By: Anand Harsh
There are two reasons why I’ll always love the O.G, the original, no barbecue, no sour cream & onion, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. First and foremost, Gene Wilder was roomies with my grandfather in London way back in the day. Suck on that, Depp. Secondly, the film is a dark, fiendishly psychedelic trip into the mind of madman. Not your typical childhood movie fare, not by a long shot. These kids are literally tortured. Augustus Gloop is jammed up the chocolate tunnel, Violet Beauregard is pumped up like the Kool-Aid man, and even our friend Charlie is nearly hacked to death by a 747-style propeller blade. Granted, Charlie was wrong to take a swig of the fizzy lifting drink, but Grampa Joe pressured him into it. I would do anything my gramps tells me to do—remember, he roomed with the Wildman, himself!
Needless to say, this not-exactly-for-kids kids movie is a cult classic. The most charming and lasting touches of the movie are its quirky songs and indelible score. Hum a few bars of “Pure Imagination,” and you’re off on a sugar-fueled romp through an edible hallucination. Indie sensation Darwin Deez is about as attached to the movie as one can get. In order to promote his quirky, new, eponymous pop album (out Feb. 22nd), Deez dipped his ladle into the flowing chocolate river to slurp up some silly samples, chopped up the trippy score, and laid down some catchy rhymes for his Wonky Beats Mixtape.
Featuring some of the most obscure and sidesplitting references, the Wonky Beats Mixtape is a hip-hop day-tour through the madness of Wonka’s choco-complex, replete with hip guests vocalists and comic interludes. Kool AD (Das Racist’s Victor Vasquez) makes some sly and dry comments on “Where’s the Chocolate?”—some even in English! “Catastrophe” features a guest spot from all-around indie baller Dev Hynes, waxing sardonic on everything from snacking on popcorn in his undies to the Governator. His “I Don’t Like the Look” remix of the Gudda Gudda/Lil’ Wayne classic is almost as funny as it is catchy. Deez plays with names… a lot: Alex Chilton, Any Winehouse, DJ AM, Ginger Baker, Huey Lewis, Cheap Trick, Coldplay, Girl Talk, and Chiddy Bang. Funny he mentioned the Bangles, but didn’t mention Veruca Salt, you know? You start to wonder, “Can I do that?” Maybe; with a pencil, some paper, and a couple of hours. Certainly not as glibly and gleefully. Most of the raps sound like jokes left on a buddy’s answering machine; half-finished thoughts that end in giggles—which in all honesty results in a great deal of the charm. If Deez is doing it off the dome, he’s definitely in the wrong genre. Dust off that mic more often.
The mixtape is fresh, fun, and above all, free from Deez’s website. Good for a nostalgic trip down lemon drop lane, Deez has thrown together an homage to a classic just to show he can. Seems like a fun project. If his late-February release is a success, we’ll be sure to see more of these Wonky mixes. Trust me, you don’t have to like chocolate to dig it.
Darwin Deez - Where's the Chocolate feat. Kool AD
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