Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Das Rapping

In preparation for feeling good about yourself today, (or maybe I’ve got this completely backwards) I want you to bust a quick google image search for Sido.
I’ll wait right here.

…man, it’s hot today. Maybe I’ll go to the gym. I’m tired this morning…

Oh, you back? Good. How about that shit, eh? He’s German, by the way. And that gold skull mask, well, back in the day rumor has it that he wore that shit ALL the time. Like, that was his thing. Remember how we had Kriss Kross? No? You don’t? Jesus…Okay, back when I was a kid there was a rap group called Kriss Kross. They were completely puppeteered by Jermaine Dupri, if memory serves (though I distinctly remember that he referred to himself as “Chris” in interviews) and they were two kids that called themselves Daddy Mac and Mac Daddy. Their thing was reflectiveness. Their MC names were reflections of one another, their real names were Chris and Chris and they topped all this wild reflexivity off by wearing all their clothes backwards.

No, for real. They wore their shit so they’d have to button their pants right above their asscrack and zip up each other’s hoodies, which is even more hilarious when you consider that wearing a hoodie backwards puts the hood completely over your face, or at the very least, irritatingly bunched up at your neck and chin. Everyone my age remembers Kriss Kross and their massive hit ‘Jump’ but I’m guessing that the Totally Krossed Out krew didn’t have much of a shelf life. I’m further guessing a lot of the younger people reading this are thinking things to themselves like “why the FUCK would you wear your clothes backwards?” And that’s a great, great question.

The funny thing about Kriss Kross and their radical style is that they were fairly particular about how you could ‘totally kross out’ your wardrobe. You had to do everything opposite or whatever, but they specifically spelled out in the opening verse of “Jump” that ‘everything is to the back, with a little slack, cuz inside out is wickidy, wickidy wickidy wack!’ and well, they’re correct. Wearing your clothes inside out is kind of a cultural memo that says “I got chased out of an apartment by the girl who I was fucking’s dad/husband” or “I’m brutally HUNG OVER.” It’s certainly not the coolest thing in the world to do. BUT, if I’m in a situation where I want to wear a certain item (a tee shirt is a good example here) because I like the cut or the color, but I’m not terribly interested in the print, I’ll wear that shit inside out in a heartbeat. Hell, I do that all the time. You know what I’ll never do though? Wear gigantic neon yellow jeans backwards, with the ass pockets phalanxing my dick. That’s never, ever gonna happen. What’s so wickidy wack now, Chris’s?

Eh, I’m being reductive and culturally dishonest, because Kriss Kross represented something of a youth movement and came about when hip hop was still kind of finding its footing and all the rules weren’t quite set in stone, so people were trying to pull off all sorts of crazy shit. It’s like back in the day, before everyone got the punk rulebook, and people were showing up to Clash shows dressed in Garbage bags or going to CBGB’s with tv’s on their heads and shit. Kriss Kross was just trying bullshit out, and lord knows that what looks completely stupid one decade makes a whole dick-ton of sense in the next, time and time again.

Which is why Sido is such a hilarious dude. He wears a gold skull mask and raps in German. These are all terrible ideas, and more to the point, they’re terrible ideas that are coming at a time when it’s pretty safe to say that all the shit that’s not just totally visionary has been tried. But the Germans love him. They LOVE him. A few years ago, he took off the skull and WOW! He’s a fucking geek! Has that affected his popularity? Germans, I’m asking you. Is Sido still huge now that everyone knows what a total Greg he is under the golden skull?

Well, once again I’m being a little culturally dishonest because if I’m looking for a rapper to like, and my choices are handed to me in the form of two photographs, one being Sido with the skull mask and one being Sido without the skull mask, if I had to choose which rapper I’d like to be the fan of, without ever hearing any music, I’d pick no skull every time. The upshot is that I suppose that taking off the skull must have helped his popularity, but I guess I don’t know. Germans rock a kooky style. Sometimes it’s about the coolest looking style ever (some of the most attractive, well put together women I’ve ever seen have been krauts) and sometimes it’s completely off the charts, out of the ballpark fucked up. I’m talking Crocodile Dundee hat, sleeveless skin tight shiny shirt (all colors acceptable) oversized watch, silver hinged belt, orange cargo shorts, black mesh(!) socks to the knees, bright red croc-like shoes fucked up. It’s a real scene. And it’s obviously at least somewhat agreed upon by everyone, so who am I to say that the gold skull mask is hilarious and not an overtly rad (perhaps even, dare I say ironic) homage to the unique German fashion sense, and perhaps the rapping in German is another manifestation of that?

I mean, that’s an argument, but to paraphrase a pretty great pundit interviewed on a pretty great segment on a pretty great show, uh, whatever. The dude wears a skull on his face.

That’s all. Oh, and I guess there’s all sorts of wild rumors going around that Jermaine Dupri used to bang the kids from Kriss Kross. News to me. That’s really taking that “everything is to the back” shit to a whole new level, folks! Heyooooo! Maybe him and Sido are doing bold new, highly artistic things that I dare not attempt to comprehend, bro. That’s probably the case, right?

12 comments:

James said...

einfach 'wau'

James said...

PUNKT SLESH http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=QG-zPgyQDD8#t=130s

Donnie said...

Don't forget about Kriss Kross's other hit, "I Missed The Bus"

Melian said...

From a German: I'm proud to say that I do not even know one Sido song. I'm sure there are Germans that love him, but I wouldn't say he's very popular

brian said...

i remember seeing this brother (and by brother..i mean black guy) walking around my high school with a kriss kross cd hung around his neck like a necklace. in total flava flave style. he must have drilled holes through the jewel case. strange times.

Aaron said...

I just watched his (Sido's) Carmen video on YouTube, and it's not what I expected. I thought with the skull mask and German heritage that it would be some pretty fucked up semi-gangster rap, but that's not the case. I think the mask is symbol of affluence.

Candice said...

i LOVED "i missed the bus"!

Drunken Acorn said...

He looks like Skeletor.

Little Orphan Funkhouser said...

The fuck is this record comin out? 'Fuck around with me, brendan.

dustyfloors said...

I loved Kriss Kross's "Alright" that had that guy from the Sugar Ray song "Fly." That was the same guy, right?
Anyway I loved it because it was totally a kid's version of Ice Cube's "Today Was a Good Day"

Corova said...

Is that second to last paragraph a self-promoting comment about your interview on the Daily Show a few years ago with the feature on the Republican punk dude that painted his face? Well played.

frostyfreeze said...

well...from my point of view (somewhere pretty much central germany) i can tell that sido was popular like...dunno, maybe justin bieber is...everyone from 6-14 loved him, there was some sorta wave of german gangsta rap (which sido used to be a part of) around 2005 maybe.
someday he took of the mask and started writing meaningful, deep rap songs about his mom and so target audience switched to girls age 15-20 i suppose.
nvmd, my first comment on here and i am not even asking bout the lawrence arms...do some recording dude, pls...and visit germany...seriously!

oh, and "jump" rocked my childhood pretty hard, without knowing a word they were saying