Of course, it stopped being hip a few weeks back....
OF COURSE, IT STOPPED BEING HIP A few weeks back. Ever since the bloke who shouts at the pigeons in the park started wearing an ‘Oh My God! They Killed Kenny!’ T-shirt, [I][a]South Park[/a][/I] has been spiralling towards the bin marked ‘Yesterday’s Cult’. Thus, in the spirit of Christmas and in the wake of their [I]BASEketball[/I] arse-up, there is but one thing for creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone to do – flog the shit out of the fucker. Thus High Street meltdown, thus pigeon fella and thus this steaming great pile of half-baked shite.
Fact: [I][a]South Park[/a][/I] isn’t bad. A bunch of moon-faced little bastards who show that America’s inner child is a psychotic bigot with Tourette’s Syndrome, it’s a scream in all senses of the word. Another fact: the [I][a]South Park[/a][/I] album [I]is[/I] bad. Based around a benefit concert to raise funds for Chef (Isaac Hayes) after a court decision goes against him, the idea is sound enough – Chef introduces band, band play song, audience cheer band, repeat to fade. Unfortunately, it’s only a sound idea if the bands are half-decent and there are some jokes in it. They’re not and there aren’t.
Taking the festival angle way too literally, ‘Chef Aid…’ is crammed with Lollapalooza also-rans. Primus, Rancid, Devo, Ween, Joe Strummer, plus, on the rap-rock (shudder) ‘Hot Lava‘, a risible Perry Farrell, all scrape together some musical loose change. Meanwhile Messrs Hip-Hop and Funk also dig deep. Master P crowbars Curtis Mayfield‘s seminal ‘Freddie’s Dead’ into (wait for it…) ‘Kenny’s Dead’ (…ha!), Puff Daddy self-plagiarises that Led Zep rubbish he did a while back and Chef himself slurps away about love gravy and “two hummingbirds doing it doggy-style all night long”. Um, ‘sweet’.
Fair play, it’s not all bad. Ol’ Dirty Bastard has a bit of a swear over The Crystal Method‘s squelchy beats, the Chef tracks remind you why you watched the thing in the first place and Cartman gets funky with Wyclef Jean but, honestly, that’s yer lot. Maybe if the Brit contingent hadn’t pulled out (Blur, the Spice Girls, the Chems and the Prodigy were all slated to appear), ‘Chef Aid…’ could’ve stood a chance. Instead, the best thing about this whole sorry episode is the chance to stick Cartman singing the piquant ‘Bitch Song’ on a compilation tape for a mate. And that’s not funny.