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That Time When Freddy Krueger Was a Rap Star

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It’s hard to say just who was more ubiquitous in the 80s: Ronald Reagan, Michael Jackson, or Freddy Krueger. Amazingly, in one of the strangest examples of pop culture pollination I can remember, the Springwood Slasher was seemingly everywhere. Any kid could walk into his or her  nearest Toys “R” Us and see Freddy’s well-done, pepperoni pizza with extra-cheese visage adorning everything from talking dolls to wax-pack trading cards, from squirt toys to yo-yos to cheaply made Halloween costumes.

The irony of a child traipsing around his neighborhood on October 31st dressed in a cheap rubber replica of a child killer’s horrifically burned face and trademark striped sweater and fedora is, in hindsight, both ridiculous and delicious. (Even more deliciously ironic is the fact that the box that contained the costume combo boasted of the product’s “fire-retardant” properties. Think on that for a moment!)

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And it wasn’t just merch. The Bastard Son of 100 Maniacs also managed to invade all forms of media in the same way he did promiscuous teens’ dreams. There he was in comic books, on television (“Freddy’s Nightmares”), and in young adult novels (Freddy Krueger’s Tales of Terror). Forget Howard Stern; Freddy Krueger truly was the king of all media.

For proof, let’s travel back to the halcyon days of 1988 when Frederick was memorialized in not one but two rap songs: The Fat Boys’ “Are You Ready for Freddy?” and DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s “A Nightmare on My Street. (As an aside, whatever happened to rap groups? Seems they’ve gone the way of Nokia flip-phones and super-sized fries at McDonald’s.)

We’ll start with “A Nightmare on My Street.” Before “Bel-Air,” before Men in Black, before siring two of the most annoying kids to ever set foot on this planet, Will Smith was the Fresh Prince and had a reasonably successful musical career along with his partner, DJ Jazzy Jeff. Their major label debut He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper spawned the mega-hit “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” I spent my allowance on the vinyl single of said song and, after listening to the A side about a dozen times, flipped the single over to side B, dropped the needle on the record, and was introduced to “A Nightmare on My Street.” Fairly soon, I began to prefer the B side over the A. Perhaps it’s because my 12-year-old self was way too terrified to actually see a Nightmare film, so the song served handily as a sort of harmless aural equivalent.

Set to a bouncy beat eerily reminiscent of the future theme to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” the song tells the tale of a guy “burnt up like a weenie/and his name is Fred.” Seems Will saw “Elm Street and man, was it def.” He then goes on to describe his own encounter with Freddy, voiced by a bargain-basement Robert Englund impersonator. Freddy proposes a partnership of some sort, but Willie brushes Fred off by rapping, “Yo, Fred, I think you got me all wrong!/I ain’t partners with nobody with nails that long!” (Taking the double negative into account, I assume that means the partnership is a go, right?) As the song concludes, the Fresh Prince calls Jeff to warn him, but it’s too late as the DJ soon succumbs to Freddy, who concludes the tune by exclaiming, “I’m your DJ now, Princey!”

Despite briefly considering the song for inclusion in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master, New Line Cinema opted to sue the duo’s label for copyright infringement instead. As a result, a filmed video was shelved and is now lost to the ages (which means don’t go looking for it on YouTube). However, I know I saw the video at least once, but perhaps it was just a vivid fever dream. Nonetheless, even without a promotional vid, the song was a hit and reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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The Fat Boys were a bit more fortunate. Part of a trend of overweight rappers (this too was a thing; for further examples, see Heavy D, Fat Joe, Big Pun, Chubb Rock, and of course, The Notorious B.I.G.), the rotund trio had a couple of hits with rap-infused covers of The Safaris’ “Wipe Out” and Chubby Checker’s “The Twist.” They even tasted movie stardom with an appearance in 1985’s seminal Krush Groove and their own film, the 1987 comedic caper Disorderlies.

New Line actually approached The Fat Boys to record a song for Dream Master – amazing considering their reaction to “My Street.” And so “Are You Ready for Freddy?” was born. As a song, the Fat Boys’ opus is inferior to the Fresh Prince progenitor, but it is authorized and, incredibly, features rhymes dropped by the man himself, Robert Englund, in character as Freddy.

An official video was filmed with a plot whereby The Fat Boys have to spend the night in a particular house on Elm Street in order to inherit the estate of group member Prince Markie Dee’s “Uncle Frederick.” Englund is in the vid, and as well as lip-syncing his lines, he also busts out an awkward dance move or two. Despite (or maybe because of) New Line and Englund’s involvement, “Are You Ready for Freddy?” was nowhere near as successful as “My Street,” reaching only #93 on Billboard’s R&B chart and not even making a dent in the Hot 100.

