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Behind the Music That Sucks: Hip Hop Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 January 2004

Heavy Presents: Behind the Music That Sucks

Redline Entertainment
MPAA rating: Not Rated
release year: 2003
film rating: Two Stars
sound/picture: One Star
reviewed by: Paul Lingas

Heavy.com presents us with a sometimes very funny parody of VH1’s Behind the Music series with this look at hip-hop. Each segment is around five minutes in length and gives a made-up and unceremoniously scathing portrayal of each artist. The artists parodied on this edition are Puff Daddy, Dr. Dre, Will Smith, Eminem, Tupac, LL Cool J, Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit and Insane Clown Posse. The animation is very simplistic and essentially is comprised of a single photographed cut-out of each celebrity’s head stuck onto a poorly animated body.

In the case of Dr. Dre, his head is stuck onto Charlie Brown’s body and the entire segment takes place in a crude recreation of the Peanuts world (Snoop Dogg of course has his head morphed onto Snoopy’s beagle body). Puff Daddy is shown to be a crack- and money-loving thug, Will Smith is likened to Forrest Gump and Kid Rock gets blown off into space where he lands on the Planet of the Apes. At his trial, he tries to prove to Dr. Zaius that he is indeed the missing link, but the simian jury finds that he is too stupid for this to be the case. Kid Rock spends a lot of time flipping everyone off and getting pounded on the head.

Needless to say, this is a highly irreverent look at these artists, and the people at Heavy.com try as hard as they can to make each of the performers seem as ridiculous as possible. Whether it be suggesting that Eminem has essentially bought the love of his daughter and neglected her mother, or showing the transformation of New Kids On the Block into Insane Clown Posse, these spoofs capture all of the seriousness that makes “Behind the Music” such a popular program and twists it into something very amusing. Thankfully, each one of the segments is very short, preserving the novelty of the approach for each segment and sparing us when the segments simply aren’t funny.

The entire DVD program is only 50 minutes long, and because there are no extra features, this is a straightforward attempt to get these short, animated parodies out to the public in an easily accessible form. The animation itself is poor at best, done in a sort of inside-the-garage, “South Park” style. The voice impersonations are never close to the actual sounds of the people being parodied, but that isn’t the point. The goal, which is to ridicule these musicians’ lives and music, is attained. Each segment ends with some variation on the following sentence, “And so [fill in the artist] proved once again just why he will always suck a**.” The narration is done very close to the vest, which is part of what makes it sound like Behind the Music. The seriousness of the narration juxtaposed with the sheer ridiculousness of what is being said is largely why some of these parodies are so successful.

The only sort of bonus clip is a short animated episode of “Munchyman and Fatty,” which shows us the pot smoking-adventures of two young men in the inner city. There isn’t much of a plot, but there are some amusing moments and the animation style harkens back to the Fat Albert cartoons.

In the end, this is a somewhat amusing collection of profane and obnoxious slams against hip-hop artists, though some are much better than others. Those who don’t like these people will get a kick out of the spoof segments but little more, and as for fans of these artists, I think they might enjoy them just a little bit, too.

more details
sound format:
aspect ratio(s):
1.33:1 (Full-Screen)
special features: “Muchyman and Fatty” cartoon
comments: email us here...
reference system
DVD player: Panasonic DVD-XP50
receiver: Denon AVR-3802
main speakers: Polk RT 600i
center speaker: Polk CS 400i
rear speakers: Polk S4
monitor: 43” Sony KP-43HT20

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