The Oh-So-Official Dee Phunk EditionHappy new year bitches! It's your favorite man-around-town / Internet heartthrob Dee Phunk. I'm single and I'm a Libra. I represent a section of Brooklyn known as East Flatbush, where the air reeks of a pungent-yet-exotic jerk chicken aroma year-round. And yes, I am also a Hip Hop Karaoke regular. You may know me from such classic performances as Ill All Skratch's "Where My Homiez," (featuring a not-as-raspy but equally pimpish Diggedy), Wu-Tang Clan's "Protect Ya Neck" (where I played the role of The RZA) and Crooklyn Dodgers' "Crooklyn" (featuring the infamous surprise appearance by Masta Ace that made K-Dot scream like a pre-pubescent girl at a Bow Wow / Omarion show).
And on Friday, January 25th, you can catch me NOT on stage at the Highline Ballroom. However, you can definitely join me somewhere near the front with the rest of us fun lovin' hip-hop herbs cheering on the wisely-picked twelve contestants on stage. I'll be the gentleman of color with the snazzy glasses and some sort of import beer in my hand. I feel something of a closeness to the folks you will see on stage that evening. When you go to HHK on a monthly basis, it's inevitable that you will end up socializing with other regulars like yourself who share common interests. In this case, folks who enjoy getting on stage and spitting their favorite hip-hop joints for the low price of $FREE.99. So for the benefit of those who have only been to HHK a couple of times or, perish the thought, NEVER, and are wondering who in the eff the contestants REALLY are, I give you my quick guide. Here they are in no particular alphabetical order.
Axiom - I can't say anything more than what the Wu-Tang video clip above already has. He played Ol' Dirty Bastard in that. The man came on stage with a plastic butcher knife. If you remember the "Protect Ya Neck" video correctly, ODB had no weapon of ANY SORT in his possession. Sooooo, yeah. Axiom takes this very seriously, has a profound love for his karaoke craft and often thinks outside of the box. I'm sure Ax is going to come with some kind of grand surprise to shock the crowd. Will it involve plastic cutlery? Maybe. Maybe not. I can't wait. Regardless, he might leave with your girlfriend.Camille - Truthfully, I don't know Ms. Camille that well.
She's one of the newer regulars. But all I can say for now is the obvious: she's
sexy. Watch her YouTube bio if you think I'm playin'. I would not sleep on her if I were the other contestants. I think she's got something up her sleeve, for real. And I will also have something up my sleeve: a brand new pair of Banana Republic boxers to throw on stage during her performance. And I am going to spray them with Marc Jacobs cologne.
Chef - Ever since KRS-One's "Brooklyn keeps on takin' it..." line from "The Bridge Is Over," Brooklynites have lived up to that generalization to the fullest. And I'm sure Chef is going to take that motto into the proverbial ring with him at Highline on the 25th. You gotta respect a guy who wears a dookie rope 24/7. Chef is just a real dude. Period. If for some odd reason he gets caught up in some sort of tiebreaker situation and the only way to break the tie is slapboxing, it's a wrizzy for the other person. Flatbush, bitch.
Dashaun - Now I've known Dashaun since way before Hip Hop Karaoke (back when I thought it was corny before I even set foot in my first one). Thanks to M.O.P., I used to think anyone from Brownsville was angry 90% of the time and shot people for fun. Dashaun singlehandedly crushed that rumor. He's actually the exact opposite, with his happy dancin' ass. You are to expect nothing but unadulterated kinetic energy from this man. The other contestants better start poppin' some Red Bulls from NOW. In his free time, Dashaun likes to instant message me to trade thoughts on the current state on hip-hop and jedi mind trick me into doing the singing hooks for his karaoke performances. You're on your own this time, dunny.
Doni D - Doni personifies Harlem. You can just see it in his swagger. And cats from Harlem don't back down easy. Ever since he scared the shit out of me (in a good way) with his dead-on Smooth B imitation at his HHK debut (Nice & Smooth's "Funky For You"), he's been one to watch for on a monthly basis.
