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5×5 Day Two: Novelty Rap

by Travis on April 14, 2009

If you think rap has some rather amazingly corny stuff going on in this day of age, it’s been going on since the late 80′s. Yes, today, artists aren’t trying to be corny, but in the 80′s, they rapped about Big Butts, had John Wayne rappin’, and did dances for Pee Wee Herman. Hip hop has seen it all, but it’s another interesting facet of the culture, as sell out as some might have seen it, to me it was all fun and games. People are too serious sometimes, lighten up and have fun…..

1. Joeski Love – Pee Wee’s Dance

I almost feel guilty grouping this in with “Novelty Rap” as it’s still dope, some twenty plus years later. Although the new thing is doing hip hop dances (or has that fad passed already), it’s been around for awhile, and Joeski Love made the Pee Wee Herman something that was talked about back in the day. Anything I could say about this song can be said better in D-Nice’s “True Hip Hop Stories”, where Joeski Love talks about this very song.

True Hip-Hop Stories: Joe Ski Love from D-Nice on Vimeo.

2. Shawn Brown – The Rappin’ Duke

The Ha, The Ha, The Ha, Ha….Wow, this song was so corny, yet as a 7th or 8th grader, I thought it was great. I’ll sheepishly say this song was one of the songs that got me into hip hop deeper after my Run DMC and LA DreamTeam. The song did make it’s mark on the hip hop consciousness. Who can forget Biggie spittin’ the lines “….The Rappin’ Duke, Da-huh, da-huh…” and the fact that it appeared on the Billboard’s top 100 songs, getting as high as 73 on the charts. I’m not sure of the whole story behind the song, or who Shawn Brown was even, I never looked into it that much, but it made it’s mark

3. Bobby Jimmy & The Critters – Big Butt

Wow, where to start with this one? First off, Bobby Jimmy was the man of parody/novelty rap. In all actuality, “Hair or Weave” was probably his more popular song out of his discography, but this is my list, so I’m going with “Big Butt”. Another song that was out there with “The Rappin’ Duke” and also was played on my local radio station when I was in Junior High. The humor on it definately appeals to a junior high aged school kid, so it was one of my favorite songs in those early years. Did I mention Bobby Jimmy is still the man?

4. The Roxanne Answer Back Tracks

What started off as a serious and classic song, got turned into…..well, the biggest answer back record of all-time. There is reports of up to 50 recorded tracks on this subject, with answer backs to the answer backs. Roxanne’s parents got into it, her doctor, UTFO got dissed, Roxanne Shante was born, The Real Roxanne evolved out of this whole thing. It got utterly rediculious before it was all said and done. One of these days, I’m going to try to track them all down, not sure how difficult that will be.

Dr. Rocx & Co – Do The Roxanne Part One

5. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Nightmare On Street
(Tied) Fat Boys – Wipeout

Both of these songs probably walk the fine line of “legit” hip hop and novelty. I’d be okay if someone said “those aren’t novelty songs”, but I’m going with the fact that they were. One used a movie character as a main intersest of the song. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince came up with the “Nightmare On My Street” during the heyday of the Nightmare On Elm Street movies. The second was the better track out of the Fat Boys messing with classic rock artists. This track with the Beach Boys was, well, not that good, but it got some play from me and it’s much better than the Chubby Checker “Do The Twist” song that came out later.

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