Thursday, 27 April 2017

Meta Month: Catch-Up Part 3: Diamanda Hagan and the Rap Critic (2017)

Diamanda Hagan is honestly the person I have to thank for me doing this whole catch-up thing in the first place. Back in November, Hagan sent me this tweet:

Now, aside from the confusion that anyone would care this much about what I have, I did make me think about how consistent the output of some of these reviewers is. So, even though real-world bullshit has prevented me from going as in-depth as I would have liked this year, I have her to thank for getting me to do this. And sure enough, she has made quite a few notable additions herself over the past year.

First up, we have Saint Clara, one of the more fundamentally confusing films she’s covered. Knowing her usual subject matter, that should already set off some warning bells, but this was around the point that I realised what is probably Hagan’s greatest strength: In terms of straight-up humour, she’s probably one of the best working right now on YouTube. Case in point, her joke about a rather perplexing piece of set decoration; the delivery on this one is astounding in how well it hits the ears, but it’s by no means an outlier in this review full of top-notch quips.

Next up, it’s Never Too Young To Die. Highlighting the kind of 80’s-era naïve insanity that never ceases to bring laughter, the film also counts as the single weirdest Gene Simmons role ever put on screen. Yes, even more so than being married to Shannon Tweed. This is another one of those situations where, in the face of unabashed insanity, Hagan manages to match beat-for-brain-scrambling-beat; not being outshined by something like this is a difficult task, but that’s just how good she is.

And finally, we have a two-fer with Black Sheep and BMX Bandits. The reason I’m lumping these together is down to another unique selling points that I’ve found in Hagan’s work: She is one of the few big-ish YouTube critics who frequently tips her hat to us here in the Oceanic. Between her look at one of our more embarrassing productions with Bandits and a tip of the hat to more modern splatsticky with Black Sheep, it’s honestly kind of nice to see my neck of the woods get some recognition. Also, Black Sheep includes a namedrop for Chris Taylor, one of the members of Australian comedy group The Chaser. Who in the fuck else would make a reference like that?

Now for the Rap Critic and I’m going to start out with a review that may not be one of his best, but is definitely one of his more defining works. As much outing one’s self as a Christian is one of those things that shouldn’t be needed, much like ‘coming out’ in most uses of the term, his points about Christian versus secular music honestly make sense. That, and his ripping of NF’s frequently corny lyrics is as fun as always.

Then there’s his 2016 Worst Lyrics wrap-up. Honestly, while his picks are as well-suited as any of his other rundowns, this video mainly makes the cut because of his #1 pick: B.o.B’s memetic failure of a track known as Flatline. The reason why is because, with how hotly detested that song was when it first dropped, RC manages to bring a new perspective to his analysis. Mainly, through taking B.o.B to task for what he actually says in the song, rather than how his Twitter rants around it ended up colouring them for most people. It still sucks royal and makes out B.o.B to be all kinds of insane, but RC’s look into it brings out some pretty awful notions that I doubt anyone else was paying enough attention to notice.

Next up, we have an addendum to a video that made my Top 20 list. Back with Shaq Diesel, RC made a comment about the sheer lack of Christmas-themed rap songs. As this list proves, it seems that he couldn’t have been more wrong. Then again, with how mesmerizingly awful these are, maybe that was just out of mental repression. Also, #1 might be one of the most unprecedented songs ever conceived; even as somewhat of a compulsive hip-hop head, I never would have guessed that such an idea could even exist.

And finally, there’s his review of Aminé’s Caroline. While it honestly starts out a little corny with his initial introduction about anime, his look into the song eventually evolves into a discussion about celebrities, political ideals and what some people woefully call “virtue signalling”. To be perfectly frank, the way he explains why celebrities talking about political issues is not only a good thing but something that makes way too much sense is rather salient. Maybe it’s because of tired I’ve grown out of people trying to shame other people for talking about things that supposedly don’t concern them, but I find a lot of merit in his points here. Also, I’m not entirely sure why, but there’s something about the way he mixes sounds of someone typing into the end of the video that sounds rather appealing.

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