Saturday, April 3, 2010

90's Guilty Pleasures #2: Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch "Wildside" (1991)

In his signature song "Good Vibrations," Marky Mark extends a shout-out: "Donnie D's on the backup." I always had a suspicion this was referring to Donnie Wahlberg. After reading into this, I was impressed upon learning that Donnie actually produced the album Music For The People, going by the pseudonym Donnie D, which explains a lot. For whatever reason, Mark and Donnie have since disowned this period of their showbiz careers, and I've never been exactly sure why. Considering the context, it's not bad (especially the production).

"Wildside" is Marky Mark's significantly less-heralded 2nd most popular song, sampling Lou Reed (less than a year after Tribe's "Can I Kick It") which happens to perfectly accompany the tone Mark is striving for. If only his rhymes weren't so endearingly hilarious, tackling hard "street" issues such as drugs and gang violence, but with the poignancy and flow of an 18-year-old white dude from Boston...

Money, before you know it he's a rich man / Gold on every finger of his hand
A brand new BMW, a condo / Ron ended up a John Doe

The whole plot was an insurance scam / Charles and his brother came up with a plan
Kill Carol, collect the big checks / Blame it on the black man, What the heck!

Donnie's production also inserts a slight key-change between the verses and choruses, a pleasingly unexpected element considering the source. I'm actually considering giving this album a complete listen at some point very soon, not only for extreme ironic lols, but also for extreme musical enjoyment. Music For The People may be one of the rare cases when these two areas intersect so nicely.

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