This article is dedicated to Alex Lugo, a good friend and Viper superfan.
While the official lineup of musical acts for this year’s Slope Day have not yet been confirmed, the names currently under consideration are available, and they are all to a man mediocre. This is not shocking — an institutionally sanctioned college party isn’t usually going to feature boundary-pushing artists. However, one Facebook page sees an alternative. Labelled “community,” Viper for Slope Day 2017 argues that the eponymous rapper-cum-meme should headline the spring event. I’m inclined to agree with the individual who put this page together — Viper is postmodern and awesome: a fascinating artist and excellent entertainer whose music deserves to be exposed to an audience on the scale of Slope Day. Here are but a few reasons why:
- HE’S UNIQUE
“They say that he’s an alien/but I’m the only alien”
- Viper, “I Killed Lil’ Wayne”
Listen you CompLit riders, James Joyce and Yoko Ono have nothing on tha Vipa. Voice pitched down to molasses, Viper is immediately sounds like something else, dredged out of the sewer and beamed into the cyber unconsciousness. The man behind the music is perhaps the most unknown element, but the information available about him intrigues and beguiles – He owns a moving company? He went to prison? Part of the joy of Viper is puzzling out his deal over his countless albums and videos, and a live performance at Slope Day would deepen that mystery beautifully.
- HAS A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR ALL YOU BUSTLERS
There’s a peculiar lyric in “My Hops,” arguably Viper’s masterpiece, in which he informs the listener that “under the bleachers you’ll do a 360.” For the longest time I did not understand this lyric, assuming it to be a sexual act but unable to picture its nature. However, upon freeing myself from human lust and suspicion, I realized the truth of this riddle, simple, funny and humane: the “Crazy Hops” which Viper is going to sell you under the bleachers are so fantastic that at the sight of them you will literally do a 360 degree double backflip. Bringing this perfect, mind-expanding yet earthy poetry would be a public service to the people of Cornell University.
- WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT SNAKES, THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT HIM
So proclaims Viper himself on his classic track “I AM A SNAKE.” If we can take his word on this one, it would be a great opportunity for biology and animal science students to bring Viper to this campus.
- NOT A COWARD
The music of Viper is basic, but in a way that is unlike anything else. Beautiful only when blared out the worst speakers, Viper’s hip-hop strips the genre to its core and turns it loose. Drugs, girls, guns and money are all at play but without glamor. Viper inhabits this space, not rebelling but living. “What’s up with that?” Viper wonders in the ubiquitous “You’ll Cowards Don’t Even Smoke Crack”. In these blunt musings lies the charm of Viper — he is a persona, but there is no pretension. Cornell’s student body could afford to learn from this wry honesty, particularly the Business and Law students.
- HE WON’T STOP TILL HE’S A HOUSEHOLD NAME
Viper has dreams of stardom, evident in his herculean quantity of output, but he has a ways to go before he transcends the constraints of the irony and vaporwave internet scene which has embraced him. He may be “makin’ more money than [he] eva made this year,” but what Viper really deserves is the notoriety of a Kanye or an MC Ride. And if the patronage of Big Red can help Viper on his path to immortality, I say we must take this chance to remain on the right side of history.
Nathan Chazan is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected]