I first discovered hip-hop during its old-school “golden age”, the late 80s/early 90s. For a number of years I believed, like an idiot, that for hip-hop to be “real” and “authentic” and good, it had to be black. The few undeniably striking exceptions (like the Beastie Boys) I chalked up to pure chance. This, of course, was utter nonsense: good music is simply where you find it. The white hip-hop artists I like best are those that don’t try too hard to sound black. They sound like who they are: white musicians in love with a black musical idiom, but injecting something original and personal into that idiom.
McEnroe, a protean MC and producer based in Vancouver, is probably my favorite white hip-hop artist. Because Amazon doesn’t even carry his music, I had to go direct to the record label, the high-cred indie outfit Peanuts & Corn, to order it. I hit a Paypal snag, and emailed the label’s one-man customer service department, a guy named Roddy, for help. He was prompt and helpful, straightened out the accounting and billing tangle, and mailed the package to me the same day. Come to discover: McEnroe and Roddy are one and the same. He owns and runs the label and whips up beats and rhymes and also raps. The track is from the crackingly good 2003 album Nothing Is Cool that he made with fellow Vancouver rapper Birdapres (pronounced Bird-a-prey). It's hip-hop satire at its best.
More: Robert Christgau’s review; and an interview with McEnroe.