"Doctor who? Doctor Hewson!(Hey, ho! Hey, ho! Hey, ho! Hey, ho!)"
Sit up straight when I'm talking to you, son!
The magical might from the radical right
Gonna light up the night with a scheme and a dream so bright
So sit right back while we bite back,
This is called Fightback, me and my G on the right track
And we won't stop 'till we get our way,
A Rap song performed by someone who is perceived to not be able to rap. Usually done for humorous intent. Despite the fact that white rappers are more common these days than before, contemporary portrayals will still almost always be of a white person, and usually a dorky white guy. Often can become Nerd Core. Separate from but similar to the concept of "beef," a MC term for calling out another rapper for his lack of lyrical skills.
A subtrope of Pretty Fly for a White Guy.
- In an animated snack commercial, right on the heels of a bunch of students, an old lunchlady starts rapping at least as competently as the rest of them. Everyone stops and stares at her. The commercial seems to take for granted (as the kids certainly do) that for some reason, this is Not Cool.
- The rapping granny in The Wedding Singer.
- Tommy Chong in Far Out Man.
- There's a rapping sequence in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Mel Brooks himself also released two rap singles to promote his movies: "It's Good To Be The King", for History of the World, Part I and "Hitler Rap" for To Be or Not to Be.
- Kevin G's rap in Mean Girls is played as this. The comedy of the scene is supposed to come from the character being too nerdy to rap.
- Tex Richman's Villain Song in The Muppets.
- House raps near the end of the first episode of the sixth season of House.
- In the second season of Look Around You there is a rare example of this being done by a black man. Antony Carmichael, a profiteroles chef, painfully awkwardly introduces 1980's Britain to the world of rap music.
- Flight of the Conchords invented this, along with rap as a whole.
Some people say rappers don't have feelings.
We have feelings!
Some people say we're not rappers.
It hurts our feelings when you say we're not rappers...
- Also their big new york HBO show, where they claim "Back in New Zealand, we invented rap..."
- This was a recurring shtick for Chris Parnell on Saturday Night Live.
- As well as for Amy Poehler, who most famously performed a hardcore rap about Sarah Palin on Weekend Update, complete with backup dancing Eskimos, Fake Todd Palin, and a guy in a moose suit. While the real Palin bopped around next to her Update co-anchor Seth Meyers. Oh, and she was nine months pregnant at the time.
- Subverted in an episode of Monk in which the titular character tries to explain what happened to the audience of a concert for the rapper Murderous. When the crowd boos him off the stage, Murderous, played by Snoop Dogg, performs the entire summation in rap.
- This happens a lot on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, especially with Greg Proops and sometimes Tony Slattery. Then there's Colin Mochrie's shout... singing... style, which I'm not sure counts.
- And on at least one glorious occasion, Stephen Fry raps.
- So does Stephen Colbert.
- Go Rangers, Go Rangers, Go Go Go!
- Not played for laughs, but whenever Glee has a rap break in a song, it's the nerdiest guy in the glee club (Artie) who takes it.
- On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart is so appalled by Fox's hypocritical bashing of rap artist Common that he decided to improvise a rap of his own about it.
Jon: It's beyond a caricature of your own cartoon. I think the only way to get it across would be through a more artful medium, a... more expressive form, perhaps a musical iteration of spoken word... Gimme a beat, yo! (Waits for beat) Drop some beats, yo! (Waits some more, finally just decides to use a metronome)
- After the commercial break, Jon promises, "I will never rap publicly again."
- Occasionally on Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, an elderly woman MC called "Nana Rap" would show up to deliver a clue.
- On The Sing-Off, judge Ben Folds was inspired to improvise a freestyle rap while remarking on one group's performance. It went about how you'd expect.
- The little seen Sketch Comedy pilot Next! included a skit with Bob Odenkirk playing a suburban father who fronts a Nu-metal band called The Breadwinnerz - their song is suspiciously similar to Limp Bizkit's "My Way", which even gets referenced by name in the skit.
- Crispin from Skins. He gets pelted with paper balls by everyone in the room afterwards, deservedly so.
- One of the earliest examples was on a late-80s episode of Benson, in which an episode which featured the then-new genre of rap ended with Benson, the very WASP-y governor, and another member of the staff all trying their hands at rapping.
- Bush administration advisor Karl Rove became "MC Rove" at the 2008 Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner. Note that Brad Sherwood does most of the heavy lifting here.
- Similarly, conservative Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli did a karaoke version of "Rapper's Delight" at some local small-town dive. Witnesses say he actually did a great job with it.
- Gothic folk group Current 93 once recorded a rap about Aleister Crowley. Seriously. The version on YouTube is pretty unlistenable, unfortunately.
- Beck has stated that "Loser" is a testament to his inability to rap.
- According to the story, he was jamming in the studio, attempted to freestyle, and on realizing he was terrible at it muttered "Soy un perdedor" ("I'm a loser"). The rest is history.
