexity of Jigga's flow, Artie looks like he's struggling with constipation while bragging about how he's "been 'hood forever."

Young MC, "Bust A Move"

After taking off his shirt to reveal a tight-fitting gray v-neck t-shirt, Mr. Schu raps salaciously about wishing "you could sex her" to a room largely full of teenage school girls in cheerleader outfits. Further wooing his underage charges, he also breakdances. Sex does not ensue.

Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch, "Good Vibrations"

Being a Glee kid means being high on life, and here the club turn their talents to tackling Marky Mark's insufferably cheesy hit and its none-too-subtle anti-drugs message. With a fleetness of thought and tongue presumably honed at many nights freestyling at the Lyricist Lounge, Puck flips the lyrics and raps, "Many wanna know who done this/Pucky Puck, and I'm here to move you." (It's Finny D on the back-up, if you were wondering.)

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