The Duckman I know comes in the form of an irreverent cartoon character. Similarly Brian Beshears, A.K.A. Duckman the rapper, is something of an oddity. He is difficult to classify because on his website, Myspace.com/quackatron, he refers to himself as an emcee, comedian and someone who can work the turntables. You would expect to hear something like Louis Logic or Eminem (for our more casual fans) with such a description, yet lyrically Duckman is sometimes so scathing towards societal and political issues that, though he does drop a funny line here and there, it's hard not to take his statements seriously. While his latest LP may have intended to be light-hearted, "For Presidente" can be rather venomous. What else would you expect from an album that comes from a wrestling radio show's record label (In Your Head Records)?
Hailing from Urbana, Illinois, Duckman comes to us from the state Obama represented in the senate, so maybe that gives him an edge towards becoming the "presidente" but Blagojevich might have already f'd that up for him. Anyway, the latter representation of our government is the focus of many of Duckman's attacks.
The premise of the title of the track is what Duckman would do as president--legalize marijuana, promote human rights, fix the budget and, ahem, hang Karl Rove (W.'s top advisor). Sometimes to his detriment, Duck's choice of words is very direct, as is his straightforward flow. Here he rhymes about his non-partisanship:
"Fuck the Democrats and their bleeding hearts
Fuck the Republicans and their distaste for the fine arts
Both sides played their parts
Both sides are assholes who only have one goal
Careers--selling their souls for a few more terms and years
Deals with their peers
Deals with lobbyists
I'm an anarchist underneath the gonzo sword and fist
Shit got me pissed!"
Over the funky beat, he does shoot a couple funny lines about getting fat kids to run, going after those that talk on their cell phone while driving and handing out green cards so he personally never has to work. His approach in dealing with the problems is certainly rudimentary but also evokes the feelings of the average American citizen.
Duckman ditches the comedy for round two, the follow-up joint, "Evil Power," which slickly uses Nas' "The Message" sample. You can immediately tell by the ominous beat and his angrier voice that this no joke. Further, the track utilizes well known political quotes intertwined throughout. The Roosevelt Pearl Harbor quote, "Yesterday, December 7th, 1941. A date which will live in infamy. The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the empire of Japan." This makes you think that Duckman only questions the ways of our enemies; however, that is not the case, as he notes the United States' downfall as well.
Then "Slave for Dollars" featuring Namlsekatti pokes fun at our sad reliance on the institution of Capitalism over a whistle beat. The chorus is representative:
"You can run track
You can shoot with skill
Get a contract
Get a shoe deal
You can slang crack
You can sell them pills
Gotta get the money
Gotta pay them bills"
Namlsekatti comes correct as he spits in a smoother fashion than the featured artist. He later appears in two more cuts including the excellent "Dat Good Shit," which sounds damn near like a 50-Dre collaboration.
Such glowing comments cannot be said for some of the other guests, particularly Corn tha Coon. Not only does Corn have one of the most questionable names in the rap game, but he comes across as more of a pure shock rapper based on his additions to "Filthy Animals" and, the otherwise decent, "Targets." He also is featured on "Prostitutes," which is a live track that is terribly recorded and does not belong on this LP. Apparently Duck and his posse like to drive around downtown looking for prostitutes who "lick assholes, balls and nuts"--not very presidential, I know. Even the insatiable Bill Clinton wouldn't stoop to that level.
Duckman reaffirms his unapologetic position on United States politics on "Presidential Business" and "Grassy Knoll Politics," to close out the album.
After a quick look at the cartoon cover of the "Duckman for Presidente" album, one would likely disregard the material therein as strictly in jest. At times, the wild nature he portrays himself is clearly intended to be humorous, even though he can rap in rants that can become annoying. It might be Brian Beshears playing his character of Duckman, the lyrical intensity and seriousness by which he conveys them often offer a more serious outlook. The album is spotty in terms of production and consistency, yet it may appeal to those who have a cynical impression of the United States political machine. Furthermore, it may be worth checking into for the low $6.00 price it can be found on InYourHeadOnline.com. A successful run for the White House is unlikely to come to fruition for good ol' Duckman. Still, in our democratic society, anyone can run for office, and a large majority can vote for their favorite candidate…sometimes the votes just don't count!
Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10
Originally posted: February 3, 2009