Monday, December 10th, 2012

AMNESTY 2012: Jawga Boyz – Get Out My Way

Every year, it’s Jukebox tradition to feature one track that deliberately games the Controversy Index (hover over the score!) And every year, one other track does it, unbidden…


Jonathan Bradley: Hick-hop’s earliest incarnation was both an enjoyable novelty and an intriguing recognition of the common cultural roots shared by country music and Southern rap. It also performed the commendable service of introducing Nashville to club beats and 808s. But “Get Out My Way” pushes so far into hip-hop — sonically, at least — with its ATL synths and Luda-biting hook that it begs to be judged as rap music. In which case, why bother with this when Yelawolf or Rittz will give you white boy country rap that isn’t marred by stilted narrative skills (the conversation with the cop) or a flow so simplistic it sounds parodic? Jawga Boyz aren’t without their charms, but they come so close to achieving the real thing that you wonder if their music only exists so that folks can listen to hip-hop without listening to music actual rap fans listen to. I mean, “Let’s Roll” even had Kid Rock on it; what are these guys offering other than cultural distance?

Edward Okulicz:Move Bitch” for people who actually own trucks. That’s a good thing.

Katherine St Asaph: A hack critic needed ammo for his thinkpiece about diffusing regional scenes, so he went down to Georgia and told a couple rural white sophomores who Lex Luger was. To his shock and glee, they already knew.

Patrick St. Michel: Celebrating big trucks via rapping isn’t a new development — Paper Route Gangstaz rhymed about cruising around inside a “Tahoe in the sky,” and Danny Brown loves mentioning them too. But Jawga Boyz sound really passionate about their jacked-up rides. The more I listen to the line about “hitting a mudhole a lot more deeper,” the more I believe there isn’t a hint of innuendo contained within. I really believe Jawga Boyz just love four wheelers, especially ones that have BumperNuts and afford enough room for the driver to eat a steak dinner.

Josh Langhoff: We need to entertain the possibility that Jawga Boyz are driving their regular-size truck through a preschool.

Michelle Myers: OK, full disclosure. My dad is a taxidermist and I grew up around camo and shotguns and dead deer corpses hanging in the backyard, puddles of blood on the floor of the garage. Pickup trucks were the only acceptable vehicle for a man to drive. Once I was old enough, I was allowed to go to the parties before opening weekend — doing shots of Crown Royal with three generations of men, dipping, eating ribs, listening to country music. I’ve actually watched several NASCAR races. So, despite the fact that I have a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts and I’ve never dated a guy who watches sports, I have a certain fondness for these kinds of men. They are real. The honesty of it all is charming, especially in little details: he eats steak while driving, his truck has won trophies, etc. However, I’m bothered by the fact that this is a rap video with a Confederate flag in it. That doesn’t sit well with me. And, most importantly, the rapping is lyrically workmanlike and clumsily delivered. The beat is amateur, even for YouTube raps — the “Hot Cheetos and Takis” kids got a better instrumental. Struggle rap by working class white guys is still struggle rap.

Iain Mew: I haven’t ever ridden high up on a truck, but the airy synths over snapping beats do a good job of painting a picture of what it might be like. Some of the lyrical details and images are enjoyable too, like the steak dinner, but they don’t follow through on that joy past the novelty of the scenario.

Brad Shoup: Knifes its own Super Swampers by going light on the specifics. It’s no “Air Force Ones” (as an ode to consumption) or “They Don’t Know” (as a regional map), put it that way. The bit about the steak dinner is OK, and I loved the detail about fishing out the truck — more of that would have been excellent. If they’re trying to depict the come up, great; that’s the only way I can excuse a mix of hollow vocals and deflating drums.

Jer Fairall: Hick-hop may have a future for all I know, even if only as an entry in one of The A.V. Club’s inventories of pop culture ephemera (Genres That Time Forgot?), but when your flow, phrasing, Casio presets and punchlines all invite un-favourable comparisons to The Lonely Island, you’re gonna be outta here quicker than a third-rate Internet meme. 

Kat Stevens: I liked “White and Nerdy” way better.

Will Adams: In it mostly for the chorus, but I wouldn’t mind if clips of the music video replaced all of Ford’s and GM’s Super Bowl ads come February.

Ian Mathers: I was going to just be all “is this the punchline to a ‘see, white people rap like THIS’ joke?” but… Confederate flag in the window? “I’ll run you over, boy”? The only black guy in the video pulls a gun and runs off with the white guy’s money? Fuck. That.

Jonathan Bogart: I’m not sure which was worse — the prospect of each member of the crew getting a verse, or the fact that it was all the one dude. Who, by the way, sounds like Eminem’s parody of a clueless white dipshit, only with worse flow.

Anthony Easton: I am not sure I love this as much as I love how rhetorically excessive country-styled hick-hop has become in the last few years. With its layers of the aggressive and the ludicrous, this might as well be camp, and is all the more delightful for it. 

Zach Lyon: “Jawga”? Of all the ways they could try to write “Georgia” with a Southern inflection, they go with the one that sounds like “Jawga”? Anyway, this is a reprehensible song about a truck, but it just doesn’t annoy me in the right way. Not the way I’d be annoyed if I had to share a road with that expensive Attack Pack.

Alfred Soto: Seriously, there’s no angle to consider: it’s a second-rate hip hop track about a monster truck.

One Response to “AMNESTY 2012: Jawga Boyz – Get Out My Way”

  1. This isn’t too controversial, sadly (I don’t even count it on the running list if it doesn’t break 2). But it wins controversy points in my heart.