He will not disappoint. Warning to those of you who will be in the front row at Highline Ballroom: if he breaks out that wacky beatbox-and-rap-at-the-same-time trick, bring some Handi-Wipes. Or even an umbrella-ella-ella-ay-ay-ay. The mic only blocks so much.
Elizabeth - The first time I saw her perform at HHK I was like "Wow, shorty REALLY likes Eric B & Rakim." I think her first like three times on stage were Eric B & Rakim songs. So I was an instant fan. And I really don't want to see anyone else do De La Soul's "Rock Co Kane Flow" except her. Ever. The young lady's taste in hip-hop is impeccable. For some reason, I am picturing her in the bathroom right before she goes on at Highline staring at herself in the mirror. She then yells "COME OOOOOOON!!!" at nobody in particular and then proceeds to punch the mirror. And out of nowhere, the beat for "Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em" plays. I'm not the only one that just pictured that, right?
K-Dot - I don't know what else to say other than I don't think I have ever seen this man fuck up a line once at HHK. The only man with big enough cojones to do "Can We Rock (What's Up Doc)" by the Fu-Schnickens featuring Shaq. ALL FOUR PARTS. I am sure all eyes will be on him and whatever sneakers he decides to pull out for this special occasion. This guy has the highest risk of someone doing a Tanya Harding / Nancy Kerrigan to his throat piece. Diggedy, double check on backstage security, please.
Pancho - His Kanye West "Stronger" performance still stands out in my mind like it was yesterday. The song wasn't even on the list yet and fairly new and he managed to tear the house down. He made me wanna lift heavy machinery for no reason after he got off stage. Good things come in small packages. And he will probably have the most expensive outfit out of all the contestants. Bape won't go out of style until Pancho says so.
Robin - All I know of Ms. Robin is that she's a good friend of Camille and they roll Thelma & Louise tight. Have you ever seen a female do a Sticky Fingaz impression? No, you haven't. Unless you were at the Southpaw-edition of Hip Hop Karaoke where she closed out "Slam." Instant dope. The only thing that was missing was a molotov cocktail and a couple of machine guns. And I STILL would have stayed and been like "Sooooo...lemme ask yoooou...do you have a boyfr...wait, wait nevermind. No seriously, nevermind. OH MY GOD YOU SO WERE STICKY FINGAZ UP THERE."
RDJ - Canadians always get a bad rap (excuse the pun) here in the States for a number of silly reasons. RDJ is one of those cats who is trying to kill that noise. And doing it successfully I might add. When once asked how much he liked a certain hip-hop album, he naturally responded with an even deeper question: "Well what do you mean...just to chill out to or like, cook dinner to? I mean, there's a difference." Well played sir. Well played. And if this doesn't work out, there's always Iron Man this summer.
Scooter - Enter K-Dot's evil younger brother (insert Vincent Price laughter here). Hands down, with the exception of surprise appearances of actual established rappers, no one has received a bigger ovation for a performance than when he did Twista's "Overnight Celebrity." That's my favorite Scooter moment. That should tell you alot. I'm sure whatever he has stored will be something special, with disorienting neon day-glow sneakers a back-up plan to hypnotize his opponents in case of emergency.
Shawn J - The master of the point-to-the-back-of-the-room-and-sway-from-left-to-right
move. Everything is done with emphasis. He's a walking exclamation point. If Blanka from Street Fighter was a Black man from New York with less hair, you have Shawn J. If you see him in the corner with his hood on and mumbling to himself, stay away. He has just entered his zone. Be very afraid...contestants and audience alike. Consider it game time when you hear two words: "I'M HYPE."
To all the contestants, good luck. I give you this gift. Play it in the morning before you leave the house on January 25th and have it on repeat ALL DAY. Peace.