The beautiful creature pictured above is Wesley Willis. Wesley was a diagnosed schizophrenic musician and artist who achieved a modicum of fame in the late 90s and early 2000s, before passing away due to complications from leukemia in 2003 at age 40. During his life, he produced a staggering number of songs on a broad array of topics: everything from Jesus Christ, to inanimate objects, to getting in fistfights with superheroes, to repeatedly ordering you to perform oral sex on animals. Dude had range. The main reason he could create so damn many songs was that every one was essentially the same. Each song was backed by one of his keyboard’s demo tracks and followed an easily reproducible format: a few 3-4 sentence verses, a chorus consisting only of Wesley repeating the title, and a 90 second keyboard solo in the middle. It was the same format as pretty much every crappy children’s song you’ve ever heard. Where Wesley distinguished himself was the batsh-t insanity of his lyrics.
To say that they came from out of left field is an understatement. That would imply that they came from somewhere within the confines of a standard, fenced-in baseball field. Nope. Wesley’s lyrics were more like an alien spacecraft landing on the pitcher’s mound in the middle of the game — like the last scene of Space Jam, but with oodles of violent profanity. (Note to Hollywood: I would watch an R-rated version of Space Jam so hard that my neighbors would get the wrong idea and discretely slip it domestic abuse hotline information the next morning.)
My own history with Wesley Willis traces back to my freshman year of college. My friends and I would spend hours sitting around and listening to every one of his songs we could find on Napster, laughing until we were sick and doing our best imitations of Wesley’s delivery*. Why yes, I was smoking a couple buttloads of pot at the time, why do you ask?
*Oh, and to anyone who wants to jump in the comments and crap on my cupcakes about how Wesley’s fame was predicated on people exploiting someone who was mentally disturbed — save it. Yes, he had serious mental issues. And the rambling, nonsensical results of those issues were the things that made him popular. But he also spent most of his adult life doing something he truly loved and getting paid handsomely for doing so. That’s more than the majority of us can say about our own lives. So why don’t you drink a tall glass of buzz-the-eff-off and ruin someone else’s day by condemning a playground or something.
Today, on the other hand, I have a different relationship with Wesley’s lyrics. I was listening to some songs of his with an old college friend of mine, and instead of just finding his turns of phrase funny, I actually found myself becoming jealous of them. As a blogger and commenter, I’m frequently trying to string together words in a way to produce something unexpected or funny. It’s not as easy as people make it look. Yet Wesley’s lyrics are littered with phrases and sentences that are mind blowing in their creativity. So, what I’d like to do is present some examples of his work, along with a snippet of lyrics from each that make me kind of upset I don’t have the debilitating mental issues it took to craft them.
Note: All the songs are extremely NSFW and I wouldn’t have it any other way…. Continue For the videos.
“I Whupped Batman’s Ass”
About: Wesley fighting Batman, because he was “running [him] amok,” and because Batman was “a f-cking assh-le in the first place.”
Lyric I’m most jealous of: “Batman beat the hell out of me and knocked me to the floor / I got up and knocked him to the floor/ He was being such a j-goff.”
Reason: I love that Wesley isn’t fighting Batman because he is a supervillian or anything, but because he imagined a scenario where Batman called him a bum. In Wesley’s defense, that is kind of a j-goff thing to do.
About: Wesley’s love of the pop starlet.
Sample lyric that I’m jealous of: The entire second verse. “You are so pretty in Jesus’ name / You are so hot in Jesus Christ / You are a pretty woman in the Holy Ghost / I would do you like a taxi driver.”
Reason: That, ladies and gentleman, is what we call a twist ending. Take note, Shyamalan. Also, until provided with evidence in the alternative, I’m going to assume “I would do you like a taxi driver” was the original line K-Fed used to pick her up. Admit it, it sounds plausible.
“Cut the Mullet”
About: Wesley’s heroic quest to get people to stop rocking mullets.
Lyric I’m most jealous of: “Get the rat’s nest off your head / Get that crazy ass mullet off your skull / Take your ass to the barber shop / Tell the barber that you’re sick of looking like an assh-le.”
Reason: There’s so much to love here, but my favorite part is imagining Billy Ray Cyrus finally becoming self-aware, going to the barber and saying, “(sigh) Cut it all. I’m sick of looking like an assh-le.” It’s funny because he does.
“Suck a Cheetah’s D-ck”
About: Wesley’s desire that you perform fellatio on a large cross section of the animal kingdom.
Lyric I’m most jealous of: “Suck a male camel’s d-ck with Hoisen sauce.”
Reason: I’m not a music historian, but I’ve got to believe this is the cheeriest song ever made about telling someone to go and blow animals. Top five at least. The collection of animals and condiments he uses in this song would impress both a zookeeper and the chef of a three star restaurant. Also, nice of him to specify which which gender of camel to fellate — could have been confusing.
“Jesus Is The Answer”
About: Wesley’s call for his fans to accept Jesus into their life (Note: he did this song as part of the Wesley Willis Fiasco, where he played with a full band backing him instead of just his keyboard’s demo tracks).
Sample lyric that I’m jealous of: The list in the introduction. “#1 – I’m going to do this song again / #2 – I’m going to do this song again, all the way up your ass / and #3 – I’m gonna f-ck your ass up like in a car crash / and #4 – I’m gonna f-ck your ass up like in a goddamn accident / and #5 – JESUS IS THE ANSWER.”
Reason: Another fantastic twist. That list is so beautiful that I’m convinced if you read it enough times, the perfect face of the Virgin Mary will appear to you in your screen. In my mind, Wesley played “Jesus Is The Answer” immediately after one of his many, many songs about copulating with animals. You know, for balance — what the Chinese might refer to as the yin – wang.
These five songs are just a sampling of what Wesley Willis brought to the table. They might not be his funniest or your personal favorites, but they give you a good cross section to jump off from. Go to YouTube and see for yourself — there are tons of songs, clips, and interviews, each wilder than the last*.
*Every now and again, an interview he did with Howard Stern in the late 90s pops up on the Internet. I can’t stress strongly enough to you how important it is you listen to that before it gets taken down. It’s a special kind of wonderful, like a man who will hold his girlfriend’s hair back when she’s sick after drinking too much, or a girl who doesn’t end up kneeling in front of the toilet EVERY SINGLE TIME WE GO OUT DRINKING, SARAH! GOD!
Listening to all these songs makes me miss Wesley a lot. Like one of my other favorite deceased crazy people, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, I can lose hours trying to track down every clip I can find of him on the Internet. (I love ODB so much that I recently put together this very NSFW video of him discussing his love of women. It’s my Citizen Kane.) Even though Wesley’s gone, the music is still there to entertain us. It guarantees that no matter how far we are removed from his death, you can still feel the awkward stares from people in the elevator just as you realize you’ve been quietly singing the chorus of “Suck A Cheetah’s D-ck” since you got on at the lobby. That’s a tremendous legacy.
I want more like this!
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