In 2007, a rap group burst onto the scene under the name Shop Boyz. Their song “Party Like a Rockstar” took over colleges and bars nationwide, finding its way onto the soundtrack for NBA Live ’08 and peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (behind Rihanna and Jay-Z’s “Umbrella”). The Shop Boyz were poised to take over rap for the remainder of the decade, but their reign unfortunately fizzled out before it could grow any larger. However, in their short period of dominance, the Shop Boyz had not only provided a newish twist on rap – utilizing guitar riffs and name-dropping various rockers – they also reached an audience far beyond that with the following verse:
“White biches wanna marry me
They see me they just might panic –
My ice make ’em go down quick
Like the Titanic!
Yeah I’m with the Shop Boyz
You know what we do
I’m surfin’ screamin’ Cowabunga
Thought you had rap figured out, huh? Wrong. In fifteen seconds the Shop Boyz made us aware that they 1) are taking over the entire population of white women, 2) are destroying stereotypes by surfing and using bleach-blonde white-dude surfer slang and 3) are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aficionados.
Point No. 3 is by far the most important takeaway here. Can you re-read the last two lines in the voices of Leonardo or Raphael and have it make just as much sense? Definitely. Can you remember those words entering your life through the mouth of Donatello or Michelangelo? Of course you can. Are you now considering finding more Shop Boyz music to see if there are allusions to Splinter, April O’Neil, or Bebop and Rocksteady? If not, you should be.