Thursday, June 07, 2007
Don't You *Ever* ...
Harmon Bethea - Talking About The Boss And I
Some time ago the MadPriest featured today's selection, along with its flip, "Roaches," on his long-defunct music blog, but I'd like to dust it off here to be today's post. Harmon Bethea, the Maskman, has been covered on this blog before (go here for my short write-up about Bethea and his records) and has made appearances on a few podcasts, so I'll just jump right into today's post with no further ado.
"Talking About The Boss And I," a 1973 Musicor single billed in Bethea's Christian name, finds the Maskman putting a dollop of '70s funk into the proto-rap formula he had perfected with his '60s hits "One Eye Open" and "My Wife, My Dog, My Cat." On this record, the nagging wife is replaced by a racist boss, and the Maskman can't help but to react. "Don't you *ever* slip up and call me a 'boy' no more," he bellows. "If you *ever* slip up and call me a 'boy' again, I'll hang a sign over your eyes saying 'Closed For The Weekend'!" Whatever black pride sentiment the tune has ("there ain't no more 'yes ma'am' and 'yassuh' - the word is 'right on'!") is somewhat deflated by the last verse, which slips back into the Maskman's usual comic territory, but by then he had made his point.