By Jessica Cassyle Carr
Thursday, Sept. 21, Burt’s Tiki Lounge (21-and-over); free: From Clarence Reid’s beginnings as a potty-mouthed child, to a ‘60s and ‘70s artist and producer of soul, to his current and most recognized status as Blowfly, the original purveyor of X-rated rhymes, the man seems to have been destined to have a perpetual, proverbial party in his pants.
You see, Blowfly’s specialty, much like that of Weird Al Yankovic (though BF did it first), is taking top 40 hits and reworking them. Unlike Weird Al, though, Blowfly has a special talent for twisting the hits into bizarrely crass and altogether more entertaining versions of the originals. For instance, in the song “I Believe My Dick Can Fly,” Blowfly makes fun of R. Kelly’s underage girl-related indiscretions using the shell of his ‘90s hit song “I Believe I Can Fly.” The next line is the ingenious “I believe my balls can testify.” Get the idea? Pure filth by way of parody.
So it’s no wonder that the man has worked with the likes of similarly minded smut masters 2 Live Crew. It’s also no wonder that like the aforementioned smut masters, Blowfly has been prosecuted for his parodies, particularly for turning former ASCAP President Stanly Adams’ jazz tune “What a Difference a Day Makes,” into “What a Difference a Lay Makes.” Furthermore, in some places, record stores have even been prosecuted for carrying his dirty work.
Indeed, the man seems to have a knack for offending people in power. For example, in “Blowfly for President,” he explains how if he were president, among things like painting the White House black, he’d “burn down MTV and Clear Channel Radio, and get KRS-ONE to teach these wack rappers how to flow.”
Once you begin to calculate everything here, you might realize that aside from being a blend of funk, rap and comedy which is fun as hell, whether he intends to or not, Blowfly, like 2 Live Crew, becomes an icon for freedom of speech issues and ongoing copyright debates. It’s a true culture jam. (Pun intended, yo.)
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