In 2011, comedian T.J. Miller released The Extended Play E.P., a comedy rap album that managed to rise above the level of one-listen novelty. It wasn’t boring. At times it was really funny. The idea of Illegal Art, the home of sampling legends Steinksi and Girl Talk, remixing a comedy rap album is incredible. The result, The Extended Play E.P. Illegal Art ReMixTape, is less than incredible.
Curation is a big issue. The Extended Play E.P. was 41 tracks comprising 70+ minutes of material, yet the ReMixTape‘s eight tracks are sparse on humor, skipping many of the original’s memorable moments. “Now We’re Partying”, “Denver”, and “Special Individual” were all forgettable tracks on the original, and input from The Kleptones, Junk Culture, and Babes don’t do much to elevate the material. On some tracks Miller is barely present, either relegated to the background or chopped into obscurity, reducing high-concept satire into a frenetic series of one-liners.
There are bright spots, namely Miller collaborator Jesse Case’s funky groove on “Make Me Sad” and Touch People’s polyrhythms and arcade bleeps on “Too Good To Be On This”. If you missed the original album you’ll get a laugh out of “Yep Yep” which features Miller’s sister, Morgan, attacking the sibling rivalry angle with fervor. But the overwhelming reason for listening to the ReMixTape is because it’s Illegal Art remixing a comedy rap album. In other words, a one-listen novelty.
In the promotional materials accompanying the album Miller is preemptively defensive, acknowledging, “It’s career suicide to release two music albums before I have a standup album,” but insisting that “the idea behind these records is to let people understand that I’m serious about this satire.” That point that was never in question. As metacomedy this is brilliant. As an album it’s unexceptional.