While we’re on the topic of rap music (see the last post) I wanted to bring a new track to everyone’s attention. It’s not who you might think – we’re not talking about the new Young Jeezy, here. This song, which was produced by the website Free Credit Report (dot com) features retired television host, Ed McMahon. Check out this pic from the music video:
The video features Ed McMahon wearing a tracksuit, being chauffeured around by scantily clad women in a Cadillac Escalade while rapping about his very public financial troubles. Some of his lyrics read as follows:
When I retired, I was famous, I had money and glory/I bought a house for 6 mil/I thought nothing could touch me/Until my credit went south, and debt started to crunch me/Next thing I know, instead of playing gin rummy, I was scrambling just to make ends meet/It wasn’t funny.
McMahon’s rap refers to his public foreclosure that resulted after he fell $644,000 behind the mortgage payments of his Beverly Hills home. Last month, he agreed to a deal with a private buyer. He said he hopes his rap will inspire viewers to learn from his mistakes and become more aware about their finances. The verse continues:
“Got a bump from the media chumps, but that was temporary/Wife with bad credit was scary, so I got wise/I may have fallen, but I got back up/Now I’m back on the attack, like a ninja swinging nunchucks/I told the haters, ‘Go on, take a hike’/It’s my show now, and I can do what I like.”
Who knew that Ed McMahon, the 85-year-old former host of Star Search, the face of the American Family Publishing sweepstakes and a part-time Tonight Show co-host would take up rapping in his retirement? When I first heard about the video I honestly amused, but also a little offended. This video is one of the many examples of the ways in which a Hip-Hop cultural image can be used and manipulated for corporate profit. Unfortunately, these caricatures are often to the detriment of the greater Hip-Hop movement – reducing the culture to a modern day minstrel show, with all the trimmings of your favorite rap video.