This may seem mad, but really, songs about slashers were nothing new. Way back in 1976, The Ramones’ self-titled debut featured the song “Chain Saw” about everybody’s favorite Texas-based cannibal butcher (and while were on the topic of The Ramones, let’s not forget their incredible “Pet Sematary,” the theme song to the 1989 film of the same name). And in 1986, Alice Cooper contributed the sublime “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” to the soundtrack of Friday the 13th: Part VI: Jason Lives. But again, these were songs about slashers, not slashers dropping science about themselves.

And let’s not even touch Freddy’s Greatest Hits

Freddyhits

 

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Freddy’s Greatest Hits Vinyl Re-issue Is a Must-Own

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Strange Disc Records has just announced that it will be releasing “Freddy’s Greatest Hits – The Elm Street Group” on vinyl starting this Wednesday with pre-orders expected to ship in January 2018.

Not only that but Mondo announced they will be releasing an exclusive variant pressed on “Freddy Sweater” striped vinyl. This LP from Mondo is limited to 400 and will cost you $25.

For those who might not know, “Freddy’s Greatest Hits” was originally released in 1987. The record contains nine tracks (covers, originals, and instrumentals) with Robert Englund doing the voice of Freddy over the top.

I don’t know about you but this has just made my list of must-own items. But I’d prefer an original copy. That said an original copy is probably hundreds of buck on eBay as opposed to this version for a mere $25 bucks. Not bad.

You can check out the full track listing and a sample song below. Then make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’ll be snagging a copy in the comments below!

Track Listing

1. “Do The Freddy”
Freddy and the Dreamers cover, as well as a parody.
The lyrics were changed to fit Freddy Krueger persona and elements

2. “Obsession”
original song

3. “Wooly Bully”
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs cover.
Freddy (Robert Englund) provides the opening lyrics.

4. “Don’t Sleep”
original song

5. “In The Midnight Hour”
Wilson Pickett cover

6. “All I Have To Do Is Dream”
Everly Brothers cover

7. “Dance or Else”
original song

8. “Down in the Broiler Room”
original song

9. “Elm Street Dreams”
original song

Pre-orders begin Wednesday, November 22.

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That is One Gigantic Steampunk Squid…

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Perhaps one of the greatest sci-fi adventures novels ever written, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a landmark book, one that was decades ahead of its time. The story follows the crew of the Nautilus, a submarine commanded by Captain Nemo, as they venture in search of a giant sea monster. It was the basis for several film adaptations and the character of Captain Nemo played a pivotal role in the graphic novel series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

So why am I bringing this up, you ask? Because Tor Books is releasing Nemo Rising, a sequel, this Christmas! Written by C. Courtney Joyner, the story once again follows Nemo, although this book sees him a prisoner that must be pardoned by President Ulysses S. Grant in order to face an onslaught of more sea monsters.

Normally, I wouldn’t bother you all with this, but I happen to have a soft spot in my heart for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the cover art for the book is fucking epic! I’ve always been a fan of cephalopods, and I’ve found the steampunk aesthetic to be pretty fascinating. Combine them both along with giant monsters, and you damn well better believe that I’m 100% into it! Plus, it’s wrapped itself around the Nautilus, which is already a giant vessel, so now I’m wondering just how large these mechanical monstrosities are…

Nemo Rising will be released on hardcover from Tor Books on December 26, 2017.

Synopsis:
Sea monsters are sinking ships up and down the Atlantic Coast. Enraged that his Navy is helpless against this onslaught and facing a possible World War as a result, President Ulysses S. Grant is forced to ask for assistance from the notorious Captain Nemo, in Federal prison for war crimes and scheduled for execution.

Grant returns Nemo’s submarine, the infamous Victorian Steampunk marvel Nautilus, and promises a full Presidential pardon if Nemo hunts down and destroys the source of the attacks. Accompanied by the beautiful niece of Grant’s chief advisor, Nemo sets off under the sea in search of answers. Unfortunately, the enemy may be closer than they realize…

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Filming On Blumhouse’s Halloween Pushed to January

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Looks like filming on Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween from Danny McBride and David Gordon Green has been pushed back a few months.

Not a huge deal, though. Only till January.

Filming on Halloween (2018) was supposed to begin this October (natch) but now it seems the film still has some cast to fill out.

The news comes to us via a South Carolina casting agency, The Island Packet, who are still seeking extras for the new film. In fact, if you are from the South Carolina area, you can be an extra in the film. Just click the link above for more details.

I wish I lived in or around South Carolina because being in this new Halloween would be a f*cking dream come true. If you’re in the area, get on it. You owe it to the rest of us! Haha?

How excited would you be to be an extra in this new Halloween? Let us know below!

Blumhouse’s Halloween is directed by David Gordon Green from a script he co-wrote with Danny McBride. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer and is executive produced and scored by John Carpenter.

Halloween (2018) hits theaters Oct. 19, 2018.

Synopsis:

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

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