Now Hear This 2004

[1 January 2004]

By PopMatters Staff

NOW HEAR THIS 2004   Can’t figure out what to listen to? Listen to us. Once again, PopMatters’ music team presents a highly opinionated, undoubtedly superlative but ultimately revelatory examination of 18 artists that demand your attention. NOW.
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:: Best Lyric Sexualizing The Olsen Twins

Usually when I think of musical satirists, I think of Weird Al, and then a little piece of me dies. Funny music always seems the province of the zitty, virginal and only tentatively music loving. But MC Chris makes me laugh my ass off and hit repeat. This hipster Renaissance man is probably better known for his work as a cartoonist on Space Ghost and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but he’s also been known to do an acting cameo or two in addition to improv comedy. With a voice like ass cheek on inner tube, he makes alley dogs howl as he creates a world of a disaffected geek slinging cultural obscurity with an ego alternately caved in or inflated enough to be dragged through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. If Ad Rock wrote songs about Dairy Queen, drinking box wine, and bustin’ nuggets in a tube sock, he would probably sound something like this. Chris’s hip-hop sensibilities fit perfectly with his zany stream of dorkwad lyricism, borrowing old school bragging and stitching it in with a flow that’s Sir Mix-A-Lot after a shot of helium. What makes me not roll my eyes and move on is the fact that the songs on this record hold their own outside the joke, some crashing in on tinny thug club beats that work just as well for cruising the town as those DJ Screw mixes I always hear when I stop at a light. Even the most brow furrowed hip-hop purist will have to at least crack a grin listening to the misplaced egotism so openly exposed by a horny, literate nerd with the best hip-hop hobbyist pimping his wares out of an internet trunk.

— Terry Sawyer

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