Friday, January 30, 2009

Jheri Curls And Keyboards And Sunglasses! Oh, My!


When I entered high school in 1984, pep rallies were hours-long affairs that, depending on the game, might include a miniature talent show as part of the festivities. It's a subject for another blog, but I grew up in a "Friday Night Lights" kind of town that took high school football very seriously.

Anyway, I went to school with a guy who, typical of the time, took on a persona that was a confused hybrid of Michael Jackson, Prince and New Edition: Jheri curl, bow tie, sunglasses. We'll call him Dre. Dre fancied himself a performer in the tradition of, um, more famous Jheri-curled performers. At the homecoming talent show, Dre took the stage and treated rougly 1,500 students to what can only be described as the worst Prince tribute I have ever seen. To my knowledge, this feat has not been topped.

I hadn't thought of Dre for 20 years, but the above video took me right back to his musical debut. For the young folks, "Digital Display" was an R&B hit for the group Ready for the World, of "Oh, Sheila" fame. "Digital Display" is a laughable mishmash of synth keyboards and PG-13 come-ons, but it was pretty popular at the time. The duo in this performance clearly hired the same stylist that Dre and so many other young men did during that era, and the dance moves are eerily familiar: comical gyration and plenty of Michael Jackson-esque kick-spins. It must be watched from beginning to end to be properly appreciated.

Thanks to Crunk & Disorderly for sharing this with the world!

2 comments:

Zil said...

Um...ok. What is going on there? First, I'm not familiar with the original song, but is "digital display” a euphemism for something that I’m not familiar with? Or are they talking about watching porn? The imagery is confusing.

Also, I’m trying to figure out if these 2 gentlemen were lip-synching to their own performance of the song. Because, clearly they weren’t actually singing in the video…their lips didn’t match up. But, I can’t imagine that the original track was that off key and just bad. So, did they record themselves and then perform to the playback? And if that is the case…really? Does the end result justify that amount of effort? And now I have spent way too much time reflecting on this.

EDP said...

Zil, there is so much wrongness going on in that video. I wasn't even sure where to begin. I think they recorded themselves singing over the original track, with the vocals turned down. Yowza.