A Letter to My Dog, Half Pint

This last year may have been the worst one of my life, but at least I've got the world's two greatest dogs by my side to help me stagger into 2018. Today's post features a letter to Half Pint. Benjamin will be getting a letter later this week--he'd never let me hear the end of it, otherwise. Also, this posts features a lot of short video clips of Half Pint being silly. Since I apparently can't do anything right these days, they are exclusively shot in vertical mode. Please accept my apologies (and cut me some friggin' slack).

Top 10 Examples of White People Trying To Rap...And Failing Miserably

(photo @ nopainnogainmovie)

As a music teacher, one of the most important lessons that I can impart on my students is that every genre of music can produce something of great quality that can be enjoyed by everyone. Classical/orchestral music and jazz are not boring just because you experienced a few songs that you did not care for or didn't understand. Similarly, music is not confined to one set of cultural norms based on the majority of people that embrace it. Hip hop is not simply “black music,” and country is not simply “white music.” There is the potential to derive enjoyment from listening to any genre of music outside of your preferred tastes; you just need to be willing to listen to multiple examples and keep an open mind.

That being said, one of my favorite examples of unintentional comedy is watching white people try to rap. While I am well aware that the ability to drop mad rhymes exists for a select few of my caucasian brethren, the overwhelming majority of attempts end up being hysterically awful.

The “hysterically awful” part of this grows exponentially when it is done with the sincere belief that it is good and/or drips with a corporation’s mandate to seem more hip and/or “urban.” But while most failed attempts at white rapping are forever lost to University of Louisville fans tailgating, some have thankfully been recorded and documented for us to enjoy. Below are RamblingBeachCat.com's top 10 examples of white people attempting to rap and failing horribly.

10.  Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd:  City of Crime.

In 1987, Hanks and Aykroyd starred in Dragnet, a parody/homage to the show of the same name. The two also collaborated on a hip hop song called “City of Crime” which was played over the closing credits. For some reason, MTV decided to shoot a video that went into heavy rotation during the summer of 1987 (back when MTV still actually played music videos).

Why it’s bad: There are many things that I would trust Tom Hanks or Dan Aykroyd to do, including the delivering of a baby or performing open heart surgery without anesthetic. Unfortunately, rapping is not included on that list.

Most Surreal Moment: At the beginning of the song, Hanks and Aykroyd are booking a group of criminals that are wearing giant goat head masks and animal furs. The duo then suddenly begins a choreographed dance, followed by the goat headed arrestees joining in with them. This is the closest to “normal” that the video ever gets.

Redeeming Qualities: Tom Hanks, God bless him, completely goes for it. From his hard edged (i.e. screaming) lyrical delivery to his impeccable execution of the choreography, this video serves as an early indicator of the man’s professionalism and dedication to any role that he takes on.

Also, the dancing girls in police outfits are pretty hot.

Dopest Rhyme
In case you don’t agree 
with my methodology
I like to do things my way.  
Don’t get memory loss 
about who’s the boss
don’t forget my name is FRIDAAAAAY!!!

OH SNAP! Dan Aykroyd (in his Joe Friday persona) just told you what’s up!

9. The Girls of the Westboro Baptist Church: Big Fibbin’

When they're not picketing soldiers funerals, engaging in all manners of hate speech, and being best friends with an openly gay Kansas City DJ, the Westboro Baptist Church also likes to make parodies of popular music…and by parody, we mean changing the original song lyrics into ones that condemn every other person on the planet (and celebrate the bath of hellfire that everyone outside of their church will inevitably take). 

Their parody of Jay Z’s Big Pimpin', however, absolutely takes the cake as the worst one that they've ever done.

Why it’s badA group of white girls (that believe God hates everyone except them and their families) attempts to put incendiary and derisive lyrics in the form of offbeat, awkwardly rhymed verses. How could it not be bad?

Most Surreal Moment: Shirley Phelps-Roper and a group of small, hate indoctrinated children each make a cameo to yell “Check it out now!”

Redeeming Qualities: You can judge me all you want, but take away the hate speech, and Meg Phelps (or the “Notorious M.E.G" as she calls herself in the video’s title credits) is a real cutie.

Dopest Rhyme:  
You know you live like Satan and you want us to live the same way to.  But, 
we know of your end 
where you will descend, 
and we don’t want none of that.

Not that good, you say? Sorry, that’s as good as it gets. At least Dan Aykroyd rhymed well and kept an even tempo.

8. ‘iCarly’Rap Battle:  Sam Puckett  vs. Rex the Puppet

iCarly is a popular show on Nickelodeon about a girl named Carly and her internet show that she makes with her friends. Sam Puckett is one of her friends…and she believes that she can rap.  

