vendredi 17 septembre 2010

"Cheeba Cheeba" 2ème partie : Tone Lōc en plein mégot-trip

Le clip de "Cheeba Cheeba" par Strong Arm Steady, produit par Madlib, a allumé la mèche du Cheeba. Ou plutôt celle d'une fusée à trois étages (même si on ne lance pas une fusée en allumant une mèche, je sais). Trois étages car ce nouveau morceau m'en a instantanément évoqué deux autres : celui de Tone Lōc et celui de Harlem Underground qui portent également le même titre, "Cheeba Cheeba". Terme qui désigne, je le rappelle, la beuh, la weed...

Tone Lōc a sorti son "Cheeba Cheeba" en 1989, sur l'album Lōc-ed After Dark. Un album dont le tube majeur était "Wild Thing", chanson dont la vidéo pastichait celle de Robert Palmer, "Addicted to Love" : il y avait des top-models hautaines en arrière-fond prétendant être musiciennes. Les filles dans l'un et l'autre clip ne sont pas en cause mais, à l'arrivée, j'ai toujours trouvé ces clips vulgaires. Ce clip de Tone Lōc illustrait clairement la commercialisation du rap en ces années-là. Ce n'est pas mettre en doute la qualité de l'album mais, déjà, on tournait le dos à la culture hip hop, si tant est qu'elle ait jamais existé en Californie, et on visait le succès mainstream.

Le morceau "Cheeba Cheeba" ne bénéficia pas d'un clip promotionnel. Le sujet en est, il est vrai, plutôt sulfureux : l'herbe et ses vertus. Il est construit principalement autour de deux samples. Celui du "Cheeba Cheeba" de Harlem Underground et celui de "Maybe Your Baby" de Stevie Wonder. Le morceau d'Harlem Underground pourrait en être la matrice puisque l'on retrouve aussi une voix féminine qui reprend en guise de refrain les mêmes "Cheeba..." que l'original... Funky à souhait comme le rap californien sait si bien l'être !

Même si je ne retrouve plus mon vinyl (j'ai oublié à qui je l'avais prêté), c'est un morceau qu'avec des potes, on a pas mal fait tourner sur les platines à l'époque de sa sortie. "Cheeba Cheeba" donc. Les paroles sont marrantes. Un délire de fumeur sans prétention... Un "mégot-trip", littéralement, pour citer le Shit Squad d'Akhénation & co.

"When I get to a party, To get it started
I grab tha microphone and rock it cold hearted
Go behind tha curtains while my fanz they point
You know what Loc's doin', I'm blazin a joint
Cause it seems a lot of times, I'm at my best
After some methical or a bowl of sense.
I'm creatin', multiplyin', big time supplyin'
Enuff bud to keep tha whole party high on
I might get ill and roll an 8th in one hooter
Park my Benz or cold jet it on my scooter
Bail to tha coast, take a head of this Skunk
Twist up a big bomb of this serious dope
Smoke it down to tha dub or roach tip
So much damn resin it's startin' to drip
It ain't harmful like heroin, this stuff's cheap
That's why I'm glad that I got this......

Man, Don't cha hate it when you ain't go no weed
It seems about tha time you really feel tha need
To get high, get full, you know get blasted
Keep ya singin' tha high it really lasted
Rollin' around tryin' not to get stopped
By tha boyz tha pigs you know tha cops
Pull into one spot to see what they're all about
Suckers noddin' their head, tellin' you they're all out
You go back to tha crib, Pick up tha telephone
You try it so I guess they saw you got home
Cause I can buy it O.Z. or go buy dime
I get cash for her I can get it on time
It really makes no difference long as I get lit
Roll it in my Zig Zag take a big bone hit
Cause after tha bud, My rhymes start flowin'
Never gettin' short of uh uh, The always knowin'
I'm maxin', relaxin', but never taxin'
No need for you to keep on askin'
If tha It is tha It, If tha Sh*t is tha Shit
Cause when it comes to smokin' cheeba
You know my sh*t is legit
Your tha student, And I'm tha teacher
I'm not a minister, Reverent or Preacher
So excuse me while I call time
Cause I'm gonna take a few hitz
in tha middle of this rhyme.....

One day I was coolin' with my homeboy seal, chill
Gettin' f**ked up in his coupe de ville, still
I wasn't to high to know what I was doin'
Went to tha store and got some more brew in
Came back to tha car, Try'd to be a winner
Rolled up all my roaches, they bearly made a Pinna (Pin)
I wasn't upset I had more at tha house
I was savin' it for later, When I get with my spouse
Cause when we're together, blazin' tha cheeba
She does things to me that you wouldn't believe
I'm not talkin' freaky or nothin' obscene
But it's not far off if you know what I mean
She'll take me upstairs, lay me down on tha bed
Pull off tha Fila shorts n start givin' me hizead (head)
If I was boo I'd do tha same
She must love it, She ain't never complained
They'll be moanin', kickin' a lot of screamin'
I work it so hard she starts steamin'
You know how it is after a couple of wooers
She was subject and I am tha Ruler
She's my freak y'all, but she's no skeeza
One thing for sure, Tha girl's always got that.....

Two weeks ago when I was writin' this rhyme
I had some hydroponic, Boy that sh*t was fine
I had two joints, One for me and my homie
After half tha show, He didn't even know me
His eyes were tight, they turned red
He could bearly hold them up, They where heavy as lead
An hour went by, He said Loc I'm kinda hungry
I said oh shit! This brothers got tha munchies
Got off my couch, put my Gucci's on my feet
Went to tha Seven Eleven at tha top of tha street
I ordered everythin' edible off tha shelf
He thought it was sad, I ate it all myself
When we got back to tha car, Headed north then south
I needed a drink I had a cotton mouth
We had so much food didn't know where to start
At tha Hagan Daas or Kelloggs Pop Tarts
Big bags of chips, gallons of dips
It took me weeks to get tha taste of my lips
I ate so much miserable is how I felt
Almost busted out my pants had to loosen my belt
Kickin at the tube, wathin' none better than
You know tha king of late night, Yeah Dave Letterman
Not to hilarious jokes kinda plain
But everythin' is funny when your smokin' Mary Jane"

En matière de références, il y a plus étonnant que les samples. En effet, la pochette semble un hommage évident à celle de l'album A New Perspective de Donald Byrd (1963). Mais l'emprunt est gratuit, rien de rapproche ces deux disques si ce n'est l'image.

Sans lui faire injure, je me demande même si Tone Lōc connaissait la pochette originale quand son photographe lui a proposé de poser derrière le capot de sa voiture !

A signaler que le James Taylor Quartet et la compilation Blue Note Revisited ont également parodié la pochette de Donald Byrd. Dans son cas, j'ai encore le vinyl à la maison et c'est un excellent album porté par une chorale puissante.

N'étant guère fortiche en culture automobile, j'ai longtemps cru qu'il s'agissait d'une DS. On m'a un jour dit que non mais ne me demandez pas de quel modèle il s'agit...

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