Buckwheat Groats, “Take Yourself Out Tha Game”
When a buddy showed this to me for the first time yesterday, he explained that it wasn’t popular because it was “kinda dark.” While I’m not about to go bring up suicide as a first date conversation topic, I hadn’t thought about how much it could push people away from watching this. Mostly because I don’t think this video is making fun of suicide. It’s making fun of cloying hip-hop motivationals, breathy and piano-backed, in which the rapper breaks character in order to inspire you back on your feet… When just last song he was rhyming about killing all of his enemies and friends. For those listeners who require authenticity in their musicians, those types of pick-me-ups are a gross violation of their own taste, and deserve to be mocked.
About two hours ago I was talking with a friend about some of our favorite South Park episodes: anything with Mitch Connors, Cartman’s manipulative masterminding handpuppet. It’s not so much that the dialogue gets cranked up courtesy of Mitch, or that the plots are master-crafted, but that Cartman holds conversations with his own hand, and the show goes to such lengths to make it seem like any normal TV back-and-forth while also never breaking the physics of the fact that this kid’s hand is attached to him and doesn’t have a mind of its own. The reason these episodes stand out to me in the 15-or-so seasons of South Park I’ve watched are that they aren’t just well-written, but they are making fun of TV itself. Here its a different medium but the same story: Buckwheat Groats (rap classics Penis Bailey and Lil Dinky) write rhymes that flow and manage a couple surprising punchlines, much like Lonely Island; in the same vein as the self-proclaimed Kings of Joke Rap, Groats are also devoted rap fans who know how to turn the genre on its head.