Tuesday, September 14, 2004

RUN DMC's Rock Box

I love old rap songs. I am not sure what it is about them. Maybe it is the joy of hearing EVERYONE called a 'sucker mc.'
That is THE INSULT in old rap songs. I wonder if it would work in other situations:

In the movie Dirty Harry:
Clint Eastwood (Harry Callahan): Well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the sucker mc. That's my policy.

Yes, that works much better.

Anyway, one of the first, great, rap songs was RUN DMC's Rock Box. It was released in 1984 on their self titled album.


Let's break down the lyrics:

[Run]
Run.. (Run..) D.. (D) M.. (M) C.. (C)
Rock.. (rock.. rock..)
For you! (for you.. for you..)
Fresh (fresh.. fresh..)

{*guitar solo*}

So far it just sounds like a grocery story commercial, albeit one that sells rocks. It is so comforting, knowing that RUN DMC is making this song "for you."

[Run]
For all you sucker MC's perpetrating a FRAUD
Your rhymes are cold wack and keep the crowd cold lost
You're the kind of guy that girl ignored
I'm drivin Caddy, you fixin a FORD
My name is Joseph Simmons but my middle name's Lord
and when I'm rockin on the mic, you should all applaud

Right off the bat we are treated to a 'sucker mc' and Run's bold choice to rhyme 'fraud' with 'lost.' Brilliant.
I am not so impressed with the elitism displayed at mocking the mechanic for his ability to fix a Ford.
Many people mistakenly believe that the line "I'm drivin Caddy" refers to him driving a Cadillac. This is incorrect, instead, he is referring to how he carpooled with (then) unknown rapper, Smitty D. Smitty D. was a golf caddy at the Bel Ridge country club.
Finally, Run says "when I'm rockin on the mic, you should all applaud." REALLY??? While he is rockin? Wouldn't that make it harder to hear him? Should he say "After I FINISH rockin on the mic, you should all applaud."

Because we're (wheelin, dealin, we got a funny feelin)
We rock from the floor up the ceilin
We groove it (you move it) it has been proven
We calmed the seven seas because our music is SOOTHIN
We create it (relate it) and often demonstrate it
We'll diss a sucker MC make the other suckers hate it

SUCKER MC #2
We're rising (surprising) and often hypnotizing
We always tell the truth and then we never slip no lies in
No curls (no braids) peasy-head and still get paid
Jam Master cut the record up and down and cross-fade

{*guitar solo*}

[Run]
Because the rhymes I say, sharp as a nail
Witty as can be and not for sale
Always funky fresh, could NEVER be stale

[D.M.C.]
Took a test to become an MC and didn't fail

I wonder which MC licensing board he faced? I know the Tennessee Fishing/Gaming/MC Licensing Board has one of the toughest MC exams. Here's a sample question:

1) Which dope word rhymes with fraud:
a. crawled
b. hoochie
c. told
d. none of the above


I couldn't wait to demonstrate
all the super def rhymes that I create
I'm a wizard of a word, that's what you heard
And anything else is quite absurd
I'm the master of a mic, that's what I say
And if I didn't say that, you'd say it anyway

So, to recap:
He is a creator of super def rhymes, as well as a wizard of an (unspecified) word. He assumes that you have heard this, but if you heard something else, that is absurd. He is also says he is a master of the mic. If he had not said that, it would be your obligation to say that he is a master of the mic.
Is that clear? Good, lets move on.
[Run]
Bust into the party, come in the place
See the first things come, the music in your face
Tears down the walls, some of the floor
with the DJ named Jay with the cuts galore

[D.M.C.]
So listen to this because it can't be missed
and you can't leave til you're dismissed
You can do anything that you want to
but you can't leave until we're through

Good God! Now they have begun to frighten me. They are breaking into parties and tearing down the walls and (thankfully) only part of the floor. Then we are told TWICE that we are not allowed to leave during this demolition.
See, we can't leave until we have been dismissed and we can't leave until they are through. I hope they finish up right around dismissal time, so as to avoid confusion.
So relax your BODY and your mind
and listen to us say this rhyme - HEY
You might think that you have WAITED
long enough til the rhyme was STATED
But if it were a test it would be GRADED
with a grade that's not DEBATED
Nothing too deep and nothing dense
and all our rhymes make a lot of SENSE

I'm glad they told me it made a lot of sense. I was starting to wonder.
[Run-D.M.C.]
So move your butt, to the cut
Run amuk, you're not in a rut
Each and everybody out there, we got the notion
[D.M.C.]
We want to see y'all all in motion
[Run-D.M.C.]
Just SHAKE, WIGGLE jump up and down
Move your body to the funky sound
[D.M.C.]
Side to side, back and forth
[Run-D.M.C.]
We're the two MC's, and we're gonna go off
Stand in place, walk or RUN
Tap your feet, you'll be on the one

Tap my feet, and I'll be the ONE? Great that's just what I need, to be singled out as the ONLY guy tapping my feet.

[D.M.C.]
Just snap your fingers and clap your hands
[Run-D.M.C.]
Our DJ's better than all these bands
HUH!!
{*Jam Master Jay cuts then instrumental breaks down*}

[Run] We got all the lines
[DMC] and all the rhymes
[Run] We don't drop dimes
[DMC] and we don't do crimes
[Run] We bake a little cake with Duncan Hines

If you ever need some one to hold a dime for you, Run is the man. He won't drop it.
However, if you need help committing a crime, call someone else.
They may make a cake for you, anyway.

[DMC] and never wear the vest they call the Calvin Kleins
[Run] Cause Calvin Klein's no friend of mine
Don't want nobody's name on my behind
Lee on my legs, sneakers on my feet
D by my side and Jay with the beat

Not a fan of Calvin Klein, I see. Also, he doesn't want anyone's name on his behind. I do! I want Xavier Robert's name tattooed on my butt, like a Cabbage Patch Kid.

[Run-D.M.C.] - (ad libbing to fade)
Jay Jay Jay Jay Jay Jay..
We don't.. we don't.. we don't stop!
Don't.. don't.. don't.. don't stop! (JAY!)
One.. two.. three..
Hollis Crew.. crew.. crew..
For.. for.. for.. for the love now..
Cool T now..
Hah, ?? ..
My, my man Jam Master..
is in his place to be.. (JAY! Jay.. Jay.. Jay..)
The big beat blaster..
?? ..
All, the way live..
Re, remember you don't stop..
Kickin it, and you don't stop..
Rrrrrrrrrock, d-dot, d-dot, rock the spot..
Stick em.. and you don't stop, hah..
Run.. rocks it well, we-welle-well..
a-with the clientele..
Krush Groove..
Young ladies in the place..
We, we we're, we we're we're, we we're we're (bass)
We we're in the hottest space..
Hah.. ??
Homeboys..
Now we're talkin autographs..
Autographs.. and autographs..
Fly girls.. in the place, in the place..
Homeboys..
Hollis Crew.. {*music fades*}

Interesting to end the song with their slow decent into madness, as they begin saying things that mean NOTHING.
We, we we're, we we're we're, we we're we're out of ideas.
THE END

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