- The Gourds' cover of "Gin and Juice". You know, the one that people online claim was performed by Phish or Blues Traveler.
- Grindcore bands Magrudergrind and 7000 Dying Rats released Heavier Bombing and We Want Weez-E respectively, which made for strange breaks in the midst of albums composed mainly of music that can be described as Hardcore Punk on speed and steroids.
- Madonna's rap in her 2003 single "American Life." As cringeworthy as it sounds.
- Well, not many complained about her earlier rap in "Vogue"
- Mick Jagger does this horribly in a few Rolling Stones songs like "Too Much Blood" or "Emotional Rescue".
- Brave Saint Saturn's "The Shadow of Def". It starts off as a slow, acoustic rap song, then it gets even cheesier when the executive producer drops some guest rhymes in the bridge.
- The Edge sort of does this in "Numb".
- The White Stripes do this in "Icky Thump" (on the subject of American hypocrisy about Mexican immigration):
Who's using who?
What should we do?
Well you can't be a pimp
And a prostitute too.
- Barenaked Ladies did this in their concert at Radio City Music Hall on August 13, 2010, and possibly at other concerts during that tour. They pulled it off VERY well.
- Pinch Me is somewhat of a rap around the chorus, so this one is not completely unexpected, but still pretty surprising.
- BnL does this a LOT in concert. It's kind of a gimmick of theirs. Word of God has it that their breakout hit "One Week" was their first attempt to put it on an album, and the song was written in about 5 minutes of ad libbing.
- Liz Phair raps to an Indian-styled beat on "Bollywood". Of course, coming from an album called Funstyle...
- A hidden track on Relient K's Two Lefts Don't Make A Right... But Three Do album features "the world's worst freestyle rapper, ever."
If apples are green and carrots are orange,
And then you go, and then you go...
What the--wait, what rhymes with 'orange?'
Aw, jeez, I really am bad...
- The last person on the planet you'd expect to be a talented rapper is perhaps "Weird Al" Yankovic, who fulfills the "White and Nerdy" stereotype in so many ways, but he's been praised for his skills.
- Steven Curtis Chapman's song Got To B Tru.
- "Blackout" by Linkin Park. Now wait, how can a band that's well-known for fusing rock and hip-hop by having a competent rapper/producer in their ranks possibly be here? Well, when it's their Bono/Scott Weiland-esque lead singer rapping, it falls under this trope.
- Heavy Metal band Clutch did a rap song called "Careful With That Mic..." that's actually pretty damn good, but certainly falls in this category.
- Anthrax were probably one of the first to do this in the mid 80s with "I'm the Man." They would later cover/duet Public Enemy and cover the Beastie Boys (along with remaking I'm The Man ('91).
- Rush did one of these on the title track of their album Roll the Bones. Surprisingly, that's still Geddy Lee singing, just modified to the point of being nigh-unrecognizable.
- About any time that OFWGKTA's Taco or Jasper steps up to the mic, this happens. In "Tina," Taco spends roughly 6 of his 8 bars enjoying potato chips. Very loudly.
- Saosin's "Show Me Yo Bootyhole" satirizes the overwhelmingly hypersexual nature of most mainstream rap/hip-hop.
- Afternoon Tea Time does this on "Fuwa Fuwa Time". Helps that the music background sounds close to something Nu-metal-esque:
But that's the biggest problem, ya see
'Cause then I'll need to think of a topic to speak
And it ain't gonna be natural for me
To do that in the first place, I think
- Taylor Swift herself did a rap with T-Pain.
- The Veronicas song, Popular is also this besides the fact it is a parody of Boastful Rap's too.
- Mike Read once did a 10 minute political rap at a Conservative Party Conference, much to David Mitchell's disgust
- Avril Lavigne's "Nobody's Fool" is basically this.
- Cracker's "What You're Missing", which is full of silly in-jokes and also gives every member of the band a verse. Word of God is it was initially inspired by funk though, specifically the group War.
- "The Bends" by Radiohead has a few seconds of Thom Yorke doing this:
I wish it was the '60s
I wish we could be happy
I wish, I wish, I wish that something would happen
- John Cena's first actual gimmick started this way when he rapped at a Smack Down! Halloween Party. It morphed into a full-fledged Pretty Fly for a White Guy and eventually into a semi-serious gimmick which continued during his first world title reign, releasing a full album along the way.
- Cena can rap, and has been into the music since his adolescence growing up in the 1990s (when he was mocked and even attacked by other white kids in his neighborhood for liking the music). He just pretended to be this kind of rapper when he was a heel. Just listen to the better tracks on his hip-hop album You Can't See Me, where he raps with friends Marc Predka and Freddie Fox, and you might be surprised at how well their voices go together.
