Tag Archives: MTV
Twenty years ago, I drew the first batch of Bands I Useta Like strips.
Twenty years ago.
If you’re still reminiscing about a high school field trip almost 30 years after your permission slip was signed, it was probably a pretty sweet field trip.
My Sociology class got to go to Rahway State Prison, circa 1989. It was so awesome, I went again the next year, when I wasn’t even in the proper class.
In the late 1990s, the grittiest show on cable television was Oz; HBO’s first one-hour drama. Continue reading
A time slot on a major cable network is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you couldn’t ask for a larger audience. On the other, you’re the property of the company store, and you bend to their whim.
For example, MTV aired Beavis & Butthead, but to pad out the episodes to sitcom-length, they inserted music videos with Mike Judge doing commentary in character. At the time, I could appreciate the necessity of this, being that ink-and-paint animation takes time to create. Still, it was obvious that the idea was cribbed from MST3K, and much of the music was unlistenable, or not worth the mockery.
MTV pulled the same jazz when they aired the extraordinary sock-puppet comedy The Sifl and Olly Show, from 1997 to 1999.
You can offend a rapper the same way you can offend a cartoonist; by implying that their career “looks easy”. Cartoonists must compete in the public eye with Internet doodlers who draw in their ample free time, and rappers have to battle the false impression that they’re just boopity-bopping over a beat loop.
Before hip-hop and rap were widely understood, they were exploited as “novelty” records; a passing trend, not something that would dominate and rend asunder every other type of fucking music on earth. Rap was not a “lifestyle”. It was a fad, like the hula hoop and the Twist. So, like many other musical fads before it, rap became a haven for bad comedy.
In 1997, electronica duo The Chemical Brothers released their second album, Dig Your Own Hole. It went on to be an extremely popular example of “big beat” music, and is included in numerous “Best Albums of All-Time” lists. I had a copy of the CD in my old car for so long the case turned into shardy shit.