Andrew-Jon P.

Artist/Producer/Creative/IMC Graduate.

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"I'm Listening": How Frasier Parallels Billboard's Top Rap Songs

This is the first iteration of my pop culture piece on the parallels of "Frasier" and the current Billboard chart for Top Rap Songs, in honor of the show's 20th anniversary.

Please do leave any suggestions, feedback or edits. I'm listening...

In honor of the 20th anniversary of "Frasier" first airing on NBC on September 16th of 1993, I wanted to do a fun tribute that actually has nothing to do with the first episode at all. It's really rather convenient and slightly opportunistic of me to even be using my love of "Frasier" to cross-promote my undying love for hip-hop music.

You may be asking, "How does 'Frasier' and hip-hop even come up in the same sentence?" Well, you may be shocked to discover that the pompous psychiatrist is much more relatable in the rap world than you think (Have you SEEN the credits for "Girlfriends")!

To illustrate my point, I'll be running down the current Billboard Top 10 Rap Songs (at the time of penning this article, the date stands at September 5th. Could have done the week of the 14th but come on. Making the connection between "Berzerk" and Frasier is just out of the realms of reality, friends…) and relating the songs (or quoting) as to how Frasier, Niles, Daphe, Martin… and yes, even Eddie connect to our 21st century of boom-bap and 808s.

10. Type Of Way - Rich Homie Quan

By the end of season 6 of the series, Frasier has been through more than his fair share of tumultuous relationships. Things, however, start to look up at the beginning of season 7 as he meets a charming woman, Mia, at his frequented Cafe Nervosa. As he begins chatting her up, he is approached by numerous women (all of which by coincidence or humorous timing) and by the end he is quoted as saying: "God, you must think I'm some sort of smooth operator."

In the chorus of his breakout single, "Type Of Way", Rich Homie Quan says, "Sade, I'm a smooth operator." We can only hope Mia doesn't respond to Quan the same way she does to Frasier by responding flatly with a "No, not really."

9. U.O.E.N.O. - Rocko feat. Rick Ross & Future

I'm not touching that Rick Ross line about molly with a 10 foot pole.

Anyways, in episode 1 of season 3 ("She's The Boss") Niles wants a gun for personal security. He asks his father, Martin, a former police officer, for his gun.

Niles: Our home security system is down for repairs. With no electric gates, I'll just feel safer if I'm packing heat.

Frasier: Oh, for Heaven's sake, Niles, you don't even know how to pack a lunch!

(Sidenote: I might add that the fact Niles is asking for a firearm specifically makes the quote all the more ironic considering the lyrical nature of Rocko and Rick Ross' respective verses.)

8. Beware - Big Sean feat. Jhene Aiko & Lil Wayne

"You should beware, beware, beware… of a woman with a broken heart."

Well into season 5 of Frasier, viewers were already well acquainted with Niles' character but more so with Lilith's, considering she had already appeared in 80 episodes of "Cheers" prior to her crossover to the spin-off. So it sent shockwaves when Frasier's brother and ex-wife wound up having a one-night stand together! At the time of the incident, Lilith was in a vulnerable state after her husband left her for another man. She attempted to gain physical validation from Frasier, but failed as he didn't want to feel guilty afterwards. This only made things worse when Niles was the one who ended up taking her home at the end of the night.

7. Crooked Smile - J. Cole feat. TLC

One of the themes throughout Frasier's series run was self-acceptance. J. Cole speaks on being comfortable with his "twisted grill just to show the kids it's real" on his "Born Sinner" single. Although Frasier's main characters never had notable dental issues, Roz is a fine example of someone who occasionally struggled with physical appearances as seen in episode 2.11, "Seat Of Power", where in the first scene she asks Frasier if he found the back of her head attractive. "Tell me THAT ain't insekurr" *Kanye voice*

6. Power Trip - J. Cole feat. Miguel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbGzf-xHpZc

Yeah. I went there.

5. Thrift Shop - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz

I know this quote has absolutely nothing to do with thrift shops because, frankly, if you watch "Frasier" expecting him to come up on a skeet blanket or a knee board, you're watching the wrong show. Instead, here's one of my favorite "Frasier" quotes where he's doing an impression of what he thinks Dr. Mary, a sassy black co-host, would describe him as:

Frasier: What, am I getting too uppity for you? You sherry-swilling, opera-loving, Armani-wearing elitist. You have no idea how difficult it is for a black woman in a white man's world.

Looks like he channeled that black woman energy into helping produce "Girlfriends" and "The Game".

4. Gas Pedal - Sage The Gemini featuring IamSu

No. Just no.

3. Can't Hold Us - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz

Funny thing about having Macklemore on the list 3 times is you eventually have to connect their Seattle roots. Yes, Frasier and Macklemore have common grounds in their hometown. But did you happen to catch the name of the Seattle Supersonics (yeah, it's that old) player in episode 5 of season 4…? You guessed it. "Reggie Maclemore." There was talk of a Ben Mclemore, former Kansas Jayhawks guard, that was supposed to be drafted for the Seattle Sonics but somehow ended up with the Sacremento Kings. But I digress.

Did "Professor Macklemore" study more than just basketball in his "Wing$"? Apparently, he's either a psychic who can predict future college recruits' last names and create rap names from them… OR MACKLEMORE LOVES FRASIER. Well… actually Niles in this specific episode. But who's counting?

2. Same Love - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert

Time for more serious talk. We all know the now infamous "When I was in the 3rd grade, I thought that I was gay…" opening line from Mack's "Heist" single. But for those of us who haven't experienced watching an over 40-year old man frown at a woman calling his romantic fish dinner "dry" would never know that everyone pretty much thinks Frasier is gay.

He actually calls himself into question in an episode after having dreams about finding himself in bed with a flamboyant co-worker. Let alone all of the other episodes ("The Matchmaker", "Out With Dad", "The Doctor Is Out") whose synopsis revolves around gay moments.

1. Holy Grail - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake

On "Holy Grail", Justin croons over a magnificent Timbaland beat while Hov finds himself complaining and then retracting his feelings on fame. The imagery on this record is bountiful for the listeners who wish to envision a lavish life fit for royalty… which is exactly what Niles & Frasier thought they were in season 7.

During episode 7, the Crane boys find out they all love the same TV show, "Antiques Roadshow". This creates a bond that drives them to dig through their belongings to find something to appraise when the show visited Seattle. Martin brings a family heirloom - a bear clock, that both Niles and Frasier ridicule until they discover it could not only be worth over $25,000 but could be the missing link to their lineage to Russian royalty. They come to find that not only does the heirloom rightfully belong to the Russian embassy and they won't be receiving any money for it, but their great-grandmother was a prostitute in New York. Their disappointment leaves room for one of the best Niles and Frasier exchanges of the series:

Frasier: Well... we're out fifteen thousand each.

  Niles: And we have to take long trips in a Winnebago.

Frasier: And we're not Romanovs.  We're descended from thieves and 

         whores.

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