KISS AMC – “A Bit Of U2”

UK pop-rap crossover from 1989 which goes straight for the obvious-bone and pastes great wodges of “New Year’s Day” into tumbling raps. Kiss AMC had family connections to Ruthless Rap Assassins and had been active for 2 years at least when this came out but it doesn’t sound that way, it sounds like they’d just discovered MCing and were still high on the glee of it.

“We like indie, pop, and bands with weird names!”

It’s bad, incompetent rapping by today’s standards – still a thousand degrees better than anything I could do, of course, but it sounds sloppy, it pushes itself into your head on energy not technique. It also made me realise how much I like bad rapping. Breathless rapping. A lot of UK MCs, particularly early on, seem to have rapped like this, their brain and ambition moving faster than their flow or tongue can manage. It sounds exciting to me, it feels rushy.

I was thinking about this reading an Anticon thread on ILM yesterday. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any Anticon but it struck me that there’s less love for my kind of ‘bad’ rap than I’d expect from people like me who grew up on indie ideals. There’s lots of appreciation of experimental/underground hip-hop but people don’t seem to have many good words for rawer, attitude-before-ability rapping. The reason I think it’s odd is that “A Bit Of U2” gives me the same kind of buzz as the Fire Engines, Orange Juice, Subway Sect, etc. – that shambolic DIY wire-walking energy. Crunk has a bit of that too – not the DIY thing, there is no secret line to be drawn between the Ying Yang Twins and the Desperate Bicycles, but the energy is there. The simple basic pleasure of hearing people shout a lot over beats is not to be denied.