Viewpoints

Not a bad rap

Whether or not it’s a joke, Turquoise Jeep Records is good

Flynt Flossy is my favorite rapper. You might ask, “Why not Jay-Z or Kanye?” or perhaps, “Who in the world is Flynt Flossy?”

And in all honesty, I can’t actually tell you who Flynt Flossy is, beyond that he is a rapper represented by Turquoise Jeep Records. I’ll back up: Turquoise Jeep is not so much a music label as a movement. Its Facebook page says it was “created for the people,” and it is fueled by the music videos posted on YouTube.

Flynt Flossy is joined by Yung Humma, Pretty Raheem, Slick Mahoney, and Whatchyamacallit, but these artists are not so much individual musicians as they are part of the larger brand that is Turquoise Jeep. When the label finally released an album, they called it “Keep the Jeep Ridin,’” and they included music from all the artists involved. As an album, it’s hugely self-referential; the artists frequently guest on each other’s tracks, and most of the songs have some reference to Yung Humma’s hit, “Fried or Fertilized?” (As in, “how do you like your eggs?”).

The music is vulgar, hilarious, and undeniably catchy. The videos have low production values and quality dance moves. And the whole enterprise—with lyrics like “Go grab my belt: you need a spanking, baby,” and video footage of dolphins jumping over rainbows—begs the question: Are they for real? After all, when almost every song sexualizes breakfast food, it’s difficult to determine whether the record label is a serious endeavor with a truly special kind of earnestness or an elaborate joke.

The answer, as far as I can tell, is that yes, they are real. This answer doesn’t actually answer the question, but instead renders it obsolete. Their intentions as to how they want their music to be interpreted are unclear, and it’s impossible to go directly to the source to find out. After all, their identities as musicians are simply manifestations of the music they put out, and not the actual “birth certificate” identities of those involved. Flynt Flossy and company are Turquoise Jeep. If you Google their rapping names, you will find no legal names, no references to past lives, no success stories about busking in the streets or selling tickets to comedy shows in Times Square before being signed to the label. And if you go on the Jeep’s Facebook page, or look on their website, or even read one of the few interviews with one of the crew, you will find nothing to suggest that they are not entirely serious about their projects. They are pure entertainment, the method musicians of the Internet.

One of the funny things about liking something ironically is that it can lead to sincere affection, and oftentimes, irony is an excuse to like something you’d feel borderline guilty about liking sincerely—like Wal-Mart, or mustaches. In the same vein, you may start listening to the music of Turquoise Jeep because it’s hilarious—especially when coupled with the music videos (the “Fried or Fertilized” video takes itself so literally, the dance moves for the chorus show somebody miming handling a frying pan and then, well, fertilizing). But if you keep listening to them, maybe you’ll start thinking things like “This has a great beat,” “These lyrics are really clever,” “Oh wait…I don’t like this ironically anymore. I just like it.” And then you too will no longer care whether or not Turquoise Jeep Records is a joke label or a serious label, closer to Weird Al or Jay-Z. Because then it will be its own entity, something that is enjoyed uncategorically and unconditionally.

In the end, one thing is clear from Turquoise Jeep Records, and it’s that they genuinely enjoy what they’re doing. They take their absurdity, their satire, and their humor, their art very seriously. And when I say absurdity, satire, and humor, that’s my own interpretation of what it is that they could be doing. Turquoise Jeep doesn’t interpret their own art: they make it and then leave the interpretation up to us. They do whatever it is they do well, and that’s why Flynt Flossy is my favorite rapper, and I’m one of many fans who wants to Keep the Jeep Ridin’.

Alison Howard is a third-year in the College majoring in English.

 

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>