My initial reaction to Shut Up, Dude! was pretty much just one great big moment of WTF?! After some consideration though, and deciding whether it was a work of insane genius, or if fact just a load of old shit, I’ve decided that it’s probably a bit of both. From the outset this is an outrageous and ridiculous collection of hip-hop remixes and mashups, with everything from rap sequences about the glories of the MacBook (over, say, bitches, ho’s, guns and bling?), to a quite frankly fucking brilliant remix/mashup of Billy Joel’s Movin’ Out. Oh, and there’s a homage to fast food entitled The Combination Pizza Hut & Taco Bell. It sounds pretty much as you’d expect.
This is a record that is firmly taking the whatsit right out of West Coast hip-hop, a big ‘fuck you’ to the million dollar rap star. However, this is achieved with wit and charisma that puts Shut Up, Dude! in a category higher than a simple ‘comedy’ record. There’s subtlety in those rhymes – Rainbows In The Dark featuring the line “its, its…DR [Das Racist]!” being a reference to the seminal west coast hip-hop record Fuck Wit Dre Day by Dr. Dre, which has the line “mighty, mighty…DR [Death Row Records]!”
There’s a serious side, too. As well as the comedy factor, there’s an underlying social commentary to the album. I’ve given it a few listens so far and each time I find another line to make me both chuckle and sit up and think – “We tried to go to Amsterdam, they threw us in Guantanamo”. Even the name itself Das Racist/Shut Up, Dude! is political in nature. While this is of course no Billy Bragg-meets-Lupe Fiasco, it is well worth noting that it isn’t exactly Goldie Lookin’ Chain either.
Clever stuff then, and best of all it’s totally free. And there’s artwork by Aakash Nihalani, one of New York’s finest up and coming artists. However, what does concern me is the longevity of the album. Will I still want to listen to it after the gags have worn off after a few listens? While I do think there’s enough in there to justify it as a ‘real’ album, I can’t be 100% certain. I do hope so though and I’m pretty excited to hear anything else from this great emerging Brooklyn duo.
Shut Up, Dude! can be downloaded (legally) from here.