6John Cena - "An 'Impromptu' Freestyle Battle"
Behind The Music
We had always been under the impression that the lowest point in the current WWE champ's career was being placed in a storyline with, and defeated by, K-Fed. The highest point was of course when Cena grabbed the cornrowed fuckabout from the announcer's booth, pulled him into the ring and administered massive amounts of theatrical pain. Another possible high point was his film The Marine, which although awful, was at least known as the most effortlessly titled movie until this year's War came along. However, the high/low water-marks of the Cena era all have to be recalibrated in light of this battle rap with a child.
This clearly staged (but hopefully not actually rehearsed) freestyle battle begins with an irate WWE fan insulting Cena where it hurts-his not having a wife. You know it's an authentic street battle when a dude's dissed for choosing not to settle down and start a family. Of course this is the WWE, so it's pretty safe to assume that the planted battle rapper was only there to tee Cena up for a big win. Which makes it all the more embarrassing when Cena bombs.
With each passing rhyme, the crowd seems to grow more and more embarrassed for the champ. And it's not like he's rapping on stage at the Apollo; the audience is packed with 12 year old John Cena fans. Not exactly a tough audience. Also seemingly 12 years old-the kid who Cena angrily insults for two straight minutes, making the overall effect of the performance less "throw ya hands in the air" and more "hey man, why don't you ease up, he's just a kid." Or at least you would feel sorry for the kid if Cena weren't doing such an effective job embarrassing himself with gems like: "I'm real, you're phony/ My style's phat, like Siragusa (awkwardly long pause) Tony."
At 1:42 someone tells the kids, watching in stunned silence up to that point, to start cheering. Cena is so surprised by the noise that he loses his train of thought, and looks back at whomever told the crowd to make noise, apparently annoyed that they've broken his concentration.
5Leonard Nimoy - "The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins"
Behind The Music
Before he was Mr. Spock, the half-Vulcan was already a well-known actor in television, film and theater. Although he is obviously best known for his role on the original Star Trek series, Nimoy is a veritable Jack-of-all-trades, dabbling in nude photography, penning volumes of poetry, and releasing five popular records in the '60s and '70s. He also wrote two autobiographies, 1977's I Am Not Spock, and 1995's seemingly contradictory I Am Spock. Nimoy's publicist has also confirmed that 2008 will see the release of Nimoy's third autobiography, I Did Not Write a Ridiculous Song About Bilbo Baggins, followed by a fourth in 2009, Okay, Fine, I Did.
What can we say? It was a different era? A purer, simpler time? Pundits are always blathering about how exposure to television violence warps childrens' minds, but when it comes to the lasting effects of exposure to Leonard Nimoy eskimo-kissing some chick wearing a "Hobbits Unite!" button, they're conspicuously silent.
We're not sure which one is more damaging; can't we just have a little of both and call it even? We're talking to you, FOX.
At around 1:10, Mr. Spock sings about fighting goblins and battling trolls, which is visually represented by an extra hiding behind a rock and waving a branch while someone throws a man's shirt into the air. He must have run out of funding for this video pretty damn early.