Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Goldie Lookin Chain / MC Lars / Mercury Lounge / Mar. 14, 2005

Hip-hop is all about keeping it real, right? Rhyming about what you know, where you come from, who you hang out with, etc. Goldie Lookin Chain and MC Lars are doing exactly that: telling the truth about their lives. So why are they considered fakes? Why is 50 Cent rapping about selling crack real, but GLC rapping about remembering the phone number for the taxi service when you’re drunk fake? Or Lars rapping about Edgar Allen Poe? He is an English major at Stanford, after all.

Yeah yeah, I know the answer. It’s because they’re white and they’re silly and some people might say they’re being disrespectful and exploitative. But still, if it’s a choice between the Game (except for that wicked track where he rhymes about Lamaze class) and some boring-ass eat-your-vegetables conscious backpacker crap or GLC and Lars, I’ll take fake rap every time.

Lars is Atom & His Package and Tall, Dark and Handcuffed-era Cex wrapped up in one big, goofy blonde-haired, blue-eyed California hunk. He would make a good pool boy. He was wearing a Run DMC shirt, baggy jeans, a Hot Topic studded belt, an Oakland A’s baseball cap and Simpsons boxers. I know about the boxers because when he began his set with some regal overture music, he raised his fist at the climax, which caused his shirt to lift up, revealing the Simpsons logo. Once you’ve shown the crowd that, there’s no turning back.

A pre-recorded track announced that Lars was really nervous about opening for GLC and playing in front of so many industry types. If that was true, he didn’t show it, rocking the punk-emo-rap-laptop jams from here to kingdom come (or at least to Long Island). He played everything from The Laptop EP and a few I didn’t know, like the one about falling in love with a girl with wicked rhymes (“every Biggie needs a Kim”) and “Rapbeth” which was, um, Macbeth as, um, rap. His set was kickin’, but I can’t wait until he plays Irving Plaza on March 31st with Bowling for Soup. Suburban pop-punk kids—that’s his true audience. Not hipsters and Welsh people. Somebody get this guy on the Warped Tour pronto!

As for GLC… oh man. I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard at a concert since the first time I saw Electric Six. Or maybe Avenged Sevenfold at last year’s Warped Tour. Anyway, GLC are eight Welsh dudes in vintage track suits, ironic (maybe not?) thrift store t-shirts and, of course, fake gold chains. They all have the worst haircuts ever (maybe best?) There were several mullets and neck-beards. One guy looks like John Lennon. He was wearing a headband. Another guy looks like the singer from The Soundtrack of Our Lives. He was wearing a shirt that said URBAN. His rap name is Mystikal. (I guess he didn’t realize that was already taken.)

Topics discussed: Dickens, alchemy, mothers with penises, their hometown of Newport, smoking marijuana, putting tin foil on one’s head in an effort to become a robot, short-term memory loss, roller discos, proving one’s love by tattooing one’s lover’s initials on one’s testicles, taxi cabs, guns don’t kill people, rappers do. Interpolated songs that I recognized: “Maneater” by Hall and Oastes. "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice. "21 Seconds" by So Solid Crew.

Oh, also, I take that back about the Shadetek crew busting the wackest moves since Elaine on Seinfeld. These guys totally win.