Gangsta rap jokes are almost as old as gangsta rap itself, with seminal hip-hop comedies CB4 and Fear of a Black Hat dropping in 1994. There are probably earlier examples in song; indeed, short of hair metal, few musical genres are more ripe for parody.
Since then gangsta rap gags have not abated, in fact in recent years they've increased exponentially. For every fairly-hilarious example — say Weird Al's “White and Nerdy” or Jon Lajoie's “Everyday Normal Guy” — there's an absolute deluge of shit. In fact, check your Facebook feed right now. There's probably a link to a YouTube video of a white suburban man/woman/family posturing and joke-rapping.
Of course, they know they aren't thugs. They're boring, they live safe lives, and the idea of them playing gangsta is absolutely hi-larious. Only, it's not. It's super tired, and increasingly offensive. Here are some of the worst of these videos.
Joshua, Andrew, Roman and Adam
“Dad Life” has every cliche of these things, including jorts, minivans, bluetooth headsets, and sandals with socks — not to mention making it rain and lots of furious arm-crossing. The production value isn't bad and some of the rapping is okay, but that old dude's “mainscape” joke is unconscionable.
The worst part: Ornamental turtles.
Brian Huskey and Rachel Drummond
This video was made for Toyota, and is directed by Jody Hill, who did Observe and Report. Thus the production value is extremely high for these types of videos — there's auto-tune on the song, as well. The rapping is not particularly bad. Overall, “Swagger Wagon” is probably not the kind of thing you want to take to task in a graduate thesis, it's just the sort of thing you never want to see again.
The worst part: The idea that the upper middle class caucasian lifestyle is the most gangster thing imaginable.
“Urban in Suburban”
Piney Creek Crew
Lord knows how much money was drained on this puzzling work, which borders on a parody of a parody. (Not to mention, how much time did they spend wrangling everyone in the neighborhood, and getting the dog into a bandana?) It's six minutes long, and the rapping gets progressively worse.
The worst part: The bandanas? The gang signs? Where to start?
“Whole Foods Parking Lot”
There are some some nice shout-outs to the west side of L.A. in “Whole Foods Parking Lot,” not to mention some real love for hip-hop, which is, in the end, what separates the videos that are merely silly from those that are ugly. The beat, reminiscent of Big Pun's “Still Not a Player,” has some punch, and the scratching is a nice touch. But the joke, alas, is not something that could be called funny.
The worst part: The debt owed to Jamie Kennedy and Malibu's Most Wanted.
“The Parent Rap”
First of all “hizzle” is not tough, and even grandmothers knew what it meant back in 2003. The rapping is meh, the beat is lackluster, but mostly it's the message that is tired. We get it, you're not cool because you take caring for your kids and giving them a safe environment to grow up in seriously, which is why you're actually cool.
The worst part: Making it rain coupons.
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