Thursday, July 12, 2007

Zany zounds of zummer

Every country has its parodic tradition, but in France this often results in monster hit songs. In 2002 for instance, comedian Michaël Youn scored with the fictitious Bratisla Boys, a spoof of Eastern European boy bands, and their megahit "Stach Stach." Last year, he created the hugely popular Fatal Bazooka, which mostly parodies rap and ragga, shooting them down with the subtlety of the titular weapon. One of Fatal Bazooka's best tricks is to dismantle its targets' vulgarity and/or self-importance by transposing their tropes to different settings—the French Alps seem to be a favorite—and displaying decidedly normal bodies.

In "Trankillement," for instance, Young and his crew underscore the fatuity of American hip-hop videos, from their casual sexism to their gross materialism, by moving the action to a rural and small-town set, using small Euro cars instead of bloated SUVs, and backyard wet slides instead of MTV beach-house glittering pools. And all on a ten-euro budget, of course.

In "J'aime trop ton boule" (the previous single from Fatal's 2006 album, T'as vu?), Youn sends up ragga's hypermasculinity and its tortured relationship with homosexuality—as in, a lot of these dudes are completely repulsed by it but they spend all their time preening for other guys like peacocks on parade. Youn just takes that attitude to its logical conclusion. Stick with it: The video looks like standard t&a (well, almost standard—the Weird Al vibe is pretty strong!) for the first minute. Then TV personality Magloire enters as the lust interest, the jackhammer comes out and…yeah, it goes downhill again.

Catchy, uh? Now you can sing along!

MP3 Fatal Bazooka "J'aime trop ton boule" (from T'as vu?, 2006)
MP3 Fatal Bazooka "Trankillement" (from T'as vu?, 2006)

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