Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tagged! I'm it.

So, my cousin Danielle tagged me for her Top Five YouTube Videos meme. The directions of which are to, um, post your five favorite YouTube videos. So, in no particular order, here are five of my favorites (well, six, if you count the one I can't embed. Think of it as a bonus...).

1. My very favorite aria from Die Fledermaus (Mein Herr Marquis, or as it's usually billed in English, Adelle's Laughing Song), sung by the coloratura who does it best, Edita Gruberova. She's one of the best that ever graced the stage.

Some of you know this, but there was a brief point in my life when I thought about becoming an opera singer. Now, my preferred venues are pretty much the shower and speeding down the highway. But it's always a sellout crowd. You know, given that I don't sell tickets. Nevermind, that was a stupid joke...

2. Well, as long as we're talking about stupid things and videos in German...there's this one that my friend sent me yesterday. Which became even funnier given that I'd just spent my whole day trying to speak a whole other language that I don't speak well at all (I see a Rosetta Stone course in my future). It also amuses me because, let's face it, Americans are damn Anglocentric people. And, because it's David Hasselhoff. I mean, that's just funny no matter how you slice it.

Don't Hassle the Hoff, man.

Funny. Did you know he went to my high school? Has a little plaque on the wall and everything.

Okay, the next two, not safe for work. Well, it depends on where you work, I guess. But probably not kid-safe, and well, probably not safe for parents (sorry, Mom and Dad). So if you need to, skip ahead.

3. The funniest, lewd-ish-est, makes-no-sense SNL skit in recent history. With Spanish subtitles, but, I was going for video quality, here. That's the nature of YouTube...

See, I'm wise enough to know when a gift needs giving...gotta love a non-sequitor R. Kelly reference. I freakin' love that sketch. Even though I cannot figure out who they're supposed to be parodying, and it, as I said, makes no sense. But if you want, you can buy a t-shirt with those three-step instructions emblazoned on it, or if you surf Facebook long enough, you'll find waaaaaay too many men in their 20s dressed up as those guys for Halloween. Including my best friend's little brother, which is just about the funniest thing ever.

Oh, wait. The next one is kid-safe. Because it's bleeped. But they might ask you what a shank is, fyi. Tell 'em Iceberg hit a brother with a leg of lamb. They'll never know the difference.

4. I have no way to segue to this one, because, it's in English, and has nothing to do with Justin Timberlake...whatever. Ice-T. Love him. Always have.

So, aside from my adoration of opera, I also have a deep love of old-school gangsta rap, and no one is more OG than Ice. There's just brutal honesty in that old stuff, you know? It's poetry, it really is. No, stop that, I'm serious.

So the video I really wanted to post is Body Count's Cop Killa. History-making rap. I remember when that song came out, man...it was right around the same time as rival group NWA's Fuck Tha Police (which is, of course, sampled in this song, which is HUGE. Imagine Biggie sampling Tupac. I'm sayin'). And so I'm in white bread suburbia, and everyone was just up in arms about this song. Which is clearly a caricature, and addressing the larger issues of poverty, oppression, police brutality, and sanctioned abuse of power. The song wasn't about good cops - it was about rebellion, unrest, and an unwillingness to accept injustice. Plus, how can you argue with logic like "better you than me" and "fuck police brutality"?

But I can't embed it. And you know something else? You can't buy it on iTunes, although you can find other songs from that Body Count album. Anything that can be that inflammatory for that many decades? You know there's more truth in that than we want to admit.

But, since I can't embed that one, here's another groundbreaking song. Particularly notable because it was one of the very first rap songs to actively and openly condemn gay-bashing.

In case you were wondering, the other of the first tracks to condemn gay-bashing? Ice-T's Straight Up Nigga, which is off the same album (OG).

Love. Him.

A total, total aside - no discussion of my musical proclivities would be complete without mentioning how I occasionally make up songs. Usually they don't make it out of my head. Because we're not talking serious composing here. A good example is the melody that's been circulating regarding our recent infestation. Which would be? Straight Up Chigger.

Moving on....

5. As long as we're on political commentary, nobody did it smoother than Marvin Gaye. And this is one of my very favorite songs ever - it's a remake of What's Going On, by a bunch of bubble-gum pop stars who happened to be popular a few years ago and none of whom have the staying power of Marvin, but I really like the way it was adapted. It was a good homage in and of itself, and takes the political mission intended by the original song, updated it and kept it going. Plus, I just love the video.

So that's what I've got. Anyone else want to pick up this meme?


Marie said...

I picked it up, Kate. It was fun, but hard to narrow it to just five!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kate! Loved the Hasslehoff one. He and I have the same birthday, btw.

penguinshrink said...

Apparently the last one includes Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Mariah Carey, Destiny's Child, Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, Nelly Furtado, Alicia Keys, Aaron Lewis of the rock group StainD, Nas, *NSYNC, P. Diddy, ?uestlove of The Roots, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, and Marvin's daughter Nona.
I recognized a few of them and looked up the rest. In case you were interested...