Now that we're around the halfway mark of this stunt blog, we've reached the point where things get very difficult for my attention span and my psyche in general. At this stage, I'm prone to questionable decisions, such as choosing to write about Brian Green's One Stop Carnival now instead of saving it for a future April Fool's Day post. So, then.
Brian Green is, of course, actor Brian Austin Green, whose most popular role, that of David Silver, the nerdy guy who nonetheless took Tori Spelling's virginity on the original incarnation of Beverly Hills 90210, happened over ten years ago, and yet his name remains in the news (relatively speaking, as "gossip" isn't always "news"), as he somehow tripped and fell into Megan Fox's vagina, only emerging once he put a ring on it. For some of you, that may be enough to fucking hate Brian Austin Green; for others, you may just feel sorry for him, because Megan Fox's career is a non-starter and she has a weird thumb-thing going on with one of her hands.
But the real reason to hate Brian Green is, yes, because as a rapper, he somehow became affiliated with West Coast critical darlings The Pharcyde. As I am not his biographer, I have absolutely no idea how this fucking happened, but in 1996, Green signed a deal with Yab Yum/MCA Records to record and release his debut, One Stop Carnival, featuring almost wall-to-wall production from Pharcyde member Slimkid3 (with assists from L.A. Jay and Green himself, as he had his fingers in every aspect of his vision). Like most actors-turned-rappers, he attempted to take this career shift very seriously, performing at concerts and deejaying every chance he got, spitting his rhymes along the way. Also like most actors-turned-rappers, he received far too many chances to work at his craft, as people are more inclined to throw money and studio time at a guy who was (at the time) currently starring on a hit television program.
Thankfully, One Stop Carnival ended up being a one-time deal for Brian Austin Green, as critics laughed it off as an arrogant one-shot, and actual fans of music brushed past it for pretty much anything else that was released in 1996. Green probably still writes rhymes every once in a while, but as the guy who actually sullied some of The Pharcyde's legacy within the span of a single compact disc, he probably doesn't have time to record any of them today.
1. THE CLOSET (FEAT. SLIMKID3 & BEIDE-2)
Not sure what's up with that title. Anyway, this track is short enough to be a rap album intro, but Brian Green decides to kick off One Stop Carnival with an actual song, with the second stanza provided by Slimkid3 himself. And I have to say, it sounds really not bad. The production helps tremendously in this case, and you can do a lot worse than having The Pharcyde in your corner to fall back on. Still, our host doesn't completely embarrass himself on the mic, aside from the whole "pretending that he's actually a rap artist" thing. An interesting way to kick things off.
2. THAT'S RIGHT (FEAT. WILL 1X)
David Silver gets the lone non-Slimkid3 instrumental out of the way fairly quickly, turning instead to Will 1X, who, apparently, hadn't yet changed his rap moniker to will.i.am, and yet still references the motherfucking Black Eyed Peas multiple times throughout this song's lifespan. The beat is decent enough: hell, I'd even go so far as to say that it sounded alright. My issue was with our host's verses, which try so goddamn hard to have a good time that they end up sounding like narcs, or at the very least a thirty-year-old trying to pass himself off as a high school student, Cameron Crowe style.
3. YOU SEND ME
This was supposed to be a sweet love rap, as Brian talks about how a female friend slowly became more than that, and the chorus is supposed to be romantic or some shit, but our host sounds so insincere with his feelings that the listener can't help but (a) laugh his or her ass off, and (b) wonder if this was the song that got Megan Fox's panties wet. The lyrics on here are borderline ridiculous (the third verse starts off with the following: "I'm tired of looking for love aboard a spaceship". That metaphor only barely registers due to the weak-ass hook, so it ends up sounding like a throwaway line), and the instrumental is slight, so combining the two is just a terrible idea.
4. 1-2-THREEZ (FEAT. SLIMKID2 & KAMAU)
This song isn't even all that bad, but it still sucks balls. Allow me to explain: David Silver spends the first two verses trying to sound like an actual member of The Pharcyde, and he gets so good at nailing their overall flow that "1-2-Threez" borders on parody. This comparison becomes even more awkward when Slimkid3 takes to the mic, especially as he kind of sounds like Brian Austin Green. (Kamau also makes a cameo, but suffers the same fate.) Whatever point there was to this song is unknown, as our host quickly loses it like a set of keys, choosing instead to rhyme about whatever pops in his head, making the "chorus" intolerable. The beat was alright, though.
