RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Tuesday, May 15

EWA100 - #48. Leaders of the New School - Case of the P.T.A.

48. Leaders Of The New School - Case Of The P.T.A. (Elektra. 1991. From the LP A Future Without A Past)

Mike Dikk: It’s absolutely scary to think about how much I’ve listened to this song in my lifetime. On average, I still listen to this song about once a week, and I have no real concrete explanation for it. I have a lot of little explanations of course, but there’s no Bigger Picture.
In my mind, there has never been an over-two MC group to capture this much hyperkinetic energy on one track. I should change that to read POSITIVE hyperkinetic energy before someone mentions the Wu Tang Clan, who definitely possessed just as much energy at one point, but their's was more relentless and unforgiving, while LONS was figuratively bursting at the seams and bouncing off the walls and any other two cent cliché you can think of.
The content of the song also guaranteed it would get a lot of airplay out of me, since I’m a sucker for most songs that portray lovable losers in a high school setting. It was something I could relate to at the time. I’m not really the overly nostalgic type that embraces his high school experience. I don’t look back at those years as the best time of my life or any dumb shit like that. In fact, I could probably put my entire four year high school career on a five minute highlight reel and be happy with that. I think I just like hearing OTHER people admit that they didn’t really fit in that well. “Teachers hate me, girls don’t date me, ‘cuz I’m C Brown (CLASS CLOWN)” will speak to me infinitely more than any Kurt Cobain teen angst bullshit misunderstood lost soul posturing.
Coincidentally, I don’t like when normal people tell me they didn’t fit in in high school. It’s more reassuring when it’s done in song form and there’s a coinciding music video for some reason. Oh, and it has to be done in a lighthearted joking manner. Another good example would be Eminem’s “Brain Damage”, which remains my favorite Eminem song, and one of the only tracks of his that I still like. I still wouldn’t put it in the same league as “P.T.A.” but I figured I should provide another example so you know where I’m coming from.
But yeah, Leaders of the New School really hit on something with this song. Unfortunately, like most groups, one star shined brighter than the others and The LONS only really struck absolute synergetic gold with this one single, which is why you can never invest too much interest in group hip hop, because it’s inevitable that it will end up ugly. It’s why the Hip Hop Group is basically dead, save for some indie rap acts that would no doubt go solo if the situation arose.
The bottom line is, if you were to only judge a rap group by their best song and nothing else, The LONS would make my top five list with no trouble. I imagine this is the kind of lighthearted happy pappy hip hop that Raven hates, so please read on as he pisses on the pretty picture I just verbally painted.

Raven Mack: I'm gonna be completely honest here (which is to suggest I've previously just lied my ass off in reminiscing fondly and waxing pathetically through this list)... I never listened to this song before we made this list. No shit. And Busta Rhymes, for my experiences in life, went straight from "ROWR! ROWR! Like a dungeon dragon," to "WHOO! HA! Got you all in check," both of which weren't singular bad actions, but beyond that, he's been so commercial that one time I was in a shitty meat market bar in Richmond and his video was on the cable TV screen with no sound since they were probably playing some stupid shit instead over loudspeakers, and his video was in closed captioning, which was hilarious to me, probably because at that point in life I drank a lot and borrowed a ton of xanax from the dude I rolled with (peace to my man Born King who I never see no more motherfucker), and shit like Busta Rhymes videos silent but with closed captioning were great fun. Then I'd invariably pick a fight with someone or break into an abandoned house to steal construction tools or try to help Born King duct tape a girl to the ceiling to see if duct tape was strong enough to do shit like that.
I could go back and listen to this song, because I let my internet welfare ass (rural dial-up) download it one night, and it's the type of old school song I can throw on my wife's beatpod machine and when we're riding around with the kids in the car, we can play it and the kids love the old school and it makes us feel hype as adults as well, and the littlest kid will want to hear "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and the oldest will want to hear Andrew Bird if the youngest kid gets to pick a song, and we ride to the store with the beatpod playing to go get some wild salmon and basmati rice because we are white people. We are really white people.

Download: Leaders of the New School - Case of the P.T.A.

The video for "P.T.A." on Youtube does not allow embedding. If you would like to see it, click here. Instead, here's a "freestyle" session LONS did on Canadian station Much Music, back in the day. The Fu Schnickens also show up at the end. The "Freestyle" is really just verses from other songs. Mostly Scenario II.

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