Friday, September 23
Better than: Any other recent comedic take on hip-hop.
Towards the end of Turquoise Jeep’s brief set in the back room of Brooklyn’s The Morgan, Yung Humma approached his friend and labelmate Flynt Flossy with a recent dilemma. Humma was impressed by the beauty of the borough’s women, but he was puzzled by a recent encounter that found him unsure whether to smash or to bang. “What should I do?” he asked an attentive Flossy. But before the goateed rapper could respond, the group’s reclusive producer Tummiscratch Beat (the man who Flossy earlier this year told me could “make a masterpiece with a Playskool piano”) appeared from backstage and shouted the answer: “Smang it!”
“Lemme Smang It,” of course, was Yung Humma’s breakthrough hit, the one that put Turquoise Jeep on the map and brought the crew across the country to New York City. Nearly 6 million YouTube views later, Humma’s ode to good sex—filled with ad-libs, deliciously awkward dance moves, and a Flynt Flossy guest verse—remains as funny as ever.
However, it was Jeep crooner Pretty Raheem who emerged as the night’s early star, his DayGlo orange hair matching his official Jeep t-shirt. After a long wait (the show didn’t get going until around 12:30) Raheem, Flossy and the versatile Whatchyamacallit began the group’s set with “Cavities,” a slow jam that ponders the dental complications that could result from having “all that chocolate in your mouth.” (Geddit?) The crowd—a group of “true Jeep riders,” someone from the crew would later suggest—knew every word and sang along loud enough that Raheem could occasionally neglect the mic and give his dance moves full attention.
Those dance moves, it should be noted, were spectacular. On stage, the Jeep always moved in unison, taking cues from ’90s R&B groups with their synchronized hip gyrations; each member alternated roles between lead man and backup dancer from verse to verse. For the finale, Flynt Flossy cued up his recent hit “Did I Mention I Like to Dance,” donned the purple track jacket he wears in the song’s Footloose-referencing video, and proved that he is to dancing what Humma is to smanging. Still, by the end of their set, it was clear that the night belonged to Humma, or at least that among the majority of the crowd, smash and bang was and would always be a delicious combination.
Critical bias: Probably account for quite of few of those YouTube views.
Random notebook dump: Two things. First, Slick Mahoney’s presence was definitely missed. “Sex Syrup” and “Go Grab My Belt” would’ve rounded out this short set quite nicely. And second, “Fried or Fertilized,” usually considered one of the weaker Jeep beats (it was produced by Whatchyamacallit rather than Tummiscratch), sounded much fuller coming out of big speakers.
“Stretchy Pant” (a cappella with beatboxing)
“Can He Move It Like This”
“Fried or Fertilized”
“Lemme Smang It”
“Did I Mention I Like to Dance”