Megan Mulally and husband Nick Offerman, as well as Mulally's "Beth & Nancy" counterpart Stephanie Hunt, performed a full-on rendition of Riskay's ridiculous, embarrassing hit "Smell Yo Dick" and are getting both rants and raves for including the singer's countless uses of the word "nigga."
What do you think?
I'm pretty firmly grossed out when white people angrily complain about not being able to use the N-word; it always comes off as desperately wanting to use it without repercussions. There is an ignorant lack of understanding of context.
But context works both ways, and I think this straight-faced cover is an instance where the verboten use of a form of the N-word by some white people should not offend, but should amuse. It can be read as a broadly funny display of just how white this trio is, or it can also be read as a scathing attack on how utterly stupid and juvenile a rap song like this truly is. With artists like Riskay, who needs Al Jolson? Racist mocking slides into racial self-mocking...and it's not just about the racial epithet.
On the gay tip, an artist like Riskay and a song like "Smell Yo Dick" could feasibly be compared to how, in the world of drag in particular, gay people make jokes about being base and petty and compare themselves to sex workers. We laugh because it's sort of LCD humor and reminds us of how we can be at our tackiest. But then there are some people who employ that humor who aren't really making fun of being extremely lowbrow, but actually are; and there is a portion of their audience that's laughing not out of embarrassment but because it represents how they truly are, too. There is a difference between laughing at the bluntness of "Smell Yo Dick" and laughing at it because it's so true and is something you would do or say, too.
Not sure if I'm explaining myself exactly right here, but I'll say this: I cringe that a song like "Smell Yo Dick" exists unironically, I laughed at this ironic rendition of "Smell Yo Dick" and I'm not sure that not using the singer's exact lyrics would have worked.
Now we just need a non-homophobic (as I assume Nancy & Beth & Nick are non-racist) but thoroughly heterosexual man to do a cover of Adam Joseph's "Faggoty Attention."