Saturday, January 3, 2009

Click, click, click.

Since my roommates have been gone this past week, I have had a lot of time to myself recently. So, besides doing the usual running, reading, etc., I've also been watching TV. Actually, I broke out the second season of Chappelle's Show that my dad got me for Christmas two years ago. This week was the first time I had watched any of those episodes since they aired 5 (!) years ago. I don't think I can describe how committed I was to this show. When it came out my junior year of high school, for whatever reason, I was incredibly amped. To give you some perspective, I had really only seen Dave Chappelle in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The Nutty Professor, and heard all my friends quote Half Baked without actually seeing the movie. So given how unfamiliar I was with his work, there was no reason for me to care so much. But every week, I was hooked and would talk about, quote and reenact skits with my friends Thursday mornings. This may seem odd, but this week I've spent some time thinking what about this show appealed to me so much. It wasn't the humor, because like I just said, I didn't really know that guy's sense of humor like I think I do now. Then I realized something about the television shows I had watched as a kid with my family. Save for a few (like In Living Color or The Chris Rock Show), many were about black families and how they dealt with life. That's great and all, but kind of distancing for someone high school or college age. Also, given that Dave Chappelle is one of the few black comics who grew up in a pretty diverse environment (between Yellow Springs, Ohio and DC), his point of view made a lot of sense to me as someone who was and has been essentially one of the only black people in his classroom/office space. Also, the inclusion of musical guests who appealed to my sensibilities at the time made the show feel like even more of a personal connection between me and this random 30-something guy. So with that little introduction, I thought I'd share some songs I thought of while watching the show that aren't by Prince or Rick James. Besides, my favorite sketch is the World Series of Dice.

Youngbloodz feat. Lil' Jon- Damn!

It was very obvious the opening line "They callin' me, to come back to the street" spoke to him since he quoted it a few times before going into those Lil' Jon impersonations. I cannot tell you how annoyed I got from people at my school asking me to impersonate Dave Chappelle impersonating Lil' Jon. As a wise man (who deserves his own post) once said, white people. In defense of that picture, I go running in the cold of Boston... but with tights on. Also, what happened to these guys?

Black Star- Thieves in the Night

Just based on how many times these two were featured on his show, it's obvious Chappelle loved their music. Hell, he does the intro for Kweli's "Quality." He used to have an iTunes celebrity playlist, but they took that shit down. I remember this one being on there and he quoted the line about the yacht and a slave ship. You know it, I do too, so there's no real need to be precise with it.

DMX- Get At Me Dog

Like any rap fan with a smidgen of goddamn sense, Dave Chappelle loved DMX in some way. I own Belly. There's no reason not to like this song; besides, it includes a reference to Optimus Prime.

Happy new year, by the way. I'll try and get back to posting regularly and writing about topics of consequence soon. Which means I need to get back to a record store or search my hard drive. I'm on it.


Jordan said...

On behalf of my people, I'd like to apologize. But really? I don't understand. I mean, it's a silly voice and a fun impression to do, so I understand why people imitate it, but who are these people who don't have enough crappy impressions in their lives. My life would be so much improved if people didn't imitate Dave Chappelle imitating Lil Jon to me. Everyone's bad and not funny at it. Why would someone want another horrible impression in their life?

Anyways, this was a great post. Chappelle's really sincere love of rap that you could see from his goofy and into it reactions during every musical guest's performance made all the stuff making fun of it that much better. I never had HBO and was too young for In Living Color, so that was probably my first exposure to anyone with a TV show actually giving a shit about rap. (Big Tigger doesn't count)

Please do a Boondocks post. I've seen way too little of that show, (and none of the comics) but it's always slightly smarter and funnier than I think it's going to be.

Also, for some good pre-fame Chappelle you should check out the episode of The Larry Sanders show he guest-starred in.

Jesus Shuttlesworth said...

i forgot about the Fisticuffs skit, which is another personal favorite of mine:

i think Chappelle's Show was the only program on at the time that had a real sincere love of rap and was not on BET, and that may be true for the Chris Rock Show and In Living Color, but I would need to check.

oh man, you never read the boondocks? i'll have to do a post, then.

tray said...

Damn was a great song. It's a shame that one Youngblood never signed with Dipset like it was rumored he would. The one who couldn't really rap but had the better voice.

Jesus Shuttlesworth said...

i take it you mean Sean P, the short one who had more personality/swag/fresh?

tray said...

Right! Yeah, Cam over more southern beats/Sean taking up some of JJ's mic time would've been a great thing.

Alexander J said...

He does the intro for the Beautiful Mixtape Pt. II, but most importantly he does the intro for Reflection Eternal; which segued beautifully in to the "failed" Nelson Mandella's bootcamp sketch.

White people ruined Chappelle, but that was sort of the path he chose, so hooray for him in the sense that he enlightened many non-whites as to the social commentary aspects of his show rather than the catch phrases.

No need to be bitter about High School shit; kids can be so cruel...I used to be fat.

Jesus Shuttlesworth said...

bitter? that heckling was key in shaping who i am. also, there was just so much of it, it's hard to forget when i think about Chappelle's Show.

the reviews that called the show "controversial" and "edgy" ruined the show; they set up stupid expectations for new viewers. just say it's funny and can be clever at times.

the failed sketches episode is so great to me, all of those had so much promise. especially the Time Haters.

Alexander J said...

Word, I love how he says, "somehow only me and Neil thought it would be funny if we shot a slave owner," which obviously couldn't be further from the truth; that is one of the jokes that I can readily admit to taking out of context and using for random situations. Then again, I thought Amistad was fucking hilarious; Djimon Honsu has parlayed quite the career out of that period piece.

Also, a thousand pardons for coming off so condescendingly; it's all love.

Last thing, probably, Chappelle single-handedly made the uppercut a relevant and funny way to punch people again.