MC Lars is here to announce what everyone already knows: The kids like their MySpace, MP3s are free like water, Ahab is rad, and Internet chats are sketchy. It sounds like he’s lampooning à la whitey rap predecessors Paul Barman or Weird Al, but Lars bleeds righteousness.
“Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock” is naive to the point of baffling. Can’t we all agree that nothing is punk anymore? And isn’t picking on the most obvious store of not-punk-rockness and then repeating the chain’s name no less than 18 times as not-punk-rock as you can get? Doesn’t that make the song more viral marketing than gutter angst? And in “Generic Crunk Rap,” Lars essentially dismisses the entire genre as a scheme to market gin to eight-year-olds. Apparently he hates dancing, soulful shouting, bejeweled goblets, and the very dirty south.
Lars’s earnestness seems out of touch—he refuses to soil himself in earthly dysfunctions like sex, gold, or beats that go boom. Full of poise, gumption, and useless Latin phrases, he’s still riding high on his Stanford degree and cute RApple laptop. Maybe it’s time for grad school, or at least some tutoring from your favorite college dropout.