Sam is gravely mistaken.

Why it’s bad: After Rex makes a valiant yet unsatisfying attempt at dissing his opponent, Sam begins her portion by adding a vocal impersonation of a record scratching (which probably caused male ostriches within a 100 mile radius to frantically search for a female in heat).

As the rap battle goes on, she goes from somewhat keeping in time with the music to simply yelling her lines over it. Sam also breaks one of the main rules of a rap battle: If you have to yell “OHHH!” after your diss on the opponent before the crowd does, you probably suck.

Most Surreal Moment: You mean besides the fact that a teenage girl is getting out rapped by a puppet?  

It’s a toss up between the point when Sam decides to randomly climb a set of scaffolding, or when the one black person in the crowd (who is also the DJ) has to fake an enormous amount of enthusiasm about the unholy catastrophe happening in front of him.

"My agent is getting fired tomorrow..."

Redeeming Qualities: See the Dopest Rhyme below.

Dopest Rhyme:  
So face it Rex, you couldn’t even rap 
if I stapled his lips and took his hand out yo back.

Okay, that was actually pretty funny.

7. Cookin’ With Gas

In 1988, this video was made to explain the benefits of cooking your food with gas. It also demonstrated the behavior exhibited by people who have been injected through the heart with adrenaline and stuck in a room where the gas has been left on.

Why it’s badDespite the presence of two black people, the white rappers are so terrible that they made this video still eligible to qualify for the list. It didn’t help things that the black guy seems to be overdoing it in an attempt to cancel out the severely unhip crew around him…and that the black girl is arguably worse than any of the white girls at rapping.

Most Surreal MomentAt the 3:13 mark, there is a brief “dance break down” that involves a lot of awkward facial expressions and kitchen utensils.

Redeeming Qualities: The mullet on the dude with the green apron is glorious.

Dopest Rhymes: 
And no long flowing sleeves
or long lose hair.  
Don’t get to close

That’s right, you better beware…or your gas stove will pop a cap in you.

6. Vanllia Ice: Ninja Rap

For the 1991 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, rapper Vanilla Ice was hired to write and perform a song about the film’s heroes (which was played during the movie's climatic battle and became a popular single).  

If you skip to 3:51 of the video embedded below, you can watch Vanilla Ice explain his song writing process while slowly realizing that his soul is currently being REPOed by the devil.

Why it’s badRapping about humanoid turtles that are also skilled martial artists is a hard point to start from, but it can probably be done. Unfortunately, when your song’s chorus/hook is “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, GO!,” you’ve lost all hope.

Most Surreal MomentVanilla Ice and his crew’s intermittent pelvic thrusts while singing about one of my favorite childhood cartoon characters.

Redeeming QualitiesThe song has a pretty amped up bass part, which can mask a lot of the lyrics/singing…which is a really good thing if you happen to be a teenager with a great car stereo...who is jamming out to this song when your friends and/or a girl pulls up next to you…which never happened to me in high school…ever.

Dopest Rhymes
Just flowin’ 
smooth with the power  
Kickin’ it up, hour after hour  
Cause in this life there’s only one winner
You better aim straight so you can hit the center.

Words to live by, Ice…words to live by.

5. Bindi Irwin:  Trouble in the Jungle

Bindi Irwin, who is the daughter of the late Steve Irwin, decided to produce a song about how we as humans are wiping out species of animals by insensitively destroying their natural habitats and illegally poaching them. To date, no one has made a song about the 2 plus minutes of life that many humans have lost by watching this video.

Why it’s badBindi’s rapping could simply be passed off as cute if it wasn’t for the insanely creepy group of guys doing bizarre choreography behind her.

Most Surreal Moment: This is the only video so far of Bindi’s live performance of ‘Trouble in the Jungle’ that has shown up on YouTube. The transfer somehow ended up with a lot of skips and sound breaks.  

The uploader apologized in the description for the poor quality, but I like to pretend that the mishaps were placed there on purpose to censor Bindi from spewing foul language and throwing up obscene gestures/gang signs.

Redeeming QualitiesAt least Bindi is rapping about saving and protecting endangered species.  Unfortunately, all this video made me want to do was find a panda and light it on fire.

Dopest Rhyme
You there, Mr. Bengal Tiger
Keep hiding cause they're gonna 

try to take your claws to sell in drugstores
make tiger rug floors to match the decors

Wow Bindi...that's kind of dark. Also, "tiger" and "gonna" don't rhyme no matter how Australian your accent is.  Trouble in the jungle, indeed.

