“Fuck You!” screamed Pimpadelic‘s Easy Jesus as he greeted the capacity crowd at The Bottleneck in Lawrence on a sweltering summer night, and the all-ages audience gleefully responded with middle fingers held high. This set the tone for the evening, with Easy-J and his lily-white crew (even though a color-blind J requested a lit joint on stage for “my niggaz”) being as nasty as they wanted to be and the adolescent crowd members doing all they could to keep pace.
Maybe we can blame Kid Rock for this, and to be honest that’s the first thing that comes to mind when Pimpadelic starts belting out its hardcore rap/rock with riffs and a vocal delivery borrowed from Rage, minus the social consciousness. Sure, Luther, the original Eazy (that’s E, not J), and a host of others did the whole ranch-rap thing over a decade ago with their odes to being young, drunk, and horny, but they weren’t white, and they never got on the cover of Rolling Stone. Now Kid Rock brings us the supposedly sanitized, safe-for-your-kids version, and he brings soon-to-be-bargain-bin players such as Pimpadelic straight out of the trailer park with him. Pimpadelic isn’t as radio-ready as Rock, but the group compensates for that deficiency by being even more offensive, and since sex sells everything, that is its goal. Otherwise, why would you sing about a love for underage girls (Easy Jesus claims to “like them bald and tight”) and follow that up by encouraging some of these teeny-boppers to get on stage and get naked?
These women obliged and Pimpadelic was happy, not so much to have the barely pubescent girls on stage but because its members know the 13-year-old boys in attendance will go home and tell all their friends about the coolest concert they’ve ever seen, complete with weed-smokin’ and naked girls on stage. Hell, I would’ve. Pimpadelic will then sell more records (though its sound is dulled on disc) and sell out its next all-ages jaunt through the Sunflower State. Soccer moms will again drop off their kids at the venue, content that the youngsters are seeing a safe (read, white) rock-and-roll band, not some menacing N.W.A.