If you are anything like me, then the chances are you appreciate a good cartoon. I grew up on a variety of great cartoons, one of which wasÂ Dexter’s Laboratory;Â a show that will always remain in my personal top five animated series.
Let’s start with some quick background info:
Dexter’s Lab was the creation of the amazing animator named Genndy Tartakovsky (Notable forÂ creating Samurai Jack as well as Â many other awesome cartoons). The show was originally cancelled in 1998 after only two seasons, though the popularity of the re-runs caused a revival of the show in 2001 with two more season before finally being cancelledÂ permanently.
- Most unexpected album I’ve ever found.
It was during this revival that magic happened. In 2002 , Warner Bros Records released an album titled Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip Hop ExperimentÂ as a promotional tool for both the network and the show it’s self. Cartoon Network had been trying to push music into their programming at the time (I would speculate that the album was also a “fair-well” to this beloved series which was cancelled soon after). The album was a compilation of six Hip-Hop songs inspired by the show, written and performed by various famous artist at the time. This type of music project isn’t completely unheard of.Â The Aquabats (and many many other bands) have been featured on shows like Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street had some big name performances aswell, and I’ve even seen promos for cartoon shows by artists like The Violent Femmes and They Might Be Giants; but it’s not every day that you see a compilation of songs by multiple artists about one specific show.
Since this particular compilation is about a cartoon show targeted at children, the songs remainÂ relativelyÂ clean in lyrics, (I swear I heard reference to smoking chronic) but there’s nothing wrong with that. For some reason the overall concept of this album blows my mind, here we have famous hip-hop artists like Will.i.am and De La Soul writing catchy songs about a red-headed boy genius. Most ofÂ the tracks on this album are highly repetitive and I have a sneaking suspicion that theÂ artist didn’t put all of their effort into writing these lyrics. Despite all of this, the songs remain damn-catchy (especially “Secrets” by Will.i.am) and given the target audience, I don’t blame them for not writing epic hip-hop ballads.Â Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip-Hop ExperimentÂ is a great album if you’re a fan of the show and are looking forÂ some nostalgia, Â if want to annoy your friends with useless trivia, or want to experience a “what the fuck?” moment. If you ever find yourself in any of these circumstances, then look to this album.
Note: This album might actually be more “obscure” than I thought. Contributions to this project are not mentioned on any of the artist’s discography orÂ WikipediaÂ pages. Furthermore, I could only find two tracks that could be heard online, the rest have to be downloaded from a few specific sites that for one reason or another happen to have a copy. This being the case, I have taken the liberty of posting the songs below for your listening pleasure:
Dexter’s Lab Theme Â
Secrets -Will.i.am Â
Dexter (What’s his name?) – Coolio Â
Love According to Dexter- Phiphe Dawg feat. Slick & Rose Â
Sibling Rivalries- De La Soul Â
Mandark’s Plan- YZ
Back to the Lab- Prince Paul Â
If you really like this, and by extension me, you will follow me on the least pretentious music blog ever.
Update: I found this freestyle rap a while ago, I think it belongs in this post: