It’s pretty clear that when we look back at rap history, one of the most thoroughly entertaining sub-genres is “rock out rap.” We’re usually treated to white people doing mortifying impersonations of black people for commercial gain. If you can listen to Iggy Azalea’s “who dat’s” without cringing, you should probably be locked up in an outback penal colony with only a rapping dingo for company. But when black people do their awkward impersonations of white rock culture, it’s invariably good for casual amusement, if not screeching guitar solos that leave your ears singed.
The rich history dates back to “Walk This Way,” when Run DMC resurrected the careers of the most famous band to ever play Moe’s Tavern. Of late, we’ve had the Shop Boyz (The Bill & Ted of rock out rap), Lil Wayne’s Rebirth (The Plan 9 from Outer Space of rock out rap) and Death Grips (whose brief run found them trying to out Warhol Warhol — and by Andy Warhol I obviously mean Jay Z). And who can forget Xzibit’s timeless stoned white boy impression on “Shroomz?”
The latest in line is Orlando’s Woop, who uses the white boys rocking out trope not for sound, but for a hook. Half this video looks like it could’ve been shot in the bottom of Baton Rouge. This means blunts, semi-automatics, and dilapidated bandos where bad bitches smoke out of hookahs (soon: my thinkpiece on the wasteful nature of hookah as avatar of conspicuous consumption). The other half of the video is Woop backed by a rock band comprised of guys who look like the last rock album they heard was P.O.D. It is Orlando after all. The biggest bands to ever emerge from the city were boy bands, who emerged fully formed out of Shamu’s head, fully formed and armed with frosted tips.
Woop might be the brightest talent to emerge from Central Florida since Aaron Affalo (who we all remain jealous of). He’s become a regional star within Florida for his sad stick-up robot music, which will inevitably remind you of Future, Young Thug, and Kevin Gates. He likes hookah and molly and rocking out, which makes a ripe for chillest bro in the vicinity of Harry Potter World (save for the guns brandished ever 3 seconds). My favorite part of the song might be when he acknowledges that he doesn’t know what he’s saying. But that’s the point. All that matters for Woop is rocking out. So head-bang, flip up the devil horns, and book Woop a tour with David Lee Roth.