- About half the people who feud with or are in the same room as the aforementioned rapper Cena or with current rapper R-Truth end up pulling this. Expect some form of "rap isn't hard, I can do that" followed by a "freestyle" verse. Notable examples include Brian "Spanky" Kendrick, Big Show and Christian for Cena as well as Ted DiBiase, Jr. and William Regal for R-Truth.
- The Road Warriors Rap.
- For the AWA's 1986 Supercard "WrestleRock 86" they released the WrestleRock Rumble rap. Jim Cornette said it may have been the worst thing he'd ever seen.
- Keating! The Musical features a rap battle between Paul Keating and Dr. John Hewson over Hewson's proposed GST.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- The DK Rap, from Donkey Kong 64.
- And it's back in Super Smash Bros Melee, sounding thankfully less like rap.
- Kabbage Boy has this.
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has OG Loc, who actually manages to have a rap career despite being a horrible rapper.
- Rhythm Heaven Fever has the Love Rap, which consists entirely of the rappers using various alterations on the phrase "Into you!" (and "Fo sho'!"). It's pretty damn bad, but it's made clear that this is deliberate.
- Weebl's character DJ Pie Safety.
- Coach Z from Homestar Runner fancies himself a rapper (in fact, one of his old bios implied that he was a chart-topping superstar back in whatever the heck country he originally came from), but he's usually shown to be a Dreadful Musician. The "Loading Screens" cartoon is the first, and so far only, time he's demonstrated any actual talent.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
Web Original[edit | hide]
- Little Kuriboh announced his return to Youtube with "Without Yugi". Several other abridgers responded in kind.
- Nicepeter's Epic Rap Battles of History on Youtube.
- The Lonely Island's "Shy Ronnie" songs (who, as the name hints at, is shy) and songs performed by "Just Two Guys", who are bored to death.
- William Shatner performs "The Real Slim Shady" in his own unique style on Futurama, "Where No Fan Has Gone Before".
Walter Koenig: How can anyone do a spoken word version of a rap song?
Melllvar: He found a way.
- Homer Simpson's first idea to promote himself as Mr. Plow. Bart and Lisa find it painful.
- And it's the standard late 1980s Straw Rap, the kind that features the standard lyrics of "I'm [Name] and I'm here to say / I'm the [most exemplary of my profession] in the U.S.A.!" Made even funnier by the fact that Homer's rap "poses" look like something out of disco dancing, and funnier still by the fact that the act terrifies the family cat.
- Another episode in which Bart tries to go to a rap concert features Homer and Marge rapping (badly) to him that he can't go.
- Fern Gully features a rap song by Batty, who is voiced by Robin Williams.
- Grandpa Freeman's rap rebuttal to Thugnificent on The Boondocks.
- The Cleveland Show: Black and Nerdy Cleveland Jr shocks Federline Jones with a surprisingly catchy gangster rap in rebuttal to Federline's mockery.
- Veggie Tales: Khalil's cameo appearance in the Belly Button song.
- And the Scallions during the Salesmunz (or Stuff Mart) Rap in Madame Blueberry.
- The Kim Possible episode "Rappin' Drakken" has two examples; Drakken's "Lather, Rinse, Obey"(used to advertise his brain-washing shampoo) and Ron Stoppable's "Naked Mole Rap".
- The Pixies of Fairly Oddparents. Dull, boring, love the color gray, wear pointy hats, have square heads, and use cell phones and pixels instead of wands. They are the absolute opposite of the Fairies, who resemble mythical, fun filled creatures, while Pixies are businessmen. Every one of their musical appearances features them rapping. Subverted in "School's Out: The Musical" where their raps are done by Method Man and Red and are awesome.
- Seth Green in this parody video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eJmYKN_1QE (slightly NSFW)
- "The Dag Rap" from Three Men And A Baby Grand.
- Neil Patrick Harris had a brief rap in his song for Commentary! The Musical. He quickly decides, "No, I can't rap. That was... painful."
- Riff Trax has the 'Fast and Furious Rap', surprisingly well matched with the background music as Vin Diesel wanders through a nightclub.
Kevin Murphy: We got Vin for the win in the girl pile
Slappin' Vinny in the head Benny Hill - style
A bit later
He gonna date her
And maybe get a little in the elevator
Vin's a hi-speed tough guy loner
Gonna go and shoot the club owner
He's trying hard to fight off a boner
Gonna drink a little warm...Corona!
Mike Nelson: Kevin...here's $100. Never attempt to rap again.
- Kevin Hart talks about how he can't rap because of his high pitched voice, in one of his comedy specials:
Kevin:(high pitched voice) "Yeah, bitch, I'm a killer, I shoot you in your face. (makes finger guns) Pshoom, Pshoom, Everybody gon' die. Pshoom pshoom, everybody gon' die tonight." Did he just say "Pshoom, pshoom"? I'm not buying that shit if he said "pshoom, pshoom".