Prepping MPHnoise: they said rap and metal would never mix, the great punk conspiracy, and more

The other day I posted about how I was going to

friend one: You’d better have at least one Limp Bizkit song in there somewhere.

Me: Nope. I capped the last songs mid-90s, like 1994 which actually eliminated a lot more than you’d think.


Me: Nope. The Bisquick only formed in late 1994 and there dollar bill was like 97. The didn’t hit till 98 and at that point the genre was headed to b level bands moving into the end of the decade with Bisquick knockoffs

friend one: You’re doing a disservice to the people looking to learn more about rap metal. Leaving them out is whitewashing the whole history. Is it just “Bring the Noise” by Anthrax and Public Enemy for 2 hours? Because if you’re purposely leaving Limp Bizkit out of this alternative history of rap metal, I don’t know what else you could play.

Me: [editors note, I already did a blog on this, but here’s the synopis of that blog I copied to my friend] The 80s were rife with rap metal, even before anthrax and PE got together. Bad brains and suicidal tendencies in 84 both touch on it as does Kiss, run DMC, LL Cool J in 85, Beastie boys (including with Slayer) in 86, red hot chili peppers, anthrax, ton loc in 87, public enemy, Sir Mix a Lot with metal church in 88, faith no more in 89, biohazard in 90, and then in 91 rush, tourniquet, Primus and iced t to name a few do it at the same time as the anthrax with PE duet. After that you still have Korn, stuck mojo, 311, rage against the machine, downset, candiria, infectious grooves, 24-7 spyz, helmet, clawfinger, kid rock, the judgement night soundtrack and a bunch more before limp dick are even a band and that’s not even all of it. I could get into Blondie from the pop side, or the Animals on the classic rock side, or Frank Zappa or Lou Reed/Velvet Underground or Brian Ferry/Roxy Music from the experimental/art rock side, the Doors and Black Flag both using spoken word, the Sugar Hill Gang and more, but thats more of a diversity of hybridization than what I want to explore (and this is only focusing on rap itself, not beat box which has an even richer and more diverse history of its own).

friend two: Good job! Shit Bizkit was the WORST band of that horrible sub genre nu metal. They couldn’t rap or play metal. They were a disgrace to all the real rap and metal acts that did it a decade before them. Mainstream crap!! What are you gonna tell me next? Green Day was a great punk band?? LOL

Me: Leaving off LB was much more about the timing of their career than anything else. They were NOT a founding father of the genre nor were they one of the original cross-overs into mainstream popularity of the genre. As I mentioned, the show focuses on the roots of rap-metal thus it begins in the early 80s and continues through the mid-90s, essentially 1994. That’s three years before LB release anything that’s widely known.

While LB produced probably more clones in the genre than any other band participating in it and second maybe only to Linkin Park in terms of sales success they were coming into a genre even when they were “founded” in 1994 that had already moved beyond 10 years worth of novelty songs to include several artists whose careers were already established as hybrids of rap and metal. While they may seem inextricably connected to the (worst) parts of the rap metal genre they are hardly what I would consider foundational to it with the lengthy history that predates them. Are there other artists, and songs, I probably left off from those early/mid 90s that could have/ should have made the show? Probably, and I’d be open to those conversations — for example, I did leave off Ton Loc, 24-7 Spyz, Infectious Grooves, Sir Mix a Lot with Metal Church, Helmet, clawfinger, and Kid Rock to name a few (some of which missed because I don’t own them, some because of the show running order and time, some because honestly, I just didn’t feel like them when I was programming)

But LB no being on is strictly about the timeline and nothing more. carrying the show into 97-98/end of the decade would have put it from being the roots to being in the height of the genre’s mediocrity and meant not only having to spin the likes of Limp Dick but a whole host of numetal, rapcore, post-rap rock/rock-hop and other bastardizations that I just have no interest in getting in to.

friend one: I’ll tell you what is is… A CONSPIRACY.

Me: Your shits Counterfit. you can’t buy shit with a 3 dollar bill, y’all$ so just keep Rollin’to your pile of Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water that your Nookie comes with. Back Up. You be Crushed and Re-arranged and now you got no Faith, so just go and Break Stuff…

[editors note: the conversation when sideways from here into punk, or what is and is not punk]

Me: as for Green Day, I don’t actually hate them. I get why some people do and that’s just fine – the argument of what’s ‘punk’ that surrounds them was a natural extension of the 80s conversations that swirled around punk to begin with.

