There was a time in American history, a dark and unsettling time, when varied and inappropriate persons decided to join in the newest pop culture trend: in other words, white people tried to rap. And too often, they did it in order to sell stuff.
Let’s explore this uncomfortable phenomenon.
First, let’s take a moment to remember what the real rappers were doing in the late 80s. Enjoy Eazy-E, and note that by no means is the song after the fold safe for work:
I mean, oh my god, Eazy slapped a couple samples of Get Smart in there.
So, from the sublime (or at least sublimely violent) to the ridiculously uncomfortable. And I’m not just talking Vanilla Ice uncomfortable. I’m talking Bedrock uncomfortable.
My first offering is a little number that has haunted me for about nineteen years. Barney Rubble, DMC.
Barney’s got everything here: the out-sized, thick gold chain, a styling pair of Adidas, and an embarrassing number of rings on his white, white fingers. And speaking of embarrassing, I find that nearly two decades later, I know all of the words of this horrible “rap.” Does that mean that it’s actually catchy or just another diabolical ear-worm designed to brainwash kids? No matter – I was fifteen when this first aired. There’s no excuse.
And similarly terrible is a more Kid-N-Play-esque Barney, “rapping” as if his life depended on it. Of course, with the way Fred treats him in all of the Fruity Pebbles spots it might.
Did Barney actually say, “break it down!” at 0:19? Is he talking about the cardboard cereal box, because that’s not a bad idea, especially before recycling. In any other context, and ESPECIALLY in this one, there is no reason for Barney Rubble to say, “break it down.” Not while wearing pink M.C Hammer pants. No.
You know something? To this day, I’ve never had a bowl of Fruity Pebbles.
Of course, lest you think I have some strange grudge against Fred, Barney, or the entirety of the Bedrock music industry – worry not. There are many more offenders to come. There’s more cereal, of course, but also 90210’s David Silver, He-Man, and a certain Super Bowl winning team that was just doing it to feed the needy.
It’s still no excuse.