More than a week ago, my Sun-Times colleague Mary Mitchell rightly lamented the lack of outcry over a viral video by Lil Mouse, a 13-year-old South Side rapper shown cursing, posing with guns and celebrating drugs.
This week, however, the Internet has been transfixed by a group of Minneapolis rappers -- most of them much younger -- and their own viral hip-hop video. Nobody here pretending to be a cynical, criminal adult. On the contrary, this video brims with youthful glee and celebrates the simple joy of a particularly lip-smackin' snack food combination.
Click. Watch. We'll talk ...
Your next: No, it's not a spoof.
They're called Y.N.RichKids. They're from Minneapolis. In fact, this rap crew is one of two who work on their flow at an after-school program there -- a program that has produced an album, "School House Rap," alongside the Y.N.RichKids' own considerable discography already. (These kids love their junk food. "Night Out," their track on the "Schoolhouse" comp, opens with a crunch and a sample of someone saying, "Oh man, chips!")
The building buzz online see-saws between (a) "Awwwwwwww!" and (b) impressive and traditionally overreaching, surgical, verse-by-verse musical criticism.
One of the biggest takeaways from the many conversations about "Hot Cheetos and Takis" that I've had over the past 48 hours is that #5 is easily the most polarizing rapper in the crew. Some love him ("He's going to be like Ying Yang Twins, but bigger"), some not so much ("he's gimmicky"), and some just think he wants to get his voice heard ("he's like the Simon Birch of the group"). His unorthodox flow of yelling and not really enunciating any of his words (see: Mystikal) definitely makes him stand out, and in my opinion, it's all for the better. He's perfect and there's no way you can convince me otherwise.
Steel yourselves for the group's inevitable talk-show blitzkrieg -- and however each snack manufacturer will embrace or distance themselves from the moment -- but for now (you just played it again, didn't you?) enjoy the flurry of free-wheeling creativity that comes from unfettered youthful exuberance.
Pass the Takis on the left-hand side ...
The song's lyrics are already up on Rap Genius for your perusal.
Somewhere, Liz Lemon is watching this with the rest of us -- her hands red like Elmo in a bag of Sabor de Soledad -- and saying, "Blerg!"