Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When heroes stumble: Lou Reed’s perfectly awful rap song

When heroes stumble: Lou Reed’s perfectly awful rap song


The Guardian’s website has an amusing article on the five worst rap songs ever, of which I’ve chosen one to ruin your day. Sadly, it’s from one of my heroes: Lou Reed.
Now we all know that Lou can straddle the line between being brilliant and being absolutely awful. His recent collaboration with Metallica being an example of the awful. As is the tune “The Original Wrapper” from Reed’s rather wretched 1985 album Mistrial. The song’s title is a pun on the fact that Reed could arguably be considered one of music’s original rappers, at least when it comes to white guys. When he’s insincttively doing his thing, like in “Walk On The Wild Side,” Reed’s style has a nice flow. It’s when he tries to put quotations marks around what he does and attempts to rap in a style that is overtly “rap” that he looks the fool. This is where rap becomes “wrap” - contained, sealed and insensate.
“The Original Wrapper” isn’t just a bad rap song, its a bad 80s song. Listen to the generic syndrums, processed guitar licks and overall tawdry production. The sound of Reed’s de-evolution.
And the colored girls go “oh no.”

Posted by Marc Campbell

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