So in the last five to ten years, as hip-hop culture has continued the march from being simply popular from becoming a downright universal lingua franca — and if you think I’m overstating that at all, consider that right now, at this second, The Roots are now the house band on The Tonight Show — there have been so many terrible hip-hop parodies by Christians aimed at Christian audiences.
So, so many.
Most of them were content to simply ape a few hip-hop mannerisms and call it funny because of the obvious contextual and cultural disconnect — look, it’s that violent ghetto music being performed by non-stereotypical hip-hop people! Normal people, like us! It got to the point that even a bunch of guys rockin’ mics in an ode to Christian side hugs could get 100K views, just because the rest of the competition was so lame.
Even after ignoring any particularly racist overtones and/or the cultural appropriation issues, I rarely laughed at or shared these because they were usually not particularly authentic or good. That is, their rhymes were amateurish, overly simplistic, or nonsensical. The beats were cheesy. They didn’t feel or sound like actual hip-hop. In general, they violated the number one rule of good satire, which is this — get the details right.
Into this void stepped independent musician Dustin Ah Kuoi, with a great parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” called “Church Signs.”
And I love it.
First, I love the premise. More people need to be making fun of lame church signs. End of story.
But the music actually works! I mean, he actually has a decent falsetto and can approximate Thicke’s come-hither playfulness from the original, but pens lyrics that are equally fun and hilarious. I mean, c’mon… anyone who can turn “you’re the hottest b**** is this place” to “we got ’50 Shades of Grace'” gets major props from me.
Anyway, as I said in my previous post, it’s not enough to just highlight the bad examples, you gotta also give love to the people who do it well. Dustin Ah Kuoi, I salute you.
P.S. — I know, it’s more R&B than hip-hop, but nowadays the lines between hip-hop and R&B are pretty…
*puts on Caruso shades*