Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Who would do a 2 Live Crew song at karaoke?

Yesterday, I was prowling around on SingSnap wondering if maybe I'd like to kill some time making recordings.  I usually check the featured songs by genre.  Although you can sing any song in the catalog, if you sing a featured song, there's more of a chance people will stop and listen.  I made a mistake and ended up checking yesterday's featured rap songs.  One of the songs listed was a classic hit by the raunchy 80s group from Miami, Florida, 2 Live Crew.

I well remember 2 Live Crew.  They were popular when I was in high school and were kind of "forbidden fruit" because their music was incredibly misogynistic, racist, and just plain offensive.  A lot of people had bootleg copies of their albums because many music stores would not sell it.  In those days, we didn't have Amazon.com or YouTube.  If you wanted to read or listen to anything objectionable, you had to endure the embarrassment of purchasing the stuff yourself.  I can remember trying and failing to act casual when I bought a copy of My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday at Waldenbooks.  I can only imagine how I would have behaved if I'd tried to buy a 2 Live Crew album at Mother's Records and Tapes.  When I was in college, I finally heard 2 Live Crew's music when someone gave me bootleg copies of a couple of their albums.  I don't think I listened to the tape more than once.

At one point, 2 Live Crew's music was famously considered "obscene" and was banned.  Officials in Broward County, Florida went to court, where Judge Mel Grossman determined that probable cause for obscenity violations existed.  2 Live Crew fought back and the ruling was eventually overturned on appeal.

Just for fun, I decided to check out the lyrics to their song "Do Wah Diddy", which is probably the first 2 Live Crew song I ever heard.

Here's the song as it was originally performed.  It's definitely NSFW.

I will admit, when I was much younger, I thought this kind of stuff was funny.  What can I say?  I was a lot less mature in those days.  As I checking out the karaoke version of "Do Wah Diddy", I actually found myself blushing.  I still believe in free speech and people having the right to use whatever language suits them.  But I will admit, age has made me a lot less willing to listen to such vile and contemptible language.  Perhaps at the ripe age of 44, I am finally "growing up".

Anyway, as I was listening to the music and reading the lyrics, I suddenly started wondering who in the world would dare perform this song at a karaoke show.  It would take a whole lot of nerve.  You'd have to have the right attitude to pull it off and the right type of people around to appreciate the disgusting lyrics.  I once caught hell for singing "Tyrone" at the Officer's Club in Virginia.  Tyrone is a bit raw, but it's nothing like "Do Wah Diddy".  By the way, I wouldn't do that song today.  I'm too old and refined.  Erykah Badu can at least sing, though.  Luther Campbell can't sing and made bank strictly for being shocking.

"Call Tyrone..."

I was curious to see if anyone on SingSnap had ever recorded "Do Wah Diddy" and sure enough, someone had...  Just one person.  Actually, two people on the same recording.  One guy did the verses and the other guy, who was clearly a better singer, did the choruses.  I listened to a small snippet of their performance.  Technique wise, it wasn't totally horrible.  I mean, these guys at least kind of got the right pitches and rhythm.  I still couldn't bear to listen to the whole thing.  The words that once made me giggle now make me cringe.

No, I haven't tried this myself.  I see the guy who did it is Dutch.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that there's only one recording of this song and it was done in 2016.  It's not the kind of number just anyone can do.  Most people really should not do it.  Actually, no one should do it.  That's just my opinion, though.  I still believe in freedom of expression, even if that expression is profane and offensive to most people.  I just marvel at how I've evolved.  There was a time when I would have been all for hearing a 2 Live Crew song done at karaoke.  I can't say I'd want to hear that today.  Gee, my mom would be so proud.

I never did get around to recording anything yesterday.  Instead, I spent the day watching trashy 90s era TV.


  1. In general I detest rap music. Even ft it said something I wanted to hear, which it probably didn't, it's so tonally simplistic that it's off-putting. I guess this song was based on an old song that was also musically simplistic (almost reminiscent of a military marching drill chant). It's, like, tetratonic, with an odd choice of tones -- mi, fa, so, la, and perhaps if you listen more carefully there's something else in it, but it's basically those four tones.

    I SORT OF liked that really old Mark Ronson / Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk," but I liked it mainly because the lyrics were sort of catchy. It was never on any of my playlists, but if it came on the radio in the car and someone else wanted to hear it, I didn't throw a fit to get it turned off. Matthew sometimes listens to some real garbage in the hip-hop genre and maybe a little in rap. It's mostly all refuse to me.

    1. You would not enjoy 2 Live Crew. I feel certain.


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