It seems that at least once or twice a month someone has to come up to me and automatically assume that just because I’m African-American I was born with powers that enable me to rap. The rap question usually arises because I love music, and I love talking about music, and because of this rap will sometimes sneak its way into the musically driven conversation. And then, of course, it's always...
"Well, you rap, right?"
That’s fine, I can understand: with society in its current state it’s no big shock. I try not to take it personally, but sometimes I lose my cool when I have to explain that just because I’m black doesn’t mean that I can rap.
I was getting real sick of this problem, so I decided that I had to think of a way to let everyone know that I was not a rapper and that, in fact, I couldn't rap at all. For a while I thought of making hats with some sort of anti-rapping slogan on them, but then I realized that people would just think that I was trying to be ironic. But after a short amount of deep thinking it came to me, and I solved the problem in two simple moves.
- I wrote a few horrible rap verses about how I could not rap and how the person who asked me if I could rap was ridiculous for asking such a question. I made it extra, extra horrible to make sure the person realized that I honestly could not rap and that they were being pretty stupid in asking me if I could.
- I recorded an equally horrible 80’s drum machine beat onto a dictaphone.
I memorized the goofy little rap I wrote, and I kept the dictaphone in my pocket at all times. I patiently waited for the next time I would be asked about my rapping skills, and, well, I didn’t have to wait long.
About a week after I had figured out my brilliant plan I went out for some late night breakfast at the closest IHOP with my friend Mark, and his friend Jeff. I had never met Jeff before, and he seemed like an okay guy, but I hardly expected him to be the one that would get hit in the face with my lyrical super-punch.
While we waited for our breakfast to arrive Mark brought up that he was sad that The Gorillaz had seemed to have fallen down into obscurity, even though they had such a cool concept. I said that I didn’t mind, just as long as Del The Funky Homosapien came out with another Deltron 3030 album soon I would be happy.
It was too late, before I realized my mistake Jeff had already opened up his mouth to begin the usual...
"Hey man, you know, I make these rap songs with FruityLoops sometimes, would you wanna throw down some vocals for ‘em? You rap, right?
I looked the man dead in the eyes and I think it scared him a little bit. But I smiled and said...
"Yeah man, I rap. Let me lay down some of my shit for you right now."
That’s when I pulled out my dictaphone. I figured this might be the only time I have to do this so I went all out: I hopped up onto the table, turned the audio device all the way up, and "laid down my shit."
Just because I’m black does not mean that I can rap,
If this was the 1920’s I bet you’d ask if I could scat,
All African-Americans rapping is a fallacy, like being crossed by a black cat,
Every Dr. Seuss character does not wear a hat.
See, you’re a silly white boy,
You don’t know that we are not black toys,
You cannot press a button and get sound,
Have us stop on the dime and break dance on the ground.
A black man who doesn’t rap can easily be found,
Some of us gravitate to various types of sound,
Fishbone, and The Dirtbombs, man, that shit is profound,
In England they make many, many British pounds.
But oh, you’re white, so I bet you’re the lead singer,
You spike up your hair like the guy from Winger,
Or maybe you’re just a political extreme right-winger,
Happy that there’s another George Bush senior,
I know this taste is definitely going to linger.
But please, oh please, no more racial profiling,
I’m not Louis Armstrong, but you will see me smiling,
Every time you say more things about sliming,
Do you think all ghosts eat a lot of food?
When my last (nonsensical) verse ended, and my drumbeat came to its synchro ending, I hit stop on the dictaphone and sat down. Both Jeff and Mark looked completely dumbfounded, but not nearly as bewildered as our fellow late night IHOPPERS.
To save this unbearable awkwardness our food came at that very moment, as if God Himself had sent a message that this situation needed to be saved. I poured a massive amount of maple syrup onto my waffle and dug in. Mark followed my example and began to eat whatever he had ordered as well, but Jeff was still sitting there motionless and speechless. Finally he got up enough nerve...
"Dude...that was amazing...you have some real talent..."