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November 09, 1989 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-09

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Page 8- The Michigan Daily -Thursday, November 9, 1989
End of the beginning

Rap on the go from

here on out

BY FORREST GREEN III Dope, NWA, Tone Loc, Kings of airplay, they went platinum.
Pressure, Special Ed, De La Soul Through this hyperactivity, or rather
W HEN some think about Rap, a and the D.O.C. all released first al- hyperconformism, NWA can be
few cliches come to mind, some of bums, as will the Digital Under- loosely defined as "super yuppies":
them even stereotypical: maybe ground and A Tribe Called Quest. societal villians, but yet respected
leather jackets and pistol,:,mAybe an And altbough Public Enemy has figures of fame and popularity.
obese beat box make percussive managedto capure massive popular- Meanwhikrapp0.p sar Eazy-E jets
sounds with his mouth The result-I the fkind imist pop acts woul Up the pop charts by boasting and
ing thought is that rap is k, bor- il for) NWA urr0 ty.have the lamorizing Back-oh-Black crime,
ing, and on the way Ot. . p ight - they are the big thing nd crossig over to a mostly white
The last upsur efw rap that rw, the dud, i you:will They are audience If W e "super yup-
generated real was the tly g their 15minutes. pies," then. RazyE can only be
class of '87: Public Enemy, Ice-T, At overtime. "super bourgeois." How's that for a
Eric B. and Rakim and Boogie Down De La Soul cracked the ideologi- fad?
Productions all had debut albums, cal st ru frapawided re-
and rap gangsters NWA released their lead what t rviewr w ldall And speaking of pop charts, the
first single, the "Dope Man/8-Ball the fst truly effeiiv "rap 13llad": rap pantheon seems to have split in
Junky" 12". Although three of these " yeK w," sam e an||taed| this regard as well. While groups
acts broke new ground with militant fro Steely o po r like Heavy D. and the Boyz and the
lyrical content and political com- of 'dye Krw :that besides being aforementioned get over by doing
mentary, the rap scene was in a bit a truly charng track, it compro- their own thing, another set raps al-
of a quagmire; loaded down with all mises neither the emotional value of most exclusively for the pop charts.
sorts of ten cent M.C. crews trying a ballad or the true personality of the For example, notice the frightening
to out-bass each other, and r ''i"neveia a rity between "Bust a Move"
fiercely competitive. Sami ie the id "I adVild Thing," both top-ten hits.
hadn't yet becomea natural craze, L e by Li. Jf nthe other hand, Teddy Riley,
and remixing was breaking new <j$:ice-T660 d. to fol ow tbit ing.of new Jack Swing, actually
ground, as some DJs decided to to- respective p 1ittcO ide lo us, wi does some good for rap by rescuing
tally scrap their original grooves and did $ earm: to :febal Kol Moe Dee from his own silli-
start anew, for example, BDP's "The maligned face of rap than a thousand n"essand using actual instruments
P is Free" or Run-DMC's "Jam "Tougher Than Leather" sequels, rather than exploiting the overused
Master Jammin." Rap had barely throvgh sheer 1so irresponsiilty sampling phenomenon.
touched the pop charts, and the a d' amorizaotvii e, ,is hard to pinpoint the cause,
Boy was still a force to be reckon ""h b gf
with Cres lie th FatBoysJ' A{) hr9~ ii iteretingpoit 78" has been a great year for rap.
with. Crews like the Fat Ba :sthe gn prhot Unlike the class of '87, competition
M.C. Shan, Kurtis Blow and h in / e 'ey itaUir had now seems to center on individual-
'87. sta a a . han4~ ~ns hisrzark, '89 it, of all things, while knowledge
87- i9-being hailed as the new fad. Even
The class of '89 is like a revolu- through their boldness and transgres- an X rating guarantees record sales
* ion in retrospect, breaking com- sions, NWA took over ground that now. And Run-DMC, one of the
pletely new ground in hip-hop and was never meant for them. Using genre's innovators, will release their
burying the concept of the gold- endless profanity, social rebellion, fifth LP, Pause, soon. As clich6d,
hain wearing B-boy deep under- recorded moments of death, and burned out, boring and extinct you
ground. This year, Three Times songs that could never hope to get might believe rap to be, you
couldn't be more wrong. The bound-
A 7 aries have been exploded into the dis-
4s tance, and the possibilities are end-
1 less. The end isn't approaching as
much as the beginning has elapsed.


