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Dee Dee King - Standing in the Spotlight (Cover Artwork)

Dee Dee King

Dee Dee King: Standing in the SpotlightStanding in the Spotlight (1989)
Ramones

Reviewer Rating: 2.5


Contributed by: TorgoTorgo
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Dee Dee King's (better known as Dee Dee Ramone) one and only rap album represents a classic conundrum for reviewers. Like analyzing the movie "Plan 9 from Outer Space," how exactly do you rate something that's so bad it's good? Dee Dee Ramone will be the first to tell you, in hindsight, that his for.
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Dee Dee King's (better known as Dee Dee Ramone) one and only rap album represents a classic conundrum for reviewers. Like analyzing the movie "Plan 9 from Outer Space," how exactly do you rate something that's so bad it's good? Dee Dee Ramone will be the first to tell you, in hindsight, that his foray into rap was a failure. In the Ramones documentary End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones, he muses, "Maybe it was because I'm not a Negro."

Truth be told, I'm not sure if that would have helped. For starters, Dee Dee's flow is completely monotonous. Scratch that, it's nonexistent. Countless times throughout the album he spits lines just for the sake of the rhyme, leaving the narration of the song. Some unintentionally funny examples: "I've already got a sunburn / When will I ever learn / A lesson out of this / I am not a fish." "The mashed potato is in the groove / It's gonna make your body move / Make you snap, crackle and pop / I'm the master of hip-hop." More often than not, his filler rhymes boast his rapping abilities, which add another layer to this glorious comedy. Another common occurrence is Dee Dee's rhythm being thrown off by his terrible lyrics ("I'm the man.....on top / I can rock and hip hop."). Also prevalent is Dee Dee forcing rhymes; in "2 Much 2 Drink" he mangles "Heineken" to rhyme with "fun."

The beats don't fair as badly in the realm of old-school hip-hop. Corny for sure, but they were recorded live in the studio by a band at a time when most rappers were using samples. Debbie Harry has the dubious honor of being a guest backup vocalist on two songs, her hooks being repeated in "Mashed Potato Time" and "German Kid." The latter is an autobiographical tale that has Debbie crooning the laughable "Haaaalf American / Haaaalf German" chorus, while Dee Dee seemingly goes in and out of rapping in German randomly. And no, his flow doesn't get any better in German.

While billed as his rap record, there are some exceptions: "Baby Doll" sounds like an overproduced Ramones song from the early `80s while "Poor Little Rich Girl" is charging punk rock that wouldn't sound out of place on a later Ramones album. Indeed, Standing in the Spotlight's "The Crusher" was covered by the Ramones on ¡Adios Amigos!.

If you know what you're getting into, this is quality entertainment. The joke wears thin after repeated listens, but that's typical with many comedic albums and films. It's still exponentially more funny than the intolerably bad "____ Movie" franchise. That may not have been what Dee Dee was striving for, but it's borderline legendary in the punk world -- and I'm sure as he got older he learned to smile at "I'm the cut creator / the master of rap / When I strut down the street / homeboys tip their hat."

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TahoeJeff (March 27, 2009)

This is a good party album. Also good for long drives with friends.

Ravnos (March 27, 2009)

misterspike: Why take everything so seriously? You've never laughed at bad B-movies? Most of those guys were just as serious as Dee Dee about their work, and like Dee Dee, they were just not capable of following through on their vision. It's good because it's terrible, and it's that much funnier because he wasn't in on the joke even as he was making it.

HOISTDATRAG (March 26, 2009)

I listen to this album fairly often and enjoy it thouroughly! It's really catchy and funny

SilentStorms (March 26, 2009)

Man, this just sounds fucking embarrasing.

eazyd2 (March 26, 2009)

fallingupwards84 said: yo this shit is whack. you fools wanna check some real hip hop get some brother ali or my nigga nas for real. peace love yall.

xote (March 25, 2009)

I think hearing Dee Dee talk about this record in that Documentry is awesome. I totally understand where he was comming from. I also totally understand what getting of herion is like and could see why he would want to make a hip hop album at the time as it was something he felt strongly about at the time.

All of the Ramones were great.

misterspike (March 24, 2009)

Torgo, we will agree to disagree before this hits The Octagon. I'm an Old Man, and even I have my Limitations.

Let's also agree that Rocket To Russia is the Ramones' best non-compilation album and you buy me a beer. Thx.

holy_hack_ben (March 24, 2009)

The Ramones are like a reverse Spinal Tap in that the drummers are the only ones that didn't die. Unless you count C.J., which I don't cause he messes up this theory. Score is for Rocket to Russia.

LushJ (March 24, 2009)

I really enjoy this record. I think that review has it pretty right, except for it wearing out...

2 Much 2 Drink!

Torgo (March 24, 2009)

I'm not doing that, I was just trying to explain if something is awesomely bad, it doesn't mater who creates the "art." And yeah, great it's doc.

misterspike (March 24, 2009)

Put that way, you're essentially pairing the celebrity with the album as your "measuring stick" for enjoying it. Back in '88 or '89 when Dee Dee put this out, he was Serious. Randy Savage, however, was not.

I will say that Dee Dee had a great attitude about it in his interviews on End Of The Century (one of greatest rock docs ever? Discuss.). Johnny, no surprise, was Pissed and Grouchy about it.

Torgo (March 24, 2009)

Hey_Asshole: haha yeah that's great, and don't forget "Slap me some five, gimme some skin / I used to live in Berlin"

misterspike: That doesn't make any sense, I only found this hip hop album to be awesomely bad because Dee Dee was singing it? If Ringo Starr made this album it wouldn't be funny? Keith Richards? Iggy Pop? Macho Man Randy Savage made a rap record that's very funny as well.

misterspike (March 24, 2009)

I wish there was a negative star ability on here. If this weren't Dee Dee Ramone, it would be slashed like a Vanilla Ice record.

R.I.P. Joey, Dee Dee, & Johnny

Hey_Asshole (March 24, 2009)

"have you ever seen a kite floating in the wind?
bet you didn't know i'm half german"

i love this record more than i probably should. but, it is fucking Dee Dee Ramone, so it has a lot going for it. even with the shitty rap songs

oskorei (March 24, 2009)

speaking of spoofs, anyone else excited to see the new Leslie Nielson blockbusting epic. The Naked Gun: What 4?

miniblindbandit (March 24, 2009)

macho man randy savage

theonetruebill (March 24, 2009)

This is the most fair and accurate review of this I've ever come across.

Still, for pure hilarity's sake nothing can beat the Funky Man 12".

Cos (March 24, 2009)

The Scary/Date/Epic/Whatever Movie franchise needs to stop. I once watched 20 minutes of Epic Movie at my ex's sister's house over the holidays and might have been the worst 20 minutes of cinema this side of "Good Luck Chuck"

mikexdude (March 24, 2009)

Good review, Brian.

xote (March 24, 2009)

Shit is so goofy. I guess this is what getting clean did to him.

baldsteve (March 24, 2009)

I've had this forever, thanks for reviewing it. Although it's funny to think of the Ramones 'covering' a DeeDee song. He was the best part of the Ramones.

Cheers to you sir.

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