Posted tagged ‘educational’

Hip Hop Harry is the Worst Rapper of the Decade

December 21, 2008

Hip Hop Harry is the worst rapper of the decade. Wait, wait, wait…. What do you mean you don’t know who Hip Hop Harry is? He’s the oversized educational character bringing it hardcore from the streets for the enlightenment and edification of the preschool infotainment audience, fool! Hip Hop Harry is a large, furry Barney-like puppet, decked out in baggy pants, titled cap, and a large gold medallion with an “H” emblazoned on its front. He uses hip hop to foster learning and creativity among kids, which isn’t such a bad goal. After all, education has always been a part of hip hop. Why, I remember when Master P released “Make Crack Like This.” In just a few short minutes, I was able to learn a new trade. Thanks, Master P! Hip Hop Harry has been kicking it preschool for about three years on educational television.

Yes, the educational goals of Hip Hop Harry are noble. As an educator, maybe he’s excellent, but as a rapper, he’s miserable. His rapping makes my dad’s “I said a hip hop skiddlewebop befrop” sound like Jay-Z. It’s really surprising that someone, somewhere, said “Yeah, that sounds enough like rap that the kids will love it!” If the person who did history’s first rap got hit in the head immediately after rapping, fell into a coma, woke up and tried to put back together the pieces of his past, including that first rap, that would be an approximation of what Hip Hop Harry sounds like when he raps on his show. Sadly, he looks exactly like he sounds. Hat to the side, big gold chain, and baggy clothes. A rapper is actually the very last thing he looks like! In fact, I bet Barney would even question Hip Hop Harry’s street cred. What’s even sadder is that there are kids who have to exist within the same camera shot as him. Hip Hop Harry is the probably the first rapper you’d be embarrassed to be pictured with.

That there are kids who have to sing and dance with Harry is the larger part of what makes him the worst rapper of the decade. There are plenty of rappers who are poor lyricists, lack rhythm, or just plain shouldn’t be rapping. Those rappers, however, don’t have Hip Hop Harry’s influence. Hip Hop Harry is teaching a classroom full of kids, by example, about rap and hip hop, and, sadly, that’s what they’re going to grow up thinking rap is! Can you imagine coming off the set of Hip Hop Harry and going to school the next day, rapping “Gulp, Gulp Water?” That’s gotta win you cool points.

The kids on the show are just a fraction of the other kids who are watching on television who are growing up watching Hip Hop Harry. This could herald a dark age for rap and hip hop. Using Hip Hop Harry as a launching point, the rappers of tomorrow all will sound like the insurance company salesmen, scientists, and other nonrappers releasing rap videos on the Internet today. Did you know that once upon a time, the technology required to build a dome disappeared from Western culture entirely. You wouldn’t think that a people could just forget how to make something, but it can happen! If Hip Hop Harry isn’t stopped, he might reduce the ability to rap down to his level for generations to come! Only through the discovery of ancient liner notes will people eventually rediscover what good rap once was. The elders will weep for joy but will fear the eventual demise of hip hop should they not be able to find “The One” who will restore hip hop to its former glory. But maybe I’m looking too far ahead. For the present, Hip Hop Harry is just the worst rapper of the decade–not hip hop’s Angel of Death.

Update– Apparently, Hip Hop Harry’s ghostwriter is 80’s/90’s rapper Def Jeff?