by Dan Bolles
Over the last few weeks, I've sort of been immersing myself in hip-hop, including the local variety, which continues to impress me both in terms of overall quality and variety. I've made no secret of the fact that, generally speaking, the genre is not particularly my forte, especially compared to my knowledge and understanding of rock, indie rock, country, alt-country, bluegrass and folk music. You know, cracker music . . . totally kidding. But I'm a quick learner and with the help of folks like GTD's Burnt MD and VT Union's Nastee and DJ A-Dog, among others, my education has been progressing nicely. And it's been a lot of fun to boot.
Speaking of Burnt MD, I should mention that his hip-hop open mic night, "The Spot," has just been made a weekly event. Every Tuesday night at Metronome you can sample some of the area's established and up-and-coming talent and, if you're so inclined, join in yourself. I've been a couple of times and really enjoyed it. The freestyle ciphers are a sight to behold.
Back to the point, one of my longstanding issues with hip-hop — and granted, this stems from a lack of full comprehension on my part, historically, anyway — is the seemingly widespread braggadocio that infects the lyricism of so many bigger-name artists. It's almost as though being good isn't enough. You have to tell people how good you are repeatedly and at every opportunity, lest your audience isn't perceptive enough to figure it out for themselves. Not only that, but if you can point out how lousy everyone else is in comparison, you get bonus bling. Frankly, it's rather tiresome.
I should make it clear that I'm by no means condemning hip-hop in general. There's a significant population of artists, particularly in underground circles, who avoid the tactic altogether and focus on making points unrelated to how big their, um, diction is. My personal taste just tends to align more with those artists.
With that in mind, I wanted to pass along a couple of videos I stumbled across this weekend. They're by a comedian named Jon Lajoie, who has been making some waves on Funny Or Die and was recently featured on Howard Stern. Submitted for your approval — and with an obligatory Parental Advisory warning — "Everyday Normal Guy."
And the sequel, "Everyday Normal Guy 2."