Flashback Friday: Wild, Wild West

Late on the posting today. I hit the road early this morning and I haven’t really had much of a chance to stop since 5 a.m. Spent a large portion of the day driving, Sammy burning up the miles in high style as I burned my way through several of my favorite podcasts.

In between a couple episodes, however, I hit some of my favorite playlists. One is called “Old Skool Happy.” It’s filled with some of my favorite old school rap and go-go music. Fun, bouncy, and nothing like a lot of the negative, derogatory, misogynistic crap that passes as rap these days. No, these songs are from greats like Big Daddy Kane, Salt-n-Pepa, Eric B. and Rakim, MC Lyte, Biz Markie, Queen Latifah, EU, Junkyard Band, Grandmaster Flash, Heavy D, Whodini, Sugar Hill Gang, Sir Mix-a-Lot…Old Skool Happy.

Then there’s Kool Moe Dee’s “Wild, Wild West.” I don’t know why, but there’s something about this particular song that represents perfectly the part of my life in which these were the only artists that I listened to. It’s strange with a catchy beat, an easy-to-remember chorus, and a video that gives a whole new meaning to “Urban Cowboy.” I remember standing around with friends while waiting for our turn at kickball during PhysEd, rapping all the lyrics to this song over and over. A few years later, it would be the lyrics to “Tom’s Diner,” whispered during study hall. Such is the life of teendom.

It is with mixed pride and embarrassment that I admit now that I can still rap almost all the lyrics to this song. This and MC Lyte’s “Lyte As a Rock” are two songs that I can break out any time, any place. In fact, a spontaneous rendition of “Wild, Wild West” at the back of a martini bar in Chicago secured my nickname of “K-Dub” with my boss and coworkers. Before you ask, no, it wasn’t a karaoke bar. Who needs karaoke when you’ve got martinis?

Will Smith tried to ruin this song just like he tried to ruin the television series of the same name with that crapfest of a movie he and Kevin Kline made back in the 90s (for which Smith did a version of this song, sampling parts of the original). Thankfully, I successfully avoided ever spoiling my memories of the original by ever listening to the full version of Smith’s “remake.” I am a purist, dammit, and it’s either the original or nothing.

So, here for your listening and viewing pleasure, Kool Moe Dee’s “Wild, Wild West”…

And, because I’m in a particularly giving mood this evening, here is the video to MC Lyte’s “Lyte as a Rock.” Meh to the video, but I absolutely heart this song.