I’ve got a special treat for you this evening.
Every now and again I lurk in the comment section of TSS and check out what people are talking about, even when I’m taking excessive, extended, unnecessary breaks from writing. And every now and again there is a conversation among those of us who are increasingly challenged in the youth department that sparks a comment from the younger sect along the lines of “Man, ya’ll sound old as hell talking about being in high school in the ’90s.”
Not to dig the divots of crows-feet any deeper, but folks who didn’t grow up with Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate performing as a living testament to the strength of Soul Glo really missed out. No one was touching Eddie Murphy in the ’80s or ’90s. Dave Chappelle is the closest a 21st century whippersnapper came to witnessing unflappable breakthrough comedy, but Chappelle never put a performance together on the big screen that rivaled Beverly Hills Cop or Trading Places, nor did he put out the sheer quantity that Eddie did. Will Farrell is racking them up, but he never played several distinct characters in his movies as Eddie did in Nutty Professor, Bowfinger or, most importantly, in Coming To America.
And as if his litany of movies and sustainability aren’t enough to demonstrate that he’s the greatest, Eddie Murphy put his stamp on one of my favorite Hip-Hop tracks of all time, Jaylib’s “McNasty Filth.” If it weren’t for Eddie’s “Raw” stand-up, we wouldn’t have Dilla rapping “filth flarn, flarn filth” over the hi-hat off-beat.
I believe the children are our future, but I also believe that if it weren’t for the longevity and supremacy of talents like Eddie Murphy, modern comedy — and dare I say Hip-Hop culture — would look quite a bit different. So I don’t mind that I sound old when I talk about coming of age in the ’80s and ’90s, because there sure was a heavy foundation being laid for what’s cool today, and because you can’t take away my dignity c/o Randy Watson.