With Mans Not Hot doing crazy numbers, now is a good time to look at those that paved the way for something like this to take off.
Comedians, specifically in the U.K., have been closely linked to the rap scene for years now. Whether it was having artists feature in sketches, imitating artists or a comedy rapper have been involved. Clearly Michael Dapaah’s Big Shaq character has had the most success, not only in terms of numbers but gaining international recognition too, but now is a great chance to look back at a few of the best comedy-music mashups that came before it.
Shadrack And The Mandem – Guns and Pork
If you haven’t at least heard of Shadrack and the mandem what were you even watching on YouTube around 2010? One of the most interesting blends of comedy and rap due to the fact it’s lyrics don’t appear to be jokes until you listen more closely. Rather than genuine jokes it is satire and taking the image of what would today be called a “roadman” to it’s extremes. I guess it’s a more nuanced style of comedy but the video really clears up that it is as without it I could understand that the audio could be quite confusing. Maybe a bit ahead of its time? But still it has done good numbers even by this days standards it has racked up more views than a lot of rappers.
Afrikan Boy – One Day I Went To Lidl
Another classic of the genre. I first heard this in secondary school and some of the lyrics are still in my head to this day. The blend of a grimy beat with an African accent and ridiculous lyrics made it relevant at the time and was a pioneer of that kind of African comedy. But beyond that it’s catchy and can still make you crack a smile to this day even if that’s just out of pure nostalgia to references to things like MSN.
Motive – The Ultimate Otis
Now this one is special. It capitalised on the Jay Z and Kanye smash hit Otis, but more than that capitalised on the controversy surrounding Krept & Konan‘s remix. When everyone was rattled by Krept & Konan‘s being taken down for reports of fake views amongst other things the Motive camp where working. They had one of the best Otis remixes because it had such a big reaction. They captured so many of the funniest aspects of artists in the scene that as fans we couldn’t help but laugh. This was helped even more by artists reactions ranging from praise to frustration, just check out Ghetts reaction here.
A Squeezy & J Weezy – Lookin Ass B*tches
There was a time where if anything was popping whether that be an issue on social media or a song, Jazzie and Arnold Jorge would take up their comedy rapper alter egos and let loose. I had so many to choose from but went with my favourite and the still relevant Lookin Ass B*tches parody. It’s hilarious and all in good fun and is something that is missing in the scene at the moment as it seems the time of the parody is over.
Yung Filly – Take Time
Last but not least is Yung Filly. Now this is more an honourable mention than anything else as it’s not that old, nor does it specifically lean on comedy. Instead here Yung Filly typically seen as a comedian showed us all he is way more diverse than that. The song bangs and sounds like nothing else at the moment. What’s extra impressive is the extent to which Spanish is used in the track, which works perfectly with the smooth vibe of the track.