December 9, 2005
PREPARE FOR IMPACTTom Green makes an impact
By MARK DANIELL -- For JAM! Music
Prepare For Impact
There's something inherently funny when actors start thinking they can sing (Bruce Willis' version of "Respect Yourself," or Eddie Murphy's "Love Moans" come to mind). So the arrival of comedian Tom Green's debut rap CD, "Prepare For Impact," will no doubt have music journalists sharpening their pencils. If singing box-office stars are ripe for slings, imagine what barbs can fly when a comic from Ottawa starts thinking he can rap.
But a few bars into the opening track, "Write Rhymes And Act Like An A**Hole," music scribes and listeners alike will hear that Green's foray into the world of hip-hop is a lot more Eminem than it is Weird Al Yankovic.
Joined by Dust Brother Mike Simpson (a.k.a. EZ-Mike), who produced the Beastie Boys' seminal "Paul's Boutique," Green's rhyming style, though admittedly not his first (he was part of early Nineties rap act Organized Rhyme), couples the slow-stroll beats made famous by acts like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul with clever lines that recall white hip-hop champion Eminem and his equally crass side project, D12.
Running at a brisk 39 minutes, "Prepare For Impact" is 13 songs covering everything you'd expect from a shock comic who blazed his way to fame, first as the star of MTV's "The Tom Green Show," and then as the husband of Drew Barrymore.
He waxes lyrical about where he lives ("I went to the drugstore/ There was Kevin Bacon/ But everybody's got six degrees of Kevin Bacon," he raps over one of EZ-Mike's lolling beats on "People In My Neighbourhood); his likes ("I like looking at boobies/ I like porno movies/ I like meeting girls all around the world," he smacks on the percussive, "I Like Hooters"); and his dislikes ("I like to drink and I like to smoke/ My teachers suck because they're all a joke," he adds to the tongue in cheek, "Teachers Suck"). He also pauses to give listeners some advice ("Don't mess with a man right after he takes a big poo poo," he reminds on the Motown-like "Don't Mess With A Man"). And if you think this is all some kind of joke, Green offers up the curt missive, "I'm No Comedian" ("For those of you who think this is a comedy record/ Check it/ I'm no comedian/ I'm a fiend for nicotine, but I don't need a cigarette/ Know what I mean," he intones over a Stax-sounding blend of guitar and drum.
Sure the lines are fun and the beats safe, yet in spite of its vulgarity and decidedly old-school flavour, Green and Simpson have crafted one of the most engaging rap albums of the year. Managing to be one part Marshall Mathers, another part Bizarre (Eminem's D12-mate, whose vulgar, "Hannicap Circus" came out earlier this year), while tipping its hat to the Beastie Boys (the "So What'cha Want"-ish "Mike Check" is an obvious pick) and Cypress Hill (one listen to "Write Rhymes And Act Like An A**hole" will have you scrambling to locate your by-now lost cassette copy of Cypress Hill's 1993 album "Black Sunday"), "Prepare For Impact" keeps it real, by letting Green approach music the same way he's tackled comedy: to entertain and give people an excuse to have fun.
1. Write Rhymes And Act Like An A**hole