Nick Ryan’s fabulous 2014 folk album, Prose & Cons, was a finalist for our Borealis Music Prize in 2014. But for the 2015 RPM Challenge, the folk musician put his hat on backwards and busted out something both fun and impressive as “Cabillac” with his album, $trictly for my $kipper$.
Ryan re-wrote the lyrics to 10 classic old-school hip hop songs from the point of view of a Jiffy Cab driver (and most songs feature a spoof of the notorious dispatch guy). It’s a joke album sure, but legit, totally witty, and he clearly had a blast. This project is applaudable for the consistently solid lyrical re-writes, which was no easy feat – there are a lot of words in a hip hop song, and every line has to be bang on for parody, and they are. Even on the one song that’s a non-sense stretch (The Fugees “Killing Me Softly” rewritten as “Jiffing Me Softly.” That track features “Jiffy Elliot” instead of real life rapper Missy Elliot in the place of Lauren Hill.) The bad-ass standout on the album might be Dr. Dre’s “Still DRE” rewrite as “Still C.A.B.” about how Jiffy’s got way more “cab cred” than the other fools in town. Two more highlights: Notorious B.I.G’s “Hypnotize” as “Tipnotize,” and “The Humpty Dance” as “The Jiffy Dance.”
Even more fun than the album is how much Jiffy itself got behind Nick’s new persona as Cabillac. “I initially called asking if I could have permission to have their logo in my album photo,” he says. “The next day their boss called me back and he thought the record was hilarious. Soon enough the famous dispatcher was picking me up, having me fitted for clothes that they could have Cabillac printed on. The highlight for me was when the dispatcher said I nailed his voice, and some of his family thought so too.” He’s seen the texts from dispatch’s family. “Really nice guys, I love that they embraced the joke so much.”
But the biggest surprise for Ryan is that local radio stations have spun Cadillac tracks. “I was out for drinks with friends when I heard CBC was playing some of the tracks. From online comments, to people trying to actually buy it (please don’t), to getting over 4000 listens in a few weeks. It’s just all hilarious.”
The Overcast received some of the comments he alludes to. Every Friday in March, we posted 5 Editor’s Picks for albums produced in February as part of the RPM Challenge. The comment thread below Cabillac’s album offers him women, party invites, and even this. “cabylac [sic] my boiiiiiiiiii come out to sirens after danite ill buy yer first dance get her to dance to yer beats some fuckkked maybe rap a bit for the bachelorrrrrrr.”
Cabillac’s re-write of “Ghetto Superstar” as “Taxi Superstar” features MCP … which is Colleen Power, who also did a hip hop RPM, and they did cameos on each other’s albums. Don’t be surprised if your next Jiffy cabbie is playing this album, and representing their new hip hop homeboy, straight outta Rabbittown. City Wide don’t know shit.
“The Jiffy Dance”