Packie Posts

Do You Fools Listen or Do You Just Skim Through It?

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Shawn Brown aka The Rappin’ Duke

The Notorious Big raps the line on his 1994 single “Juicy” “Remember Rappin’ Duke? Duh-ha, duh-ha You never thought that hip-hop would take it this far” a reference to a popular novelty song in 1984 released by a rapper who called himself the Rappin’ Duke aka Shawn Brown. A line many have song along too but don’t know the true meaning of. The song Brown recorded was on his 1985 album. ¿Que Pasa?.The concept of the song is that actor John Wayne (a.k.a. the Duke) is rhyming (Wayne was a racist and died in 1979). A pretty cool song that makes some pop cultural references and was pretty significant that the greatest rapper of all time mentioned it in his rhyme. The song while being dismissed as a novelty pokes fun at then President Reagan who was a year away from the Iran-Contra hearings. Shawn Brown says “I want to set the record straight here and now: ‘Rappin’ Duke’ is not a novelty record. It is not. It is a political record. I wanted to make people aware of President Reagan’s indiscretions at the time. Of course, I didn’t happen to name any of these indiscretions and I had some superfluous mentions of Aretha Franklin and Scooby Doo, but I intended for it to be a political record. Really.” Did you know what Biggie was talking about on the line in “Juicy”?

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