Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Rock Box" Track of the Day: Classic & 86, "Ridin'"

'Kumar, is it me or do the patties taste like a disgruntled employee sabotaged our Slyders and took a shit on each of them?'

Song: "Ridin'" by Classic & 86
Released: 2004
Why's it part of the "Rock Box" playlist?: It's featured in the Jersey-set Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and may be the best song to bump in your ride while driving through Jersey since "Woke Up This Morning."
Which moment in White Castle does it appear?: Both the opening and closing credits.

Miss Eighty 6, back when she recorded as Sarai and looked like a blond Alison Brie. Photographed by Rod Spicer.
White Castle fans who enjoyed "Ridin'" might have wondered, "Who the hell are Classic & 86? Did they skip the planet?" I didn't know who they were either. At first, I thought that after releasing "Ridin'," Classic ended up as a UPS driver like Thugnificent on The Boondocks, while 86 is toiling away in the same kind of office from hell where Harold would spend his workdays being a walking doormat. I did some digging around the Web and landed on an Urban Dictionary entry that actually listed some useful information about them instead of feeding me info that Classic & 86 is a new expression for getting a tug and chug.

After following a paper trail that started from Urban Dictionary, I found out that the two rappers, who have separate careers and teamed up on "Ridin'," each have recorded more than just that one song and are still making music. Classic is Chris Classic, a protege of the late Jam Master Jay who's frequently contributed hip-pop tracks to prime-time soaps like Gossip Girl and a bunch of movies I want nothing to do with (Harold & Kumar star Kal Penn's 2007 masterpiece Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies and most recently, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), while 86 is Miss Eighty 6, who's also had a few tracks turn up on Gossip Girl. Before "Ridin'," Miss Eighty 6 recorded under her real name Sarai. A commenter under Sarai's 2003 "Ladies" video on YouTube wrote: "bring Sarai back - will trade for Ke$ha."

"Ridin'" is good, solid hip-pop with lyrics that are actually more than four words long--it's not the same kind of hip-pop Eminem astutely criticizes and ridicules in his just-leaked track "Syllables" when he says "nowadays these kids jus'/Don't give a shit about lyrics/All they wanna hear is a beat and that's it." The 2004 tune also showed up in the Usher rom-com In the Mix, The Air I Breathe and the Melrose Place revival, but it will forever be identified with a cult flick that's one of my favorite comedies of the '00s.

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