The Lonely Island Revitalizes Comedic Hip-Hop Genre

The Lonely Island Revitalizes Comedic Hip Hop Genre

Laura Drinan

The Lonely Island Revitalizes Comedic Hip Hop Genre


Watch out Gaga; Andy, Kiv, and Jorm are back! The Lonely Island produced their second album “Turtleneck & Chain” and released it May 10, 2011. Featuring artists such as Akon, Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna, the album’s special guests contribute to the legitimacy of the hip-hop aspect of the record, and they even add some comedy. Although these comedians are well known for their crude lyrics, the comedic value tips the scale in their favor. “Turtleneck & Chain” supports popular beats but adds their spice of humor to make them unique, while keeping the mood of their inspiration and original claim to fame, Saturday Night Live. While some would argue that these guys are moronic comedians rather than musicians, The Lonely Island has evolved into successful hip-hop parodists.

While the lyrics to their tracks are hardly appropriate for family dinner, The Lonely Island would be nothing without their trademark raunchiness. Currently number 1 in comedy and rap albums, plus number 3 overall on the Billboard 200, The Lonely Island is certainly welcomed back since their 2009 release of their first album “Incredibad.” This time, The Lonely Island brings back their signature look from high school, a turtleneck and chain.

The song, “Turtleneck & Chain,” brings back the fashion that Andy, Jorm, and Kiv lived by during their youth. The song is silly in the head of a real rapper, but the Lonely Island brings comedy first. The song has no real purpose due to the group’s sporadic, inane ways of creating the theme of a song. The boys say, “The fatter the puppy, get the fluffy, get the bigger turtleneck, the more gangster it is.” The lyric makes hardly any sense, but the visualization is strikingly humorous. The troupe is encouraging the picture of a gangster, menacing and ultimately tough, wearing a big fluffy turtleneck. The boys are very silly in this way, but that’s considered their trademark trait in their business.

Normally, when a person boasts about their attractiveness, it’s not only annoying, but it makes the person seem conceited and self-centered. However, the trio can somehow pull off bragging about their glamour in the song “Attracted to Us.” The Lonely Island teamed up with Beck to produce a great beat, even if it is only two minutes long. They name every race and stereotype, claiming they are attracted to them, but still, they ask the question, “Where are the introspective types?” Could The Lonely Island have possibly written their first love song? No way. They blatantly shut down all of the girls by telling them, “You’re never gonna get it, ‘cause we’re sweet and shy.” A disappointment for the fan girls? Yes. However, after the story told in the song “Rocky,” it’s made clear that the girls will not be attracted to them.

Elle Driver versus The Bride, Anakin versus Obi Wan, Neo versus Agent Smith. Did they suffer “twenty-two consecutive suck punches right”? Were they able to say “he tore off my arms and beat me with ‘em”? No. That’s why they all have nothing on The Lonely Island’s fight against Rocky. They tell the story of challenging Rocky Balboa to a boxing match. Though not very comedic, and more horrifying, the boys should be commemorated for their creativity and imagination on the song. When the lyrics are not given much attention, the song seems like a real rap. On the other hand, the ludicrous lyrics take away from its legitimacy. It is The Lonely Island, however, and reality isn’t their top priority – comedy is. “Rocky” is low on the comedic value scale, but nevertheless, an entertaining song.

Just in time for the new movie release, “Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides,” The Lonely Island produces the song “Jack Sparrow”, featuring Michael Bolton. On the outside, it seems like the song is simply a man obsessed with “Pirates of the Caribbean”, which isn’t far from the truth. It doesn’t sound very funny, but The Lonely Island makes small, hilarious comments throughout the song that bash Bolton’s obsession. The troupe is singing about their experience in a night club when Bolton brings the funk to the song as he belts out, “This is the tale of Captain Jack Sparrow, prince so brace on the seven seas. A mystical quest to the isle of Tortuga, raven locks sway on the ocean breeze.”  Akiva quickly chimes in with his own verse, starting it off with “Yeah, that was kinda weird but we’re back in the club.” The three are not hesitant to accuse Bolton of being a “cinephile.” This song perfectly combines the ingredients of wit, hip-hop, and whimsy to create “Jack Sparrow.”

Overall, the album, shy of an hour long, is very enjoyable. It positively compares to “Incredibad” in their songwriting skills, humor, and beats. The album is ridiculous in many ways, but that doesn’t take away from the quality of it. The Lonely Island is shaping up to be a gold star in the comedy/hip-hop genre of music. They have rejuvenated the genre since artists like Weird Al Yankovic have been inactive. The Lonely Island can now be considered unique in their musical efforts. Saturday Night Live is surely proud of their coworkers’ success, and fans will be looking forward to another masterpiece from The Lonely Island.