The year is 1991. I catch this strange music video called, “Check the OR.” I’m fixed to the television. The song and video are captivating. The old school vibe and sample have my head nodding. The comedy on the screen makes me chuckle.
The three guys in the group run around like crazy the entire video. MC Bones raps as the trio go grocery shopping. They make a big mess. Bandmates squish bananas on him but he doesn’t miss a beat, he keeps going.
The Chorus goes, “Check the OR, Ya like it so far.”
And I am saying “Yeah!”
Everything about this video is great. I am so struck by it that I run to the record store that day to pick up the tape (Yes, I said tape.)
I get home and play the tape. It is funky! The beats are amazing! The two MCs trade off lyrics that are both real and funny at the same time. Some might label this as comedy rap but I think that it is great hip-hop album. It is unique. I never heard anything like it before, and I haven’t since.
These guys really inspired me. I had been rapping for a few years before I got this tape but seeing that three white boys from Ottawa, Ontario Canada make it in the rap world, it gave me confidence to keep writing and step up my game.
I wrote them a letter and signed up for the fan club. This was the first time I had ever done that. I was surprised to see my letter was personally returned by MC Bones. He sent me an entire page with some doodles on it, thanking me for being a fan and telling all my friends to “Check the OR.” I was blown away by this.
I looked at the return address on the envelope. He had actually used his actual address in Ottawa and his real name. It read. “Tom Green.”
Tom Green has made a lot of waves since this tape. I have been a fan ever since. I caught his little cable show every week before it was picked up by MTV. He now has another show on the air that he tapes right out of his house in Los Angeles. I guess he doesn’t mind telling people where he lives.
A few years ago, I managed to find a CD of Huh! Stiffenin’ Against the Wall. I was so excited about this find. It is an amazing album. I digitized it and have it on my MP3 player. Too bad these guys only made one album. This one is a classic. Tom Green has made some other albums but they fall too much on the comedy side. This album straddles the perfect mix of old school underground hip-hop with comedy.