While pop-punk might not be the most beloved “aggressive” music genre it has its roots squarely in band and early sub-genres that are inherent parts of the aggressive music scene. I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds of retelling the genre’s history but I have no problem saying bands like the Who & the Kinks, the Clash & the Ramones, Bad Religion, the Vandals, the Descendents, Dag Nasty, Social D, the Offspring and to an extent even DRI, Sex Pistols and whole host of others “make” Green Day possible.

So, I actually think IF I were to do a show on the foundational aspects of pop-punk I would probably wrap the show up with Green Day’s Lookout! era years. After that, the genre of pop-punk pretty much exploded as part of the broader 90s “Alternative” scene and became clone-on-clone, particularly of mainstream bands trying desperately to capture the “Dookie” era sound.

friend two: I still think GD are a bad parody of a punk band.

Me: I could make that same arguement about Sex Pistols and look where they ended up 😉 I get people not liking Green Day, they’re a band that stirs controversy and helping popularize a genre that would go on to be more pop than punk. But, it’s not like what they did was unprecedented even in Punk.

friend two: What’s ironic about the Sex Pistols (and the Clash, who were the biggest influence on GD) is that those are the bands they doing a bad parody of.

Me: Sex Pistols were literally a parody of themselves even at the time … and they were a corner stone of contravery even within the 70s punk community.

Everything about the Pistols that might have been wholesome and punk in the beginning quickly became a hodgepodge of marketing tactics and cultural exploitation by the time they gained any kind of notority. They were manufactured and that was not lost on the real punks and DIY musicians of the time. At times it was more about the characature of himself that Johnny Rotton portrayed. The band became more about the “look” than about the music which was encapsulate by the sacking of Matlock and how it was handled. This visual approach superceeded everything else to the point where as a post-script they are often critiqued as being more a “boy band” than a true punk band. Their lyrics although championed now as social and political commentary were at the time contrived and marketable to creating a specific kind of contravercy. The music was raw not by sake of intending to be but because the band lacked any musical skill or sonic value in-and-of itself and their success was crafted in the studio by big named producers and engineers who created the band’s sonic image. While the Pistols were sneering at other punk bands publicly and accusing the scene of selling out they themselves were calculating and manipulative behind the scenes undermining their actual credibility. And, as for being punk, a lot of punks then and most enlightened punks now, look at the Pistols as being a necessary evil in the genre’s history but certainly not an embodyment of the punk ethos or even in some cases it’s sonic reality.

and the analytical critique of how not punk they really were only got worse the more John Lydon’s opened his mouth in the years since.

The Clash, on the other hand, never really seamed to hide the fact they were sonically genre-bending and that they were in it for some kind of fame-and-fortune. The kind of contraversay that lurked around the Pistol’s intentions was not there in the same way for the Clash who seemed more into embracing just doing whatever they wanted and that included being upfront about what they were. that’s why they got away with what they did and even a terrible marketing slogan like “the only band that ever mattered” actually seemed to stick to them long, long after their contractual relationship with CBS (who coined the phrase) was over.

I have no problem with Green Day being a 90s version of what the Clash attempted in the 70s. Good for them in succeeding at it. Again, just like the Clash weren’t for everyone back then, GD aren’t now. I’m certainly not going to convince you to think they’re good — my point was more, they are punk, as much as some of the “founding” punk bands were punk and that they didn’t invent the sonic qualities of pop-punk but that they refined those qualities that had always been a part of the punk scene into what would eventually the derivative top-40 punk of the 90s Alternative Rock movement and pop bands like Blink-182.

friend two: so what you’re saying is I shouldn’t do a roots of pop-punk show 😉

friend three: I’ll listen to anything that isn’t pop-punk. Please, if you’re going to kill us with non-metal at least do like screamo or something post-punk that still has some aggression to it


About thedoormouse

I am I. That’s all that i am. my little mousehole in cyberspace of fiction, recipes, sacrasm, op-ed on music, sports, and other notations both grand and tiny:
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2 Responses to Prepping MPHnoise: they said rap and metal would never mix, the great punk conspiracy, and more

  1. smitty says:

    …the judgement night soundtrack was the peak of it all, great CD (and idea)!!!

    • thedoormouse says:

      Thanks. Love that album. I am behind on posting the final radio show and tracklist but the entire show I think did a really arc of the genre and a couple of tracks off that soundtrack really make it poigant

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