Skip to main content

One of the first rap-rock tracks ever turns 30

One of the first rap-metal tracks holds up three decades later as an early ode to hip-hop
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

There's nothing unusual about rap showing up anywhere anymore, but that wasn't the case when Anthrax released "I'm the Man" 30 years ago.

While the metal group's most-known rock-rap hybrid "Bring the Noise '91" collaboration with Public Enemy was still four years away, the band's first rap endeavor was this terminally silly track.

There's a lot to unpack listening to it today. The metal guitars from "Hava Nagila," the hook that sounds wholly nonsensical unless you've seen the Rodney Dangerfield classic Easy Money, the random drops of Sam Kinison screaming, and Metallica's screaming "Master!" etc., all make for one of the most quizzical sound collages this side of "Batdance."

But what really resonates about the track today is how, in a lot of ways, it's rock's first real tribute to rap.

Anthrax were already a well-established metal band and really had no reason whatsoever monetarily to press up a jokey single with the members trading rhymes over a hard-rocking traditional Jewish riff. It sounds far too sincere to be a novelty. A year after Beastie Boys' License to Ill and Run-DMC's Raising Hell penetrated the mainstream with its own rock-influenced rap, Anthrax's welcoming of the rap sound into their fold was a pretty cool cross-genre nod.

More than that, you can hear the band's unabashed early rap fanboyism take hold. Sampling vocals from the Beasties and the Fat Boys, and doing their best to mimic several popular flows at the time, one could make the case it's almost the earliest precursor to Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's popular "History of Hip-Hop" segments.

Next Up

image

How the fastest animal on the planet returned to MN after local extinction

The fastest animal on Earth had once vanished from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

image

St. Paul's new 'skate trail' brings non-traditional park to life

Gateway Park is the first of four parks to open in the Highland Bridge redevelopment.

FWDqyh6UEAENgIG

80 mph winds, large hail possible with severe storms in MN

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for much of the state until 3 a.m. Saturday.

290376311_5009722282489162_198055240351933487_n

30 people evacuated as flooding hammers small town

It's assumed that at least eight inches of rain fell in Randall, with more heavy rain expected Friday night into Saturday morning.

Intersection in Rochester.

Boy dies in motorcycle crash in Rochester

Police are investigating as of Friday afternoon.

Tab2FileL (13)

Numerous severe storms likely in Minnesota Friday night

Watch the video for the full details with meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.

court room

Teen pleads guilty in shooting death of 15-year-old girl in Columbia Heights

Damico Jamal-Tokyo High will receive a sentence in juvenile court, along with an adult prison sentence.

Screen Shot 2022-04-25 at 11.00.01 AM

Walz wants to use surplus money to send direct payments to Minnesotans

It's a renewed effort from a previous proposal from Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan's supplemental budget in January.

Ron Johnson

Jan. 6 committee says aide for WI senator tried to give fake elector info to Pence

The attempt was discovered through text messages in the ongoing public hearing held by the Jan. 6 select committee.

Stock U of M sign

Minnesota State colleges, U of M boosting tuition again

The Minnesota State system's Board of Trustee's approved the increase Wednesday.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, June 24

The next daily update will be provided Monday, June 27.

Related

George Michael could've had a rap career – revisiting 'Wham Rap'

Did you know George Michael's first single ever was a rap song?

Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill turns 30: What you DIDN'T hear!

From sampling fears to drug use, here's what you DIDN'T hear from the Beastie Boys' debut.

Tupac Shakur among Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees

He will become hip-hop's sixth entry in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Jay-Z will be the first rapper to join the Songwriters Hall of Fame

It's another major first for the Brooklyn hip-hop mogul.

Watch: Lil Yachty raps about 59 Simpsons characters

Lil Yachty's raps are more fun than a B.Y.O.B.B.

Go 95.3’s First Impressions playlist: 3/26/17

Catch all the latest hip-hop, including this week's brand new Kendrick Lamar, Tech N9ne, Wale, Sean Price, Chris Webby, and more!

Go 95.3’s First Impressions Playlist 4/30/17

April showers bring First Impressions, a rainy Sunday night edition featuring some new music from underground favorites and Doomtree rarities!