4. Denny Blaze:  The Average Homeboy

In the late 1980s, aspiring rapper Denny Hazen (stage name Denny Blaze) sent a self made demo tape to MTV. It languished in storage until nearly two decades later, when it's awesomeness could no longer be contained.

Why it's bad: He begins the demo by qualifying all the reasons that it will sound awful. What he failed to mention, however, was his complete lack of rhythmic timing and terrible use of computer graphics.

Most Surreal Moment: The deep, computerized voice that barks "AVERAGE...HOMEBOY!" at you while flashing a graphic with the same words onscreen is bizarrely unsettling.

Redeeming Qualities: Despite his complete inability to dunk a basketball, Denny makes every shot that he takes. He also recorded an updated version that's much better...which still isn't saying much.

Dopest Rhyme
I don't have a butler, or a maid
and my exterminator is a can of Raid!

I feel ya there, Denny.

3. Tea Party Anthem:  Unknown Artist

No matter what your politics are, I think we can all agree that a performer needs to know his or her audience. That's part of what makes me feel somewhat sorry for this poor guy on stage at a Tax Day Tea Party rally in Washington D.C.  

Why it's badEven though I'm not a Tea Party member, I didn't think it was too terrible.  Unfortunately, the elderly audience looked they had a collective case of severe constipation while listening to our poor M.C. drop rhymes (along with a large amount of his self respect).

Most Surreal Moment:  It's a tie between the rapper's American flag waving hype man valiantly attempting to get the crowd going and the one dude who start singing along, only to then get embarrassed and stop.

Redeeming Qualities: He got to open up for the "Conservative Warrior Princess." I have no idea who that is, but it sounds like a big deal.

Dopest Rhyme
Why does the liberal media try to curse us
They label us birthers and astroturfers

He definitely should have followed this up by screaming "OOOHH!!!"

2. Miley Cyrus:  Good-bye Twitter

In October of 2009, Miley Cyrus decided to delete her twitter account, abandoning 2 million followers. This no doubt left many preteen girls, perverted old men, and spambots feeling completely very sad and betrayed.  

To make sure that her fans didn't feel completely shafted, however, Miley decided to make a rap video about the reasons for her decision.


Why it's bad: Go listen to some music by Miley Cyrus' music. I'll wait....

...okay good, you didn't kill yourself.  

Now take her quality of musicianship with regards to rock, pop, and country (?), and instead have her attempting to rap. 

Most Surreal Moment:  At the end of the video when she says "goodbye," what the heck is that noise in the background?  It happens more than once and it sent chills down my spine.

Redeeming Qualities: Ummmm...she finally got her hat turned around correctly from the start of the video.

Dopest Rhyme
I want my private life private
I'm done trying to please
I ain't living for tabloids
I'm living for me

I don't think any of that even rhymes.  

1. Teen Witch:  Top That

Teen Witch was a movie about a teenager named Louise that is a witch (the nice kind).  One day while she and her best friend Polly are riding bikes, they come across the school stud, Brad, and his friends free styling and dancing terribly in the middle of the street.

When Polly expresses her fear of talking to Brad because of "how funky he is," Louise calls upon her dark powers to possess Polly's soul. That's when things really do start to get "funky," indeed.

Why it's badYou're on your own for this one. I am fully aware of bad this is upon the first viewing (and many subsequent viewings after that), but this song has transcended its severe lack of quality into a cherished piece of music in my heart.

Most Surreal Moment: At the very end of the rap battle, when Brad has clearly been defeated, one of the members of his "crew" runs up besides him and crosses his arms. To this day I still have no idea what purpose that served.

"Surround me, my minions!"

Redeeming Qualities: Despite Polly's demonically enhanced lack of inhibition and gangster rap skills, she has the courtesy to edit out her own cuss words during multiple uses of the phrase "I don't really give [_____] about trying to top that!"

Dopest Rhyme

Supersonic, idiotic, disconnecting, not respecting, who would really ever wanna go and top that
Such a waste of pretty face but hanging in your no one's face
I wish that you would take a look and really stop that

There will be no need for Polly to yell "OOHHH!!" at the end of that verse; we're all doing it for her. Brad, you just got served!

I hope that you enjoyed our list (or at least were able to keep from gouging your eyes out and shoving knives into your ears). Do you think there any other examples that are more worthy than the ones that were presented here?  Go ahead and leave them in the comment section; maybe I'll try doing a 'Part 2' if I get enough material.  

But you'll have a hard time convincing me that this list wasn't the best/worst.  If you think you can, I invite you to try, but you will mostly like get only one response:


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