Will comedy music become mainstream?

Comedy music can come in many different forms such as parodies of popular songs, novelty songs, comedy rock and comedy hip hop and is just seen as a bit of fun but is it now actually becoming something that a lot of people will listen to?

The Midnight Beast seem to have alerted everyone to their music with their TV show and are now starting to make an impact on the ITunes charts as well as getting praise from other artists. The group from London have been getting positive reactions from not only the general public but also the people that they are parodying. ‘Tik Tok Parody’ reached number 90 in the UK and even Ke$ha stated on her website that it was even better than her version. Surely then it is only a matter of time before they bring out a song that will go right near the top of the charts? On YouTube they have over 300,000 subscribers and and a combined 50 million views on their channel which just shows how popular the group are and now with their TV being out, I expect their album which is due out on the 13th August to be a massive success.

Stefan, Dru and Ashley are hoping to make it big in the UK

However, it is easy to say they will be a success and its clear people like their songs but that doesn’t mean people will want to pay for them. If they do need to loom somewhere for inspiration then Weird Al Yankovic is certainly someone that has made a living out of parodying songs and writing his own comedy songs as he has sold over 12 million albums and received four gold records and six platinum records in America.

‘Weird Al’ even reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200 in 2006 with his album ‘Straight Outta Lynwood’ with even the title of his album being a parody of N.W.A’s album ‘Straight Outta Compton’. Even the single ‘White & Nerdy’ (a parody of Ridin Dirty by Chamillionaire) reached number 9 and it just goes to show that comedy can make a mark on the charts.

The Lonely Island are probably the most similar to The Midnight Beast in America and they have had even more success some would argue than ‘Weird Al’ as they have collaborated with a lot of artists including T-Pain, Akon, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Natalie Portman. These are some huge artists in the world of music, with the exception of Portman who is an actress. They, like The Midnight Beast first started off on YouTube but they have quickly grown into a well known group all around the world.

There are plenty more examples of music being influenced by comedy, for example, Tenacious D use a lot of jokes in their songs and they in my opinion would fit into the bracket of comedy rock along with Bloodhound Gang (although they are less ‘rock’). The list does go on and they are getting huge numbers of hits on YouTube like Flight of the Conchords.

That could be part of the problem though people want to have a laugh listening to their songs but do they really want it to come on whilst listening to their iPod on shuffle? My guess would be no and that is why it is difficult just to focus on the music and a lot of the ‘singers’ have to do other things such as TV work or even just be a comedian and use music in their work such as Bo Burnham and Tim Minchin.

The Forgotten Number One Artist- Afroman

Joseph Edgar Foreman spent three weeks at number one in 2001 with his famous song that a lot of people will remember once they hear his stage name, Afroman knocked off Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ with his single, ‘Because I got high’.

The song highlights the problems of taking cannabis in everyday life and rose to popularity after it circulated round the internet with many new admirers of the rapper. The song was later used on films such as ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’, ‘Disturbia’, ‘A Thousand Words’ and ‘The Perfect Score’ which made it even more recognisable to a wider audience. But what happened to Afroman and why do not many people remember him unless you say the title of his song?

Well the main reason is he didn’t really have much success in the UK or even in America afterwards but he still continues to write and make new music. He has released 13 albums in total with a 14th expected this year called ‘Marijuana Music’ so he has kept trying to make the breakthrough once again. Surprisingly, he also has a greatest hits album which makes me think that he does have very loyal fans but they must surely be few and far between.

However, I may be being a bit harsh as the album ‘The Good Times’ in 2001 reached number 10 in the US Billboard 200 and the song ‘Crazy Rap’ also reached number 10 in the UK Singles Chart. The album was his first studio album which was composed mainly from songs off his previous independent albums. The most famous song and the number one ‘Because I got High’ was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 2002.

The reason this came to my head is because I am becoming disenchanted with the music charts in the UK because it seems to be the same stuff that is getting to number one and nothing really that different seems to get the recognition it deserves. The singles chart is dominated by the same artists and the same genre of music which is now boring to me and I would love to see someone completely different take the top spot from Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Everyone knows that nine times out of 10 when they release a new song it will go straight to the top spot in the charts. Would Afroman have even got the chance to get to number one in the year 2012? I don’t think anyone would know who he was or even heard his famous song, which would have been very disappointing and shows that the music industry is much harder to break into these days than it once was.