by Anthony Harrison
YouTube artists are a special breed. Detroit native “gmcfosho” is my favorite of them all. Watch “IMDABES” just once, and maybe you’ll understand why.
I was introduced to gmcfosho a few years ago by some friends who kept saying, “I’m dabes” — ie, “I am the best” — and I wondered where they picked it up. They showed me, and my life changed.
“IMDABES” contains some of the mainstays of gmcfosho’s greatest songs and videos: gmcfosho (of course), his friends, stylized subtitles, shoddy animation and hilarious, self-aggrandizing lyrics.
There’s something special about “IMDABES,” though, and that thing is the beat — delivered by a sun wearing sunglasses.It’s an absolute earworm, and it’s simply a sung bass line. As gmcfosho says, “That’s right, my voice da track.”
The song is so catchy that it straddles the line between satire and true brilliance. In short, it’s the quintessential gmcfosho offering.
2. “i Ōne dis game”
While “IMDABES” serves as the starting point for anyone hoping to approach gmcfosho, my dark-horse favorite of his videos is “i Ōne dis game.”
I’d already absorbed so much of gmcfosho’s work by the time “i Ōne dis game” dropped in July 2013 that the song and video only reinforced my appreciation of his work.
Gmcfosho’s satiric abilities reach a certain height with “i Ōne dis game.” Plenty of rappers talk about how they ball, but gmcfosho hits all the bases at the same time. He’s “playin’ football [soccer] wit’ a football.” He’s “onna drivin’ range/ sinkin’ free throws.” He haughtily asks, “Oh, you bowlin’ turkeys?/ Well, I just scored a dove.”
I’d be remiss if I left out that, “Bam, domino/ Quizno’s sandwich wit’ oregano,” is one of my favorite rhymes of all time.
3. “DEM PANTS”
As gmcfosho puts it, “You know what I’m talkin’ about/ dem black pants.”
That’s the whole focus of the song. Gmcfosho raps about women in the service industry wearing fantastically tight, black work pants.
“I say, ‘SKIRR,’ any time I see a girl with curves,” gmcfosho says in the intro. “It’s like you driving. I’m straight with curves. SKIRR.”
Anyone who’s ever worked in a restaurant — maybe anyone who’s ever been in a restaurant — recognizes what gmcfosho is rapping about.
“Broads wearin’ tight work pants make me love y’all hoes,” gmcfosho says. “What is yo’ job fo’ you to even need to wear dem pants?”
That’s a good point, too — why the hell should women be forced to wear “dem pants” during work hours?
Perhaps I’m overthinking it.
4. “fals profit”
Gmcfosho walks through a wasteland. He coughs heavily.
The expectorated material is bloody and goopy. And it spells “SWAG.”
He implores Black Jesus to help him in his trying time, because swag is “literally killing [him].”
Black Jesus grants mercy upon gmcfosho, smiting him with “12.5-percent alcohol red wine” and the power of the Lord — mainly through forcing gmcfosho to be Black Jesus “for one song, and one song only.”
The result is something of a radical departure, especially when considering the beat, which strays more towards slow-jam R&B than the typical gmcfosho gangsta-mashup.
The chorus hook, “Capri Sun ain’t got enough juice in ’em,” is fittingly absurd and catchy. It all goes to prove that, three years running, gmcfosho keeps his swag fresh.