January 11, 2004

an open letter to the members of Outkast

fat cat
Give me some sugar. I am your neighbour.

Dearest André “3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton,

Hello. I’m your newest fan and I want to join your “crew”.

Although I can’t play any instruments or sing or “rap”, I still have experience in “the biz” that should warrant your attention.

My first group was called MTE (More Than Expected), formed whilst in grade 5 at St Joseph’s Primary School and my role was that of maraca shaker. Perhaps you heard our song, ‘Mad Wheels’? It had the chorus that went “Baby, we got mad wheels (yeah) / Baby, we got mad wheels (yeah) / A woah, woah, woah, yeah.” I also co-wrote the follow up song ‘Hallucinogen’- a no-holds-barred critique of the drugs it would take me years to finally consume.

I cut my teeth in Australia’s competitive karaoke scene. Should you choose to cover ‘Time of my Life’ from the soundtrack to the film Dirty Dancing, I will prove my worth, especially in the area of spontaneous hand movements and toned-down mimicry of Dirty Dancing’s finale.

I’m really ghetto fabulous.
Although my skin isn’t actually black or brown, my hair is red. Redheads are the black of white people. Like those of African descent, redheads have been persecuted for centuries, which is why I can really relate to “rapping”. My “rhymes”, should I ever write them, will focus on the troubles of my people, adding a “fresh” and “extreme” element to Outkast. Here is an example:

Down my pants it’s coloured fanta,
My best teddy’s name was Panda,
Let’s go play Nintendo,
In Japan it’s called the Famicon,
My hair is not pretend-oh.

If that isn’t fresh, I don’t know what is. That was me just freestylin’! Andre and Antwan: there’s much more where that came from. Hey, that sentence sounds like a rap, too! I make rhymes accidentally all the time (omigod! Again!). I’m just silly like that.

Busting Moves.
The Stone Roses and The Prodigy benefited from having dancers in their permanent line-up and I offer you this service. I would describe my style as part Scottish sword dancing, part modern jazz-tap and part emu.

I am the pioneer of various steps, such as the ‘old man jogging’ move. I made valuable contributions to the ‘Too Drunk to Move My Arms’ school of dance; moves forged in the fiery competition of Ballarat’s underage disco scene.

Choose Your Own Adventure.
I have taken the liberty of creating personas that can be seamlessly inserted into the Outkast line-up. I propose that we re-release The Love Below / Speakerboxxx with a third CD featuring my “raps”, to be called Floppy Rouge,from the perspective of one of the following characters.

The Fresh Prince.
This is the classic ‘fish out of water’ character. I play an “in your face” and “extreme” young rapper from the streets of Philadelphia. In a series of mildly amusing interactions with rich relatives, I teach them (and in turn, our audience) family values and assorted methods of baseball cap adornment.

Under the pseudonym of the alien Gordon Schumway, I will lyrically dazzle our listeners with tales of my home planet, chasing cats (i.e. vaginas) that I wish to eat and I can pepper my “flow” with infectious catchphrases like “No problem!”, “Yo Willy!” and “Bring forth my cocaine!”

Straight out of Summer Bay, Alf Stewart will shock with his homespun truths and casual swearing. The vocal style is guttural, the tempo is slow and the polo shirts are ironed. Think of Alf as a cross between Melle Mel and child abuse. Yo!

Please contact me care of The Brag regarding this letter. I will also be putting this down as a job application on my next dole form, so if Centrelink call, please tell them that it’s a full-time position.


Lumpen Leigh