5. STYLE IZ IT
One of the first things our host says on this track is, and I'm lifting this verbatim, "Damn, I wish I had a style". Considering that "Style Iz It" is presented as though it were the final song recorded for One Stop Carnival, the fact that Brian Green still hadn't settled on any particular flow is distressing. He could have turned this track into a meta headache, layering styles upon style upon style until that's all he had, all in an effort to try some new and different shit, but alas, "Style Iz It" doesn't quite work out that way. Groan.
6. MUSIC BUSINESS #@!$%
Even actors-turned-rappers-turned-back-to-actors understand the importance of a skit to a hip hop album. Doesn't mean it isn't a complete waste of time, though.
7. DIDN'T HAVE A CLUE
Brian Austin Green at his most obnoxious. The apathetic chorus is kind of funny to listen to the first time, but this song is so awful that it's understandable if you have already shut off One Stop Carnival by now.
8. DA DRAMA
All of da drama described on this track revolves around our host either fucking some chick or wanting to fuck some chick, which makes this an overall waste of a truly good Slimkid3 instrumental (although L.A. Jay had some input, as did our host). Rappers talk about sex all the goddamn time, so that isn't really my issue with this track. It's more that this doesn't sound genuine: you won't even feel bad for this asshole when he describes getting his ass beat down every day in high school, all because he was trying to bang one of the bully's sisters or some shit. He doesn't sound believable, which could also be read as an indictment of the man's acting skills, but I'm trying to critique one thing at a time.
9. MIND AND DA BODY
10. BEAUTY AND DA BEATS
It's just like an American to waste a perfectly good instrumental with some shitty, laughable lyrics, while there are starving artists on every other continent on Earth who would have actually appreciated this.
The hook literally asks the listener if they have ever wondered what was going down in their respective hometowns. Which is apropos to nothing. This is getting really fucking old.
12. YOU SEND ME (JAZZ MIX)
Markets itself as a jazzy remix of a song that appeared earlier in the tracklisting, but is actually an entirely different animal. The instrumental is, in fact, jazzier, and it works much better than the original's weak sauce, but Green somehow manages to sound even more jerk-ass when he rhymes (and even briefly sings, and yes, it's just as amusing as you would think). I'm finding it very difficult to determine why this exists. Not the song, but the entire fucking album.
13. EXTACY (FEAT. WILL 1X)
Confusing and shameful for everyone involved. The beat is so simple that it's stupid, but it also blows, giving the track with the worst title on One Stop Carnival the worst-sounding instrumental as well, as Brian and will.i.am talk about absolutely nothing in particular. I couldn't wait for this to end, but had I skipped to the final song, I would have missed the fake orgasm at the end, which just made me feel dirty.
14. DO WHAT YOU WANNA DO
It's almost as though our host is daring the listener to throw One Stop Carnival out of the window of a moving vehicle. Challenge accepted!
FINAL THOUGHTS: Brian Green's One Stop Carnival is an anomaly, in that it both sucks and blows, but still isn't entirely worthless. All of the credit for that unique distinction goes to producer Slimkid3, who, for some unknown reason (I'm betting on blackmail), put all of his money on the David Silver horse, going above and beyond with the beats Brian Austin Green elected to rape and pillage with his ineffective words, which would have made more of an impact if you took the compact disc and threw it against the wall. Most of the beats on here are actually so good that you wish The Pharcyde would retroactively take them back for their own personal use. Green's choice of rhyme mentors is pretty good, but he appears to have learned nothing, as all of his bars are the very epitome of an actor having a laugh in a secondary profession, not unlike a rapper who also mans the evening shift at Marble Slab Creamery. Even the title, One Stop Carnival, serves as a warning to potential listeners: with a name that goddamn retarded, there's no way that the music itself will be worth the time.
BUY OR BURN? The fuck do you think?
BEST TRACKS: "The Closet", if I have to pick something