Netflix's Anything-Goes Philosophy Gets to Parody Rap

WIRED | 5/24/2019 | Peter Rubin
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After surprising Super Bowl 2018 viewers with an ad announcing that sci-fi movie The Cloverfield Paradox would be arriving imminently, Netflix chose not to make a habit of similar ambushes. Instead, it left that practice to the musicians. Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, Eminem, Death Grips, Drake, and Beyoncé again (this time as half of The Carters) have all leveraged the factory-free nature of the streaming industry in recent years to unleash albums with little to no advance warning.

Well, Netflix seems to be warming up again. In April, its partnership with horror studio Blumhouse Productions spawned two separate cinematic jump-scares, Mercy Black and Thriller. Earlier this month, Chinese sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth snuck onto the platform with nary a US trailer or official acknowledgment. Each makes sense in its way; genre fans were presumably likely to find the newcomers in their suggested new releases, simply by virtue of their viewing habits.

Lonely - Island - Unauthorized - Bash - Brothers

What's a little less obvious is who, exactly, would find out about The Lonely Island's The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, which landed on Netflix late Wednesday night. The comedy trio's Lemonade-style "visual poem" crams 11 short songs into 30 minutes—all about, and in the guise of, late-’80s baseball superstars and steroid poster children Jose Canseco (Andy Samberg) and Mark McGwire (Akiva Shaffer) of the Oakland A's. Like most of Lonely Island's musical oeuvre, it's rap and R&B. Or parody rap and R&B. Or somewhere between the two.

Admittedly, I'm the second L in the bullseye at the center of The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience's intended audience. Like TLI, I'm an ’80s kid, lodged in the forgotten years between Generation X and the millennials; like TLI, I grew up with rap as my personal dominant cultural form. Back then, I loved baseball and vividly remember watching the Bash Brothers beat my beloved Red...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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