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Episode 160 — Rap & Karaoke


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#1 Earwolf Admin

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:00 PM

Sean O’Connor & Andrew Ti lay down the rules on which raps white people can do at karaoke. Make sure to leave us a message about anything you think is racist at (323) 389-RACE.

#2 Kevin Irmiter

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:16 AM

I think they're being kind of reductionist when they disagree with the guy's premise. OK fine, I'll grant you that most people who are heavily into rap wouldn't be into karaoke (maybe), but hip hop is so integrated with pop music these days that I'm sure plenty of hip hop songs are popular in karaoke. Like I'm sure there are lots of white people who want to do Jay Z and Alicia Key's "Empire State of Mind."

Personally I think it should be fine as long as you do a "radio edit," i.e. you don't say the N word if it comes up in the lyrics, and you're not just doing it because you automatically think white people rapping is hilarious. I mean it might still be wack, but it isn't racist.

#3 klem_johansen

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 05:32 AM

If you're a white guy living in the late 1980's and you want to rap, just fill out this handy form and you're all set:

*Your Name: ________________
*What you are here to say: ________________
*Word that rhymes with "say": ________________
Shout out to your homies in the marketing dept: ________________

*required fields

#4 pterodactylcackle

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 09:42 AM

I like karaoke and hip-hop...

As a white person am I allowed to do American Boy? It's in the karaoke books!

#5 Shariq Torres

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:15 AM

Why did Offerman and Mullally choose the song in the first place? That makes no sense.

#6 Shariq Torres

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:21 AM

View PostKevin Irmiter, on 28 May 2013 - 12:16 AM, said:

I think they're being kind of reductionist when they disagree with the guy's premise. OK fine, I'll grant you that most people who are heavily into rap wouldn't be into karaoke (maybe), but hip hop is so integrated with pop music these days that I'm sure plenty of hip hop songs are popular in karaoke. Like I'm sure there are lots of white people who want to do Jay Z and Alicia Key's "Empire State of Mind."

Personally I think it should be fine as long as you do a "radio edit," i.e. you don't say the N word if it comes up in the lyrics, and you're not just doing it because you automatically think white people rapping is hilarious. I mean it might still be wack, but it isn't racist.


I disagree that hip-hop is integrated into pop music. Hip-hop is still sort of by itself in a corner, the same way punk is. And while there may be popular artists in both genre's, you're going to find as soon as you dip out of those couple of accessible acts, that it gets pretty weird and only appeals to long-time fans. So, there would be no reason to say the n-word on in hip-hop karoke because those pop accessible hip-hops don't use that. But the caller is talking about doing karoke to Kendrick Lamar and you might as well be saying you want to do karoke to The Dead Kennedys. Which is a dead giveaway that you don't know shit about either one.

Edited by Shariq Torres, 28 May 2013 - 11:21 AM.


#7 Hyde Parker

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 05:22 PM

California Uber Alles is probably a pretty good karaoke song. Holiday In Cambodia, too, though it may be a touch long.

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So, there would be no reason to say the n-word on in hip-hop karoke because those pop accessible hip-hops don't use that.


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#8 Shariq Torres

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:32 AM

View PostHyde Parker, on 28 May 2013 - 05:22 PM, said:

California Uber Alles is probably a pretty good karaoke song. Holiday In Cambodia, too, though it may be a touch long.



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What makes you think Watch the Throne was a hip-pop album?

#9 Shariq Torres

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 04:33 AM

View PostHyde Parker, on 28 May 2013 - 05:22 PM, said:

California Uber Alles is probably a pretty good karaoke song. Holiday In Cambodia, too, though it may be a touch long.


You go to many karoke bars that have those two songs in the playlist, do you?

#10 Kevin Irmiter

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 11:18 PM

View PostShariq Torres, on 28 May 2013 - 11:21 AM, said:

But the caller is talking about doing karoke to Kendrick Lamar and you might as well be saying you want to do karoke to The Dead Kennedys. Which is a dead giveaway that you don't know shit about either one.


