Sunday, June 14, 2015

Biz Markie & Big Daddy Kane Present: Rhymin' Paul Simon's "Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard" (Warner Bros. 1988)

"Ladies and gentlemen, check this out... a spectacular event in rhymin'. It might seem insane, but the Big Daddy Kane is rockin' in the house with Paul Simon... and my man Biz Mark down in the park. Even Spud Webb plays a cool part... in the video, "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard,'" Big Daddy Kane effortlessly raps over a stuttering beat provided by human-beatbox, Biz Markie. While it may seem like a fairly odd pairing at first, Simon, Kane, and Biz were actually all label-mates at Warner Bros. Records at the time of "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard"'s 1988 Negotiations and Love Songs re-release. Not entirely unlike Simon's Lorne Michaels-concieved "You Can Call Me Al," which co-starred then SNL cast member Chevy Chase just two years earlier, "Julio" boasts a staggering amount of star-power, in its own right: hit-making rappers Big Daddy Kane & Biz Markie, former NBA point guard Spud Webb, baseball legend Mickey Mantle, football persona John Madden, and Main Source rapper-producer Large Professor all make cameo appearances throughout the 1980's B-boy-reminiscent schoolyard-shot clip.

It's really a great 1970's Paul Simon Folk-Rock composition, accented by South American instrumentation (Brazil's cuica, in this case) although, I have to admit, the first 25 seconds of "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard" have to easily be the most groovy... err, blatantly Hip-Hop-indebted moments of "Rhymin' Simon"'s still on-going 50-year career. Despite the fact that the Kush Groove-evocative flame-accented graffiti, over-sized speakerbox, and apparent abundance of athletically-inclined urban youth seem a little bit misplaced, "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard" really is a wholesome music video treatment; befitting Paul Simon's whole hard-working singer-songwriter image. This will be my last freshly-written post in a good while, my trusty readers; as my beautiful girlfriend and I are headed off to Poland for about two weeks for her cousin's wedding and some overseas sight-seeing!!! But if you're staying within the Bridgeton-Vineland area, Paul Simon's long-time Simon & Garfunkel vocal partner, Art Garfunkel will be playing a one-night only concert at Millville, NJ's own Levoy Theatre this upcoming Thursday, June 25th.

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