That joke isn’t funny anymore

I’m no great fan of hip-hop. Guns, bitches and bling become very wearing very quickly. Nonetheless, give me a bit of Dead Prez at their political best, the Roots (when they’re not being someones backing band) or NZ’s own Tommy Ill, with his booze-fueled witticisms, and I’m a happy sort of fellow.

And I rather liked Homebrew’s debut album. Tom Scott, the apparent creative driving force behind the group, cut a gleefully anarchic figure, both on stage and lyrically. David Farrar may have spluttered into his champagne as he witnessed Homebrew call John Key a c**t at the Vodafone Music Awards back in 2012, but their live performance was, frankly, the only interesting part of the night.

Saying something vaguely shocking, and awaiting the reaction, is one of those amusing pastimes one learns as a child. Then, one grows up. Unless one is Paul Henry or Jeremy Clarkson. So, calling Key a c**t at the Music Awards was one of those mildly amusing moments where, if you’re like me, you roll your eyes, chuckle, and say, “Oh, those young rappers! [for I’m still not sure whether hip-hop equals rap, or whether they’re completely different beasts] Whatever will they think of next?”

Since then, Tom Scott has, I learned today, left Homebrew and formed a new crew – @peace. And @peace have released a song called Kill the PM, which isn’t the most subtle song title to ever grace an album track listing. It contains the lyrics “ain’t join’ nothin’ so I’m gonna kill the prime minister” and “I been trying’ to get a job but they got none/so instead I got a sawn-off shotgun/and ‘pop’.”

Morrissey, back in the day, got his home raided by Police after he released a song called Margaret on the Guillotine, in which he wished that someone would carry out his dream of disposing of Margaret Thatcher (the preferred method being somewhat obvious from the song title). It wasn’t the Moz’s best work (although the acoustic guitar work in the coda still stands up quite nicely). Singing about having political figures killed is really just a little crass. There’s nothing witty about it. In fact, it’s a bit of a lyrical cop out really; the sort of nadir you sink to when you’ve run out of ways to lampoon a person’s beliefs and policy.

So, message to Tom Scott: Calling John Key a c**t had some mildly amusing shock value back in 2012; calling for his death in 2014 isn’t even remotely witty. To quote Morrissey completely out of context, “That joke isn’t funny anymore”.


Just the song for yourself here.


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