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Tracing The History Of Fake Rap: Cop Rock

It was only a matter of time before our mission to eradicate fake rap touched upon Cop Rock, the short-lived 1990 musical cop show. To be fair, while it is commonly held that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it, I don’t really think that’s the case with Cop Rock. It is gone, and there will never be a Perfect Storm of Bad Ideas and Incredible High-Level Entertainment Executive Mistakes that allows it to come back. But, to stare the beast in the face is to say goodbye to fear. And so, today, we stare Cop Rock in the face, and we say “Devil, you can’t hurt us anymore.”

First of all, the facts. From Wikipedia:

Inspired by Dennis Potter’s 1986 BBC drama serial The Singing Detective, Cop Rock attempted to combine musical theater with the police drama, the latter a genre in which Bochco had already been very successful with Hill Street Blues. The series featured an ensemble cast that mixed musical numbers and choreography throughout storylines.

The show was a critical and commercial failure and was canceled by ABC after 11 episodes. Owing to the combination of its bizarre nature and its high-powered production talent, it became infamous as one of the biggest television failures of the 1990s.

Now, Cop Rock featured all kinds of musical styles. But when it came to GANG WARFARE, it only featured one musical style: a painfully bad white-man’s-Zinfandel-drunk idea of what rap is:

Woof. The only saving grace is that everyone is already on their way to jail.

The series was created by Steve Bochco (who also created Hill Street Blues, and L.A. Law) and he is seriously the face of fake rap. Look at him:

My gardener was actually the inspiration for Gang Leader #2!

They should teach this in school. That’s the problem. It starts with our children.

I blame the parents. I blame Steve Bochco, the El Paso Police Department, Wendy’s, Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd, and I blame the parents. (Thanks for the tip, Alex.)