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The hilarious juxtaposition of a stiff white person and–can it be?–rap music?! Happy 30th anniversary, awful joke that never ceases to make me cringe!
Texas rock-radio blip Dynamite Hack decided to dip their tender toes in the “wacky cover song” sweepstakes in 2000, when they performed Eazy-E’s classic “Boyz-N-The-Hood.” To call it a one-note gag would be a disservice to both notes and gags. If it were a note, it would be the final note in the Price Is Right “sad trombone” tune. Also it would not be played by a trombonist, but literally farted out of the sphincter of a just-hanged Saddam Hussein, the morose poot representing his twitching body’s last involuntary movement.
Here’s a little play I wrote about how this song was born:
Dynamite Hack: Hey, we have a great album for you! It’s called Superfast! It’s got 15 rocking tracks! It sounds like [Ed. note: the author of this piece has no clue what Dynamite Hack’s Superfast sounds like. Probably Harvey Danger or something.] Please pay attention to it and our band, as we are important people worthy of your time and publicity budget!
Music Industry: Go away, you mugs! I’m busy counting all this money that will never go away because I am so smart.
Rock music fans (singing quietly to themselves): Gimme your heart, make it real orelsfuddedabdah
Dynamite Hack: No, wait! let me tell you about the single! You know that old gangsta rap song “Boyz-N-The-Hood”? Well we do an ironic, drab cover of it that emphasizes our wacky whiteness!
Music Industry: Adorable! You guys do know we have like a hundred Limp Bizkits and Kid Rocks and the Rage Against The Machines who are pretty much showing that an entire generation of kids was raised on hip-hop, take it pretty seriously, and can make commercially viable music without reducing it into a pathetic joke that went out with Joe Piscopo, right?
Dynamite Hack: Uh…
Music Industry: And this Eminem guy is set to sell like 10 bagillion records and he’s whiter than this cartoonishly large pile of cocaine I’m about to snort to prove that I, the all-powerful music industry, am invincible.
Dynamite Hack: B-but…
Music Industry: You clowns are gonna waste my time with “wacky white rapper” shit? Don’t you know that we can sell white kids real rappers? Maybe go outside and listen to any high school kid’s car stereo. We deaded this joke-rap shit in the Barney Rubble days! I’ve got Eminem ready to top every sales and critical chart in the land, and you’re bringing me Mel Brooks’ “It’s Good To Be The King, Part 2?” Get the fuck out of my office!
Dynamite Hack: We don’t know what to say.
Music Industry: Hahaha, just kidding boys! We’re shameless, we’ll put out anything! Now who wants to play on Jimmy and Doug’s Farmclub, the awesomest TV show in the land and coolest record label that everyone will love forever and ever?
Rock music fans: Hooray!
But the biggest sin of Dynamite Hack’s “Boyz-N-The Hood” is not its intentionally dreariness, or its lame punchline, or the band members’ constant rifling through their invisible backpacks. It’s that the song is pointless. Gangsta rap is already funny, geniuses! That’s why it’s awesome! Ice Cube wrote hilarious, timeless, awesome material and Eazy-E had perfect comic timing with his peerless nasal inflection. Sure, N.W.A. reflected a gritty view of life in South Central that wasn’t reported in the news. But, lines like “I looked at my car and said ‘Oh brother!’ / I’ll throw it in the gutter and go buy another”? That’s a good joke, pure and simple. Dynamite Hack retelling it is like Dane Cook doing a Richard Pryor bit word-for-word.