Erik the Viking, with Tim Robbins as Erik (center), features a merry band of men on a quest to ask the Norse
gods to end the current age of brutality. If this should happen, Erik would lose most of its audience.
jErk the Viking panders to a
pri epubescent pbic


Erik the Viking is a movie that presents a paradox
common to a growing number of films. I like to call it
the Moviegoer's Dilemma: the moviegoer must be of a
certain age or older because of the movie's rating, but
the moviegoer must also be younger than that age in
order to appreciate the movie. For Erik the Viking, that
age is 13. To anyone older, the movie's humor and
adventure turn into stupidity and silliness.
Erik fulfills the paradox's first requirement right
from the start because of a few rape jokes. After a bit of
killing and looting, Erik fumbles an attempted rape and
is taunted by his potential victim: "You obviously
haven't raped anyone before in your life!" With the
rating part settled, the dilemma's second requirement is
fulfilled throughout the rest of the movie.
Terry Jones of Monty Python fame wrote and
directed this after-school special. Jones was obviously
influenced by Python alum Terry Gilliam's Adventures
of Baron von Munchausen, but he didn't seem to have
been influenced by Gilliam's wit and originality.
After deciding thatthere must be more to life than
plundering and pillaging, Erik and his hairy group of
friends set out on a quest to find the gods and ask them
to end the current age of brutality. Their voyage begins
with the Vikings quibbling about who sits where, like
kids jockeying for position before a long car ride. Get
it? They're suppose to be Vikings but they're acting
like kids!
Needless to say, this is the kind of comedic idea that
can be and is used throughout the movie. Along the

way, they battle a foul-breathed dragon, sail over the
Edge of the World and sink the utopian city of Hy-
Brasil. The movie's humor itself sinks to a lowpoint
when the words of the inept ruler of Hy-Brasil, played
by Terry Jones, turn to bubbles as he submerges with
his city while insisting that it could not possibly sink.
Jones is trying to recreate the stark-raving lunacy
that made Monty Python famous, but his humor lacks
Python's innovation and audacity. Comparisons
between this movie and Monty Python and the Holy
Grail are inevitable, but there's not a single scene in
Erik that is as funny as even the weakest scene in Holy
Grail. The only other Python member in the movie,
John Cleese, is wasted as the evil Halfdan the Black.
Cleese is funny when nonchalantly doling out be-
heading punishments, but he spends too much of his
time yelling at his minions and looking bored - which
he probably is.
The cast also includes Tim Robbins (Bull Durham)
as Erik who seems uncomfortably aware that he is not
helping his career with this role. Mickey Rooney
receives a major billing in the ads even though he's
only in the movie for a couple of minutes, and his
laughs are drawn from the fact that he has been reduced
to playing an obnoxious old Viking. Odin and the rest
of the gods are all portrayed as young boys, and it
seems appropriate that these pre-pubescents rule over
Erik's land. That's who seem to have been in charge of
making this movie.
ERIK THE VIKING closes tomorrow at Showcase
Cinemas and Briarwood.

the copy center




1220 S. University

Michigan Union

540 E. Liberty

-Pianist Kaszimierz Brozo-
zowski from Warsaw will play from
Chopin, Beethoven, and others today
in the Michigan Union Pendleton
Room at 12:15 p.m. as part of the
Music at Midday series.

Continued from page 7 starts tonight at the Trueblood The- The Daily
misunderstood and misjudged.... atre at 8 p.m. It runs through Nov.
This story will linger in the audi- 19, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 764-0552
ences' minds long after they leave nights at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
the theater." Tickets are $7.

More than an adventure.. .
- Learn able co unication skills.
- B your resume.
am $5.00 to $6.50 p r hour.
- Earn bonuses.
- Enjoy flexible evening h rs.
* Speak with University ni
it's a job.
\ Call: 998-7420
Stop by: 611 Church Stre



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