3rd ESSAY ABOUT WORKING ON MY NEW SHOW, THIS ONE IS ALL OF MY RAP MEMORIES!
Wicked Clown Love is the sixth full length show in my pop star/pop music based performance series. As I’ve been working on this show I’ve been thinking about the elements I’ve worked with as I’ve made this series of pieces. I’ve decided I’m gonna put up a variety of lil essays about these thoughts for you as they relate to my work in general and my upcoming Insane Clown Posse based show (Feb 2-4, 2012 at the Kitchen! Be there!!) in specific so that you, the American public, can read all about it, if you so desire… Here is Part 3, entitled:
NEAL MEDLYN’S RAP MEMORIES THRU THE YEARS
Besides the sampling aspect, which I already discussed here, hip hop itself had a huge impact on me, so it’s been great to re-think all of that as I work on this show.
Here’s some things that working on this show has made me think about:
How I got picked up at a church lock-in by these teens who were going to drop me off at the bowling alley. I sat in the back seat while the one guy in the front seat, who, even though it was nighttime, was wearing what I call Mazzio’s Pizza sunglasses*. He and his other hyped up friend, the driver, were blasting Licensed to Ill by Beastie Boys. I had never heard anything like that and I immediately thought it was the craziest fucking thing I’d ever heard.
I met a kid at a high school football game who was charging a quarter to rap LL Cool J’s I Need Love. I believed this to be a great business plan. I learned I Need Love and Paul Revere and charged people a quarter to hear me rap them on the school bus.
I secretly bought, from KMart, I think, a tape called Monsters of Rap (or something) and Rebel Without a Pause by Public Enemy was the last song on there. I could not believe how fucking cool it was that they had that same scraping noise repeat over and over for the whole song. My friend Kirk freaked out he hated that sound so much which made me burst out laughing and sealed my budding love for P.E. and probably effected the entire course of my artistic life. I feel like I try to put something like that scraping noise in everything I do. Figuratively, I mean.
Later, I became a huge Public Enemy fan. I had the Malcolm X shirt like several other kids at my school. There was a brief walk-out at my school when the principal banned them. I got into XClan and various other black nationalist hip hop groups. I asked a Nation of Islam guy I saw on a visit to Austin for one of his newspapers. He seemed puzzled. This began a long personal history of me identifying with things and people and movements that I am not “supposed” to belong to or be inspired by.
My friend Chris and I started a hard core rap group. I loved Chris for lots of reasons, one of them being how he kept trying to convince someone we knew that it was OK for him to steal her hair pick because Chris was black. Also, his brother Adjie once ripped the Cadillac symbol off the principal’s car and wore it to school. He was promptly caught by the principal and, I think, expelled. Adjie also told Kenneth Cecil he’d punch him in his fucking ear if Kenneth didn’t shut up. I thought this was a figure of speech but Kenneth kept at it and Adjie punched him in his ear. For real. This made me laugh.
Anyway, Chris and I had a rap group. We wrote a song about drugs and won a D-FY-IT (drug free youth in texas) rap contest with the song. We wore military fatigues and had dancers behind us doing S1W style shit. I made the music for the song and there were all these alarms and gun sounds and snare drums. I threw my mike down at the end of the song. We won $500.
In the Sam Goody in the Tyler, Texas mall, they had an issue of Word Up (I think) with NWA on the cover. They seemed like the scariest, most hardcore people imaginable and I wanted that energy. Eazy E had one lens of his Mazzio’s style sunglasses popped out. Which isn’t even cool, really, but it just seemed so punk and so crazy, like “don’t fuck with me, i’m the kind of person who doesn’t even give a fuck that my sunglasses are busted, i will stone cold wear them to this photo shoot. go fuck yourself.”
I felt the same way about the cover of that Geto Boys album where, it seems, they decided to shoot their album cover while Bushwick Bill was in the hospital after he got shot. That is fucking CRAZY.
So, for all these reasons, I didn’t really listen to a band that played live instruments until the early 90s.
* Mazzio’s was a pizza chain I loved as a kid and they had a bunch of video games and also they gave out these faux RayBan sunglasses that were popular in the 80s, perhaps because of Miami Vice. I loved Miami Vice and I dressed like Don Johnson every day in the 4th or 5th grade. I always had a pair of Mazzio’s sunglasses clipped in my shirt. I never put them on, they just hung there for looks.