Rap was born on disc 20 years ago with “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang. MOT, a kick of a Hollywood in-joke, are doing their best to see that the genre never makes it to 21.
Sure, there have been similar spoofs like Two Live Jews, but the schtick of MOT (as in “member of the tribe,” ne Jewish) harkens back to the novelty discs of Allen Sherman more than anything else; in fact, one can almost imagine MOT funking up “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah,” assuming Warner Bros. decides to let them record another loss leader such as their debut disc, “19.99.”
With yuks-right-out-of the-Borscht Belt raps such as “Emmis G.” and “So Sue Me” (with a groove whose wicked Dr. Dre parody is funnier than any of the hammer-headed rhymes), MOT is best appreciated on disc rather than in a club, not unlike most straight rap acts who are incapable of improvising.
Basically a two-man act, featuring CPA look-alike Ice Berg and his boychik sidekick Dr. Dreidel, who, unlike most rappers (save Wyclef Jean) play real live guitars, MOT is 30 minutes of silliness.
Keynoted by its manager/MC Meshugge Knight, MOT was semi-riotous from the get-go. With help from a dancer that the two referred to as their attorney, as well as a cameo by former Attractions drummer Bruce Thomas, MOT was kind of entertaining in a weird Catskills-meets-Death Row way.
And yarmulkes off to the boys for inducing a jaded Viper Room full of guest-listees to do a hora to their catchiest number, “Havana Nagilah.” Anyone who can make the bodies move in that arms-folded, bodies-rigid with West Hollywood cool deserves kudos.