Friday, April 20, 2007

Hawd Gankstuh Rappuhs MC's Wid Ghatz--Wake Up and Smell the Piss (2003) review

"Uh, hey Russell--what you wanna do tonight?" "You wanna beat-the-shit out of me?" "Nahhhhhh, I got a better idea. Hey-hey--let's go get killed!"

I first heard of these nuts through their 2001 Wordsound release "2 Hype 2 Wype," 19-tracks of lo-fi, dadaist rap insanity. It's impossible to find any fan sites for these guys--this isn't that hard to believe, since these guys are to hip-hop what the Butthole Surfers were to rock in the 1980s (an antidote to overhyped garbage). I'd wager some of these guys are connected to Sage Francis in Rhode Island, as well as some of the NYC "Jew-rap" scene that features such underground luminaries like Paul Barman and even Princess Superstar. 

The irony is, while this group is a send up of gangsta rap (badly needed), they do hip-hop infinitely better than such real life rappers as Master P, Kurupt, Rakim, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Ja Rule, Eminem, Yukmouth, and all the other garbage.

This isn't hard. It takes a smidgen more of intelligence and creativity, but the dumbo model of rap is (don't laugh) less threatening. I've played these guys for b-boys and a bunch of Black people, and they were scared shitless of this material. You gotta love that. The Butthole Surfers analogy is apt, since the Hawd Gankstuhs also use vocals that are pitched-shifted octaves lower than normal, with lyrics that defy all logic. What's so hilarious is that they take many of the cliches of rap/hip-hop and filter them through the nervous systems of three crazy white boys from the East Coast. Flybot van Damme, Duke Crapmore, and Guy Albino are some damaged motherfuckers, sounding more like PCP babies and asylum inmates than rappers. It's incredibly juvenile, scatological, and irrational--exactly what makes me laugh.

As nuts as they sound, they're more hip-hop than contemporary outfits. The early days of rap were about making music that annoyed bourgeois whites and bigots. I miss those days when rap still had shock value in our culture, and when it had a sense of humor about itself. This is really comedy music that lampoons how incredibly stupid rap is today. Nothing has changed since the release of this album in 2003. Perhaps the funniest track on here is "The Bong (Get In The)," a slam on Cypress Hill where almost every line ends in "bong":

Guess what I have in my BONG? It's another BONG, and inside that bong is a baby-bong, and inside that bong is a BONG. Hey MOM, let me borrow some cash, because someone threw my stash in the trash. Hey mom, I think it was dad--he won't in-hale. I hurt so bad, think I stepped-on a snail...

The whole thing is delivered almost exactly like B-Real's nasal style, and reminded me why Cypress Hill was good for one album. Not that one-joke/themed discographies bothers any mainstream rap fans, they seem to enjoy listening to the same albums over and over. Freudians would say this obession with repetition is an unconscious desire for death, which isn't hard to imagine listening to most gangster rap lyrics. Maybe that's why Hawd Gankstuh Rappuhs MC's Wid Ghatz begin this album with a cut called "Let's Go Get Killed."

If you listen to the overall message in gangster rap, that's basically the message. These guys are just reflecting the culture back at itself, so are they juvenile and immature? Who cares? It's funny to those with a little sophistication and a sense of humor. It's impossible to tell if these guys are still together--if they ever were--but I sure hope they do another album, I could use more of these laughs and old school beats (and lo-fi production)!! Good shit. If you love Kool Keith, Digital Underground, KRS-One, Jungle Brothers, Sensational, or even De La Soul, this is for you.

Axe Load records about the boyz: