Track Review — Wallpaper “#STUPiDFACEDD”
Funny story: So I have these friends from college. End of story. Just kidding. But seriously, my last name is Frederick. And there was this girl they knew named Lauren Frederic (I know, her family misspelled it) who also went to UC Davis. And yet, despite a large group of mutual friends, I never actually met Ms. Frederic — the girl from college with the same last name.
Funny feeling: I won’t lie, I browse P4k everyday. Even on the weekends when they almost never update their content unless a band dissolves or someone dies. Without a tragedy to grab my attention, I starting looking through The Playlist and found a review for Das Racists’ song “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.” Except the song had been remixed by someone named Wallpaper, a name — I thought on some unconscious level — I might have come across somewhere else. The song is little more than the title repeated as call-and-answer by Das Racists’ two MCs Himanshu Suri (aka Heems) and Victor Vazquez (aka Kool A.D.):
“I’m at the Pizza Hut (What?)
I’m at the Taco Bell (What?)
I’m at the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell”
It’s kind of hilarious, kind of repetitive in the worst sense. As Pitchfork noted in their original review, the song lends itself to intense, divisive reactions. Either instant love or deep hatred; there’s no in-between. Which is itself a testament to the song’s uncompromising repetitiveness. If you didn’t like it the first time, you’re not going to change your mind fifteen reiterations later.
Wallpaper, compared to the original however, really did sway some listeners. A distorted guitar riff and a blaring saxophone intro gave the song a lower-end (and momentum) it lacked in its first conception. So that even though Das Racist kept saying the same shit over and over, the listener wasn’t subjected to a similar routine musically; the saxophone, the beat, the guitar riff — each take their turn guiding the song.
Funny Revelation: In the summer of 2010, I visited some of those aforementioned college friends in Washington DC after graduation. Being my junk food friends (as in the only friends I had who ate junk food — not that I consider them disgusting and disposable) I thought, hey, they’ll appreciate this weird song about Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
And they did. Except that when I mentioned the fact that the song was remixed by Wallpaper, I got a funny look from Ross.
Ross: “Oh, Wallpaper? You remember that girl, Lauren Frederic, from college?”
Me: “I remember the name, obviously.”
Ross: “Wallpaper is her brother, Eric Frederic.”
Funny Song: After remarking about how insanely small the world can be at times and countless other cliches about degrees and separation, I didn’t think about the song or Wallpaper much thereafter.
Until last week when a friend, giggling with anticipation, put “#STUPiDFACEDD” (Wallpaper’s newest song) on the stereo at our house. The song is all self-conscious white-boy rap about four loko, farmers markets, college dorms, and so on. It could easily be the official song for Stuff White People Like — the song parading around musically as some kind of radio-ready rap banger (minority friendly) while Frederic raps about white drinking culture in a style mimicking actual radio hits to an extent (his flow and voice, although deeper, tends to sound more like Andy Samberg — his closest contemporary — than Flo Rida).
A lot of the lines are better than The Lonely Islands. As, for one, when Frederic raps that he “can’t rap good / don’t matter” or when he describes his method for bringing home girls:
“Face-down in the blood-stained carpet
Get chicks at the farmers market
White girls buy produce
Take ‘em home make ‘em drink grey goose.”
It’s a funny, catchy song about white people — which is presumably exactly what Frederic was going for when he wrote it. By virtue of our near familial relationship, it doesn’t seem unfair to say that Frederic, although not black, is one clever brother.