If rockers acted like rappers
brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 13 06:47:35 CST 2005
>From the New York Daily News at:
Rap wars for the ages
by Denis Hamill
A bunch of middle-aged white guys sat in a Brooklyn
diner, talking about the recent shoot-'em-up in the
world of rap music, of which their kids are big fans.
"I'm confused," said Ryan. "I'm from the Age of
Aquarius, people singing songs about peace, love and
happiness. I guess we were boring, huh? The rappers
say they're 'keeping it real.'"
"Real?" said Ray. "Real bullets. Real murder victims.
Real time in the real joint. Real lot of fun."
"Why do these guys shoot each other?" asked Danny.
"They have more money than Sinatra ever dreamed of.
They grew up poor in places like Brooklyn and Queens
like us and scored big and got out, but they wanna
take the violence with them. Why? Whatever happened to
the battle of the bands with guitars instead of Uzis?"
"We grew up on The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan,
Donovan," Ryan said. "We marched for peace. Today
rappers rank out each other with lyrics that cause
'beefs' with rival rappers. And then they shoot each
other in response. Today you get a song, a dance and a
funeral all for the price of an album."
"Today, 'Number nine with a bullet' really means what
it says," said John, reaching for the sugar.
"We thought the Grateful Dead were risqué," Ryan said.
"Then came Death Row Records, which they take
"Yeah, but in fairness, we had Altamont, where the
Hells Angels killed a guy at a Rolling Stones
concert," said Ray.
"That was an aberration," Ryan said. "Just imagine how
insane it would've been in the old days if rival
musicians whacked each other out. Imagine if Dylan
would've opened fire on Donovan for imitating him. Or
the Dave Clark Five gunning for Freddie and the
"How about if the Ink Spots woulda whacked the Mills
Brothers?" Danny asked.
"Or the Temptations ambushing the Four Tops?" said
"Or the Kingston Trio rolling up on Peter, Paul and
Mary?" said Ray.
"I would have put my money on Tina Turner over Diana
Ross, tell you that," Ryan said. "But imagine Mick
Jagger as a real 'Street Fightin' Man?'"
"Jagger couldn't have beat Rod Stewart in a fair one,"
Ray said. "Two praying mantises. Jagger was tops 130
pounds with lipstick and mascara - 129 without. Mick
had no street cred. If someone shot up a radio station
where he was being interviewed, Jagger woulda had his
19th nervous breakdown on the spot. Jerry Lee Lewis -
now there's a rocker who coulda dropped some bodies."
"Think how many newspapers it would've sold if The
Beatles had sung 'Happiness Is a Warm Gun' today,"
"Did P. Diddy sample that one yet?" asked Ray.
John imagined The Doors shooting it out with The Who.
"How about Jim Morrison and Pete Townsend knife
fighting to 'The End' in a real rock opera?" he
"Better still, Liberace, Elton John, Boy George and
George Michael in a Shootout at the All Gay Corral?"
"Or a three-way shootout between Stevie Wonder, Ray
Charles and Jose Feliciano?" Danny said.
"The live album coulda been called 'Shots in the
Dark,'" John said. "Today we could have a reality show
called 'Drive-By,' where competing musicians shoot it
out every week, and whoever's still standing at the
end of the season gets a recording contract on Death
Row. The one in Sing Sing."
"And a live jailhouse interview on Hot 97," Ryan said.
They drank more tea and coffee, imagining other great
rivalries of the past that might have been settled in
modern rapper fashion.
"Imagine Duke Ellington having a royal shootout on the
A train with Count Basie," said Danny. "Or Billie
Holiday shanking Ella Fitzgerald."
"Or Harry James bustin' caps at Tommy Dorsey," said
"Or Cab Calloway lighting up Bing Crosby," Ryan said.
"Or Sinatra whacking out Jimmy Roselli. Or how about
Elvis laying for Bobby Darin?"
"I'm imagining the video rentals of Engelbert
Humperdink trading fire with Tom Jones on the Vegas
strip," said Ray. "Or Neil Sedaka dueling Paul Anka in
an elimination bout to face Wayne Newton?"
"Let's not forget the women," said John. "Britney
Spears and Christina Aguilera in a steel cage match,
anyone? Or Lil' Kim bagging Madonna?"
"Personally, I'd love to see Queen Latifah silence
Celine Dion," Ryan said as the waiter brought the
"I know I said I didn't understand why the rappers
shoot each other," Danny said, as they got up to
leave. "But now that we've put it in perspective, if I
was on a jury, I don't know if I could convict Percy
Sledge for seeking revenge on Michael Bolton for what
he did to a 'When a Man Loves a Woman.'"
Then the middle-aged white guys went home to their rap
music fan kids.
-Brian in Atlanta
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