Not long ago the people who run this blog came together and created a post on Canibus and his classic track "Get Retarded". We love that song, but we didn't really remember that there were so many songs on the topic. In fact, there are a lot of songs about getting retarded, so, of course, it seems like an element of hip hop we should check out: retarded hip hop (which is really, deeply offensive and would get any of these guys in trouble if they ran for office). Let's just review a bunch of songs!
Let's start with everyone's favorite:
"Get Retarded Freestyle" - Cassidy
Cassidy, you know, that guy from I'm a Hustla fame. Decided to get retarded himself at some point. Now, I'm no fan of Cassidy, but I think this is the first time I've ever given him any real thought. His version of this song made it on the radio in Philly a few times, and all I can say is that it's better than most of the other crap on the radio...but it's still not very good. I have three issues with this track: first of all, the beat is a good beat to begin with, but somehow Cassidy found a way to make it sound bad (he speeds it up). Second, WTF accent RU using Cassidy? You sound you were just at the dentist.
Finally, and this is a big problem all across hip hop: the verses have nothing to do with the hook. If the hook is saying "get retarded" then your verses should be expanding on that theme. Even in a freestyle. Canibus did it, why can't you meathead? These verses could be on ANY BEAT with ANY CHOURS so this song barely qualifies for this post. In other words: ya lyrics ain't gettin' retarded enough. Lulz.
But in any freestyle the important thing is the lyrics. Cassidy points out that "I got hot punchlines that remind you of Phoneix" I would definitely disagree with that. The punchlines are weak in this whole track, so a more accurate description would be "I got average punchlines that remind you that you could be listening to something else".
Well we can do better than that, right? No way...
|Oh Boy. Thel Black Eyed Ploopers.|
"Let's Get Retarded" - The Black Eyed Peas
You should know up front: I hate the Black Eyed Peas. Sure they sold out, they even used to be somewhat respectable, but that doesn't make a difference to me. Long ago they were affiliated with Eazy E and would spit venom at Puffy, which is something I liked, but even with that I hated them. They were lousy in the old days and they're an abomination now. At some point they picked up Fergie and things went way downhill. They represent all that is wrong with everything. The downfall of America. The recession. The Double Dip Recession. Uh, car accidents too, why not? EVERYTHING. They are all around bad and all around sellouts. I'm glad they broke up but I'm nervous to see what they're going to unleash on us now. Hint: it'll be worse than any of us fear. And I'm sure they'll still be sell outs! Want another example of them selling out? How about they changed the lyrics (and title) of this song so that they could be super rich and super famous? Well, mission accomplished jerks.
So reviewing this song is my nightmare. This song really represents everything that I am against in hip hop: pandering for mass appeal, selling out, bending to record company requests to be more radio friendly, being crappy, dumb lyrics, sounding awful, etc.. I can't believe my life has come to reviewing this song. I would rather review the worst mixtape ever than this mess. But here we go.
Fergie let's you know right away that this song is about getting retarded! I guess that's a plus, but it's in the most poppy pop-song way imaginable. She sounds like Christina Aguilera junior. Now this is where it gets funny (the first line of the song). Will.I.am starts things off by making it clear that although they are using the "R" word, they mean no disrespect in this context. Yeah, cool start for a song: and apology for the offensive content. DUMB (bell ring sound)! Even with the apology this song is inherently disrespecful. Did you really think you could map out this progression (as it is listed in the song) and think that you're going to be okay: lose inhibition, lose intuition, get stupid, get retarded. Will.I.Am explains exactly what getting retarded means since his fan base is preteen girls. Then the horrible (but catchy) chorus kicks in. The song goes on in this vein for some time with a connection being made between getting "coo-coo" and getting "retarded". Oh, BROTHER! Oh, and Apl.De.Ap encourages everyone to "bob your head like epilepsy" and then he wins the award for being the worst ever. I mean this whole song takes the concept to the extreme and manages to be cruel, it's deeply inhuman and just demonstrates a stunning level of stupidity. Yeah, I said that. I'm all for people saying whatever they want to in their pop songs, but the fact they apologize about it in the first line and then they changed their lyrics later means that they were never that committed and that they have weak spines. Not art.
Okay. Geez. This beat was produced by pop-producer-bot and it is just bad. Nothing in this song sticks with you but the melody (read: the lyrics are trash). "But this is a dance song and you're going overboard this time" - you. You're right, dance songs are fine, but I would say that I'm not going overboard enough on my disgust with the super sell-outs the Black Eyed Peas!
This is an old school track, and thank goodness it's real hip hop. Now, if you don't know (and why would you) MC EZ is the one and only Craig Mack! This time Get Retarded is the B-Side to Just Rhymin' which I honestly can't remember. For all of you new jacks a "B-Side" is the second track you would get when you bought a single. Think of it like this: imagine that you buy your favorite song off of iTunes and then they give you a second free song from the same artist to try to entice you to buy the whole album. Cool business model!
Okay so this song is really good. Every component is on point. The beat, the lyrics, the chorus, everything. See, now this is why Craig Mack got signed, he knows what he's doing. #SALUTE. As for the other guy Troup, who is that? A mystery lost to the ages I suppose.
"Get Retarded" DJ Kayslay & Diplomats, Twista
Eh, these are a bunch of guys I don't really like but I've been known to spin from time to time.
I guess I'll give some credit to this song for having some grit. It's not polished and it doesn't want to be, it sounds good. It's like a mixtape cut with mad posse members spitting. Plus, that little snip of a beat that starts off the video sounded really good. More of that please. Okay, so we've established that I like the heart of this song, now for the MCs. It's pretty well known that the Dip Set aren't exactly breaking new ground with their rhymes, in fact I don't think anyone knows what they're doing. Weird shit, weird flows, and weird rhymes. All around weird. And Twista! That guy, right! So fast and yet so not on anyone's radar except for in 2002. What's up with this combo DJ Kayslay? Everyone raps exactly as you would expect, so not that good. Dip Set! But I think Kayslay elevates everyone with his production abilities and his contrast of fast Twista and slow chorus. Good job.
Speaking of the chorus, I think the artists are using "get retarded" is in a different context on this song. Instead of meaning dancing, I think they are saying that getting retarded means "shooting guns wildly". So that's an interesting innovation and a good one.
I don't want to hear this again, but I liked it kind of! RAW!
Cassidy Score 0/10
Black Eyed Peas 0/10
MC EZ & Troup 7/10
DJ Kayslay, Diplomats & Twists 5/10