The Lord of the Dance episode was about some of the rap songs that have been made about rap dances… well, that and the Orange Monster. For this follow-up post, I decided to put up a bunch of videos (after the jump) .
By the mid-90’s, I had already stopped following the trends in popular rap music, so when Beezy and Local DJ asked me to join them on this episode, I was reluctant at first. I mean, all that I have is a bunch of old stuff (and kids nowadays don’t wanna be hearin’ no old shiit), but they promised me that whatever I brought would be OK. So, unfortunately for you–the listener–that meant playing a bunch of mid-late 80’s rap (sorry!).
To get things started, here is an awful instructional video from 1990 that shows a lot of the dances that were popular in the mid-late 80’s… although I don’t think that the Vogue was ever a dance associated with hip hop, and I remember the Cabbage Patch being done a little differently than what the video show.
It sucks that I wasn’t able to find any good videos of some of the other old school dances (e.g., the Smurf, the Patty Duke, the Wop, the Fila, etc.). I couldn’t even find a good example of the Biz dance! But of course the video for “Chicken Noodle Soup” is everywhere!
There is one site (http://www.breakdancedvd.com) that shows a lot of old school dances, but the dudes who are demonstrating the dances are super mad corny. You can find their shiit all over YouTube, but I wouldn’t recommend watching any of their videos unless you like seeing naked men’s asses. You’ve been warned…
Here is the video where Jay-Z is at Timbaland’s studio and he plays him the “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” instrumental. Check out Jay’s screwface around the 2:00 mark when he first hears the beat.
OK, you bastards! Here’s the Humpty Dance!! Now get it out of your system!!!
Regarding “Ghetto Jump” by Krush 2, I went too far by calling it amazing, great, etc. The banjo and wild west flute does not sound good nowadays. Don’t get it twisted–I still like the song–but I have to agree with Beezy. The song isn’t “amazing”.
Here’s the video for Joeski Love’s “Pee Wee’s Dance”. Plus, check out Francis as the school teacher!!
And here’s the K.M.C. Kru’s “Devil Came Up To Michigan” song. The K.M.C. Kru was from Lansing, Michigan, and this is the version of the song that most people remember. There is an actual video for this, but the song on the video is a remix that sounds waaay too New Jack Swing-ish. The original version below has the James Brown “Funky Drummer” drums and a hip house vibe going on, but it is still better than the music video version. You can search for the video version on YouTube if you are interested.
And for those who don’t know anything about Kid ‘N Play or the kick step dance, watch this video and imagine a young Beezy doing this at his middle school dance! Also, check out how Kid ‘N Play are dressed, the shoes that they’re wearing, etc. This is sort of what Beezy was referring to when he was talking about how all of the back-up dancers were dressed to a tee back in the late 80’s.
About 8-9 years ago, I remember Mr. Slate talking about one of the biggest problems facing the underground rap scene… and that was the fact that nobody danced to the music. I haven’t been to an underground rap show in a long time, but as far as I can remember, nobody dances at these shows. And nobody dances at the places where underground rap is being played/DJ’d. Mr. Slate had the perfect idea back in the early 2000’s… underground rap groups need to bring back the dancers. MC’s need to have back-up dancers behind them on stage, doin’ their dance-thing, while the MC’s are performing and rapping to the crowd. This makes the performances much more livelier, and it also encourages the crowd to dance as well.
I may be going out on a limb by saying this, but I think a great example of this is MC Hammer. Yeah, the dude is a joke nowadays (and he was already a joke to me by the time “U Can’t Touch This” was released), but I can’t ignore the fact that he totally blew me away back in 1987-1988. His stage presence, choreography, and rap performances had so much raw energy and power… it was unlike anything that I had ever seen before in rap (and even in R&B at that time!). Although I sort of liked a couple of his songs back in 1987-1988, I wasn’t too impressed with Hammer as an MC. I didn’t think he was a great rapper and I thought that his voice was a little gruff, but my opinion of him immediately changed after seeing his first appearance on the Arsenio Hall show. Listening to his songs on cassette was one thing, but actually seeing him perform them live was a totally different experience. He tore through three songs from his 1st/2nd albums, everything was choreographed, and all of the dancers were on time and knew their parts. I was totally amped after seeing this performance, and I wished more rap groups brought that much energy and entertainment to their live performances!
And then years later, I find out that Hammer stole all his moves from this Chinese kid! Plus, even his mom gives him no love. “There goes that worthless Xiao-ping again… always dancing, never working, just useless, a disgrace to this family, he’ll never find a wife, I’ll never have any grandchildren!”
I’m gonna leave you with this video. Beezy forwarded this OG version to me a couple of years ago. I actually liked this because it sounded old school as hell, and it looked like the dudes were having a lot of fun in the video. So here’s Aunt Jackie. I’ll see you guys again when we do the disco podcast!