The things you learn from Twitter. I signed on to Twitter two weeks ago. (Because you’re supposed to now?) And so far it seems mostly like a way for me to write stuff in public which I will feel stupid about ten minutes after writing. I don’t really know whether to go the “Hey, read this important news article” route, or the “I like green Tabasco sauce better than red Tabasco sauce” route. (Judging from the importance of the information in this post so far, I should probably stick with Tabasco.) But you do learn interesting stuff from Twitter. It is, if nothing else, a very fast-flowing stream of information. Yesterday, I saw that I had gotten a new “follower.” (that word is so weird to me, as is so much about Twitter, but anyway…) His Twitter name is HITLAATLSCLA. His “real” name is Hitla’. He is from South Carolina, and he is associated with Bottom2thatop Entertainment LLC/AP Productions LLC/Corna’ Pocket Entertainment LLC. He is a rapper. And this is something I’ve been expecting for some time now.
Here is a song he made:
The part that I was expecting was that a rapper would name himself (or herself, it could have been a lady rapper, I suppose) after Adolf Hitler. Rap is an arena wherein controversy sells, and, as with punk rock before it, strenuous efforts to shock and offend are applauded and often rewarded. Rappers have been naming themselves controversial historical figures for a long time. There’s Tragedy Khadafi (who really should be rushing a new record to print this week) who is also known as the “Arab Nazi;” Capone and Noreaga; Nas “Escobar;” the producer Ayatollah, Wu-Tang Clan associates Cappadonna, who so-amazingly called himself “The Black Idi Amin” on his 1998 song “If It’s All Right With You” and Holocaust.
And Young Bleed’s Baton Rouge collective, the Concentration Camp (a shockingly bad name for a group — though it’s reminiscent to the great, if disturbing name of the phenomenally great post-punk band, Joy Division.)
I like some of the these artists very much, despite the fact that my grandparents, who were Holocaust survivors from Germany, probably would have very much not appreciated the names they chose for themselves. That makes me feel a little weird sometimes. But not so terribly. Art is art, and time moves on. Not that we should ever forget. We shouldn’t.
I interviewed Kool Keith once and he told me that he wanted to dress up like Hitler and spank a woman with a riding crop while having sex with her on stage. It made sense at the time. He was talking to me on the phone from Amsterdam, where he was performing in support of his 1997 album Sex Styles. Keith is a great provocateur.
Oh, and I had forgotten this, but Mel Brooks rapped as Hitler almost 30 years ago.
Oh, and here I see that the comedy troupe The Whitest Kids You Know did a similar spoof. (The things you learn from YouTube!)
And of course there’s this great mash-up from a couple years ago.
But anyway, I’ve been expecting for someone to actually come out rapping seriously under the name “Hitler.” Despite what we all know about Jews controlling the entertainment industry, it just seems like something somebody would think would work. (Maybe Mel Gibson will launch a record label?) And here I am, rewarding the tactic with publicity. So, there’s that. But Hitla’ is a terrible rap name, most of all for its lack of wit. You suspect there’s a bad pun being employed. (“Hitla’/I make hits like/Ben Stiller!”) That’s not an actual rhyme from the song. I just made it up. But judging from some of the other lyrics on “All Night,” you can imagine it might be written somewhere in the margins of his notebook.