Fair enough.

View PostShariq Torres, on 29 May 2013 - 04:32 AM, said:

What makes you think Watch the Throne was a hip-pop album?


View PostShariq Torres, on 28 May 2013 - 11:21 AM, said:

I disagree that hip-hop is integrated into pop music. Hip-hop is still sort of by itself in a corner, the same way punk is. And while there may be popular artists in both genre's, you're going to find as soon as you dip out of those couple of accessible acts, that it gets pretty weird and only appeals to long-time fans. So, there would be no reason to say the n-word on in hip-hop karoke because those pop accessible hip-hops don't use that.


This isn't about what qualifies as real hip-hop. I'm not interested in having that discussion, because it's irrelevant. Whether you want to consider stuff like Watch the Throne hip hop, or hip-hop derived pop, or even if you think it's totally separate from hip hop, it doesn't really matter. The point was that there are many songs which contain the n-word that are pop enough that it's reasonable enough to think white people would want to do them in karaoke.

And I say, it should be OK as long as they censor out the N word. Do you disagree with this? Should Kanye West, Jay Z, and Nicki Minaj just be off limits to white people? Or should they just stay away from songs using the N word?

Whatever your opinions, if you do choose to respond I would appreciate an actual answer, and not just some tangent about whether that stuff is "real" hip hop.

#11 Shariq Torres

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 06:51 AM

View PostKevin Irmiter, on 29 May 2013 - 11:18 PM, said:


Fair enough.





This isn't about what qualifies as real hip-hop. I'm not interested in having that discussion, because it's irrelevant. Whether you want to consider stuff like Watch the Throne hip hop, or hip-hop derived pop, or even if you think it's totally separate from hip hop, it doesn't really matter. The point was that there are many songs which contain the n-word that are pop enough that it's reasonable enough to think white people would want to do them in karaoke.

And I say, it should be OK as long as they censor out the N word. Do you disagree with this? Should Kanye West, Jay Z, and Nicki Minaj just be off limits to white people? Or should they just stay away from songs using the N word?

Whatever your opinions, if you do choose to respond I would appreciate an actual answer, and not just some tangent about whether that stuff is "real" hip hop.



You are only allowed to do karoke hip-hop songs if said song can be included in an Disney cartoon. So, that pretty much leaves Tone Loc's "Wild Thing" and Sugerhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" as choices.

Oh, that also leaves the pre-1995 Mc Hammer catalog, as well.

#12 dlo burns

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:16 AM

Whenever I go to karaoke (in utah) the top three hip-hop songs that I hear people try to do are:
  • Montell Jordan - This is How We Do It
  • Ice Cube - It Was a Good Day
  • Sir Mix-a-Lot - Baby Got Back, (which is by far the most popular song and drunk girls will clamor and fight each other to do it)
I'm like 80% sure all the songs in the catalogue are radio edits, but when the words pop-up it's n***** (yes with the asterisk) instead of something else that should fit the cadence, so you get a kid stumbling, weakly saying it, or shouting it above all else making everything awkward because they're proud they 'got to' say it.

Also sometimes someone will get a big head full of booze and think that they can do Forgot About Dre, but then the Eminem part comes up and that train gets wrecked because the drunk mind can't switch to triple time.

View PostShariq Torres, on 28 May 2013 - 11:15 AM, said:

Why did Offerman and Mullally choose the song in the first place? That makes no sense.


I think that weird disconnect is supposed to be the joke.

#13 Dan Engler

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:52 AM

View Postdlo burns, on 03 June 2013 - 10:16 AM, said:

I think that weird disconnect is supposed to be the joke.

In United States v. Coulton (2005), the Supreme Court determined that white hipsters ironically covering rap songs is the hackiest "joke" in modern society.

In fact, the term "hack" finds its origins in the name of pop group Dynamite Hack, who released a shameful N-word laden cover of Eazy-E's "Boyz-N-The-Hood" in 2000.

#14 Bruce Reid Robinson II

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 10:54 AM

"hack" say ye?


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