One of the funniest web videos I saw this year wasn't for the web, but a sketch by dynamic biracial post-Chappelle comics Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele:
Spoiler: It's a bunch of flamboyantly- named and coiffed black players topped off with a white BYU QB named Dan Smith. It's side-splitting to me. I love names. But the fact-checker in me must point out this:
While the correlation between having parents who would name you something painfully unique and having star athlete potential is strong as ever, rebelliously unusual names have lost all racial correlation. At least to someone who reads the news every day.
Check Butler star guard Rotnei Clarke.
Or aspiring murderer Blaec Lammers.
Or held-back freak-pop singer Neon Hitch. Yeah, that's her real name. I like her singles quite a bit, especially the hyperdriving 'Fuck U Betta', but audiences don't seem to. Not sure 'Beg, Borrow and Steal' is ever coming out.
My first exposure to Neon was in the best way possible - the kinky backwards vid for her 'No Hands' cover:
Non-rappers covering raps tend to make things as inauthentic as possible, to make it clear that they're just trying it on for size. Ha, ha, don't I look silly doing this? Don't worry, it's not me, it's just for fun. Not taking it seriously.
Like this bullshit. Appropriative. Corny. Disrespectful.
Neon's taking it seriously. 'No Hands' and 'Gucci Gucci' are songs that she gets comfortable in, reps for London on, and makes hers, with no intent to return them. If that album ends up in purgatory I'd love to see her get in the studio with someone a little deeper in hiphop than Benny Blanco. Tracks below: