Make you go Gaga

The Queen of the Universe vs. some guy on a porch, PLUS the shows and DJ nights you need to get to this week, such as Rainmen, Snak the Ripper and Wu-Block (check the openers!).

Here’s a little anecdote about the first time I ever heard of our freshly self-proclaimed “queen of the universe,” Lady Gaga.

I was DJing an end-of-year function for a seasonal staff I was part of. Pretty basic stuff — maybe two or three rap classics more than your coolest cousin’s wedding music, with a more-than-fair ratio of stuff anyone capable of putting aside uber-hip musical sensibilities can party to. I mean, I wouldn’t show up at your office party with an Immortal Technique record (unless you work for the Department of Homeland Security).

Regardless, they soon approached me: that’s right, the two-drink-brave, white-girl army, Gaga division.

“Play ‘Jus’ Daahhhnzz’!!!” came the disgruntled battle-whine from this cocktail-dressed contingency of co-eds.

With James Brown gettin’ on up on the packed dance floor, and with Daft Punk cued up in my headphones, I had to ask them to repeat.

“Gaah gaaah…lahhhdeee…dahnz…gah…lah…”

I surmised they were requesting some new zombified Top 40 fodder.

“What’s it called?”

Their ringleader wasn’t havin’ another second of my ignorance.

“We want to hear ‘Just Dance’ by Lady Gaga,” she yelled angrily, “or we’re leaving! We can’t dance to this!”

I looked at her — someone who, up to that point, I had actually found pretty nice — and said, “You wanna just dance? Then just dance!”

“We can’t dance to this shit!”

“Yeah! Gah, blah, laaah, ugh!” her boozy allies all shouted in unison.

So I told them the simple truth.

“If you can’t just dance to James Brown, I’ve got news for you — you just can’t dance!”

No longer able to mask their well-founded suspicion that DJs all over the world consider them lame, they made good on their promise to leave. I’m pretty sure I was the only person who noticed, seeing how everyone else was busy having fun.

I was reminded of this display of arrogant self-satisfaction this week when I saw the video of this nameless stranger singing and rapping basically a million times better than anyone out there right now I can name off the top of my head. You’re really gonna have to click on that and see it yourself to follow along from here.

By the time I saw this over the weekend, it had been shared on Facebook well over 13,000 times in just over two weeks. I have watched it at least a dozen times myself, and my girlfriend and I have both had it perpetually stuck in our heads ever since (take that, “Call Me Maybe”!)

Now, let’s break it down a little. First, dude is rappin’ on a porch in an old T-shirt. Something tells me there’s no Murcielago parked anywhere off camera, possibly for hundreds of miles. Also worth noting is that he doesn’t even introduce himself, other than to smoothly open up by promising to be “your favorite rapper ever” by the end.

What plays as a kind of schizophrenic dialogue between himself, Satan, God and the listener initially looks like it might even just be kinda corny, but before long, this guy’s skills and joie-de-vivre in the face of his heroin-smuggling blues will win over any self-respecting rhyme connoisseur. And, for that matter, pretty much anyone else with a musical pulse.

For these reasons, the comment I read tracking the vid through various shares boggled my mind more than the average misspelt mockery typical to ‘net rap vids. I simply can’t get over the fact that there are still so many people in the world in this day and age of consumer choice judging the credibility of hip hop by its revenues.

“This loser don’t even have a record deal!” pointed out more than one genius. Thanks folks, but that’s actually in the title of the video.

“He couldn’t sell 100,000 on iTunes” and “Ain’t nobody buyin’ this shit!” all over the place.

Okay, fine — that could be entirely true. But we all just watched the same video, right? If you’re sitting there a little blown away, consider that someone at this same moment is comparing your new favourite rapper’s potential net worth to T.I. and his verbal acumen to Drake.

Those people are always showing up at the wrong party. They can’t get with James ’cause he ain’t charting like Gaga. They’re mad because somebody else does it different than they like. Don’t you wish the DJ would just force them to leave?

People who only wanna hear the sound money makes should stay home and shake their piggy banks.

Anyway, I just had to get that off my chest, and now I’m gonna go listen to dude spit on the porch some more. He’s didn’t call himself the king of anything, but for the moment, he manages to become my favourite rapper without so much as asking me for a dollar.

Appoint yourself king or queen of any of the following events this week:

Wednesday – If you’re free at five o’clock, so are the Rainmen, taking to the Cabaret Underworld stage for an early show at no cost to you.

Later at le Confessionnal in Old Montreal, Redefinition Wednesdays pays tribute to Primo with DJs Special K and Jericho and hosts Ceelo and Rodrigo.

FridayReal City on the Rise brings a third installment to Mica Lounge, with CL and Stratagems and a lengthy list of other local MCs.

Meanwhile, West Coast underground player Snak the Ripper makes the move from frequent tour opener to show headliner at Underworld, with local support from HMan, NYCE, Woodman and more.

Sunday – Okay, so it’s the 10th of the month, but get your lazy bones to Layzie Bone, one thug in harmony with himself for the first time ever in Montreal at back at Underworld, with locals Pay$o, 6oy6lue, UMR and more openin’ up.

Monday – Mark this evening on your calendar to show eternal love to an indigenous legend in his own time, taken from us too soon. Bring a candle to light for Bad News Brown from 8 p.m. at Clark and Ste-Catherine W., at the BNB commemorative mural.

Tuesday – It’s Sheekface Killah and Ghost Louch…wait, no…that’s Sheek Louch and Ghostface Killah, under the banner of Wu-Block, at Club Soda. I could take or leave D Block, but Ghost’s return to Montreal for a second visit in just over two years is a happening I’d love to see become a new trend. Last time was bonkers, so I expect no less with the support of fan fave Louch.

Local support comes from a few key players but long-time reppin’ city-wide MC/producer Daybi wants to welcome one lucky reader in style. His recently released Casual Forces showcases unreleased tracks and remixes from his catalogue.

“Most of my music is street stuff but this mixtape is laid back, more mellow,” Daybi says. He invites one lucky winner to the show and two runners up a copy of the latest Wu-Block CD, but you’re gonna have to tell him: what is the name of the bonus video in the mixtape download?

Forward answers to me and I will put winners in touch with Daybi. Enjoy the shows! ■

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