I know I’ll be writing a regular edition of this feature on Monday, but I couldn’t resist. No, Stiltz and Serious C, the Young Cons, are not the hottest new rap group with a variant of “young” in their name since Young Jeezy or Yung Joc. They do have a rap video out, though. I figured I’d tackle this pitiful attempt at hip-hop conservatism since I enjoy constructing discourses on the issue and because part of the writers on this site care about conservatism.
I certainly don’t know who these fellows are, but I believe they have more of a future at the Heritage Foundation than in the rap game. I am hesitant even to place the Anthem’s beat into a genre, because its sweeping scale yet minimal scope confine it within a genre of introductory tracks to mix-tapes not seen since 1999. If I had to date it, I would say turn-of-the-century Mannie Fresh vintage with a bit of Scott Storch flair. From a technical perspective, too, their rhymes are lazy, sloppy, and poorly doubled to render a richer sound. Since the two recorded in a bathroom, however, it cancels out the exaggerated effect that hip-hop has pioneered. The pair’s delivery is off, rhythm is horrid, and at best they rise to a level of pedestrian rap only rivaled by “Do da Stanky Legg.” I think the best moment is when the tall gentleman, Stiltz, raps about being a tall gentleman.
Artistic concerns aside, these two are ideological dilettanti. It is quite clear they are being ironical—the blazers give that away. They are denigrating rap instead of trying to use it as a means to communicate with youth. The video attempts to present tired planks of the GOP platform as attractive to young people, letting us know that Republicans can joke around, too. Yet their serious raps about abortion, the “blood of the troops,” and supporting torture are out of place in an otherwise whimsical medium. Also, they repeat “socialism” like a rapper might interject an epithet. Kind of like if Mark Levin wrote a rap and Rush Limbaugh composed the beat.
Something could have saved this (apparent) joke. Better verses and a sense of humor would have helped. In its current state the video represents the contemporary Republican party as a whole: tired, uncreative, and dizzyingly repugnant. Play them off, keyboard cat!
-Michael E. van Landingham