“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
― Albert Einstein
I don’t think Albert Einstein knew Eddie Murphy, but when I see this quote, I think of the video below:
Eddie Murphy is one of the all-time kings of comedy. He was at times profane and vulgar, but he was (as his second video claimed) raw. He was a little bit angry. He was a little bit dangerous because he had something to say about American culture. He was young and brash and black and brilliant. He was Chris Rock before Chris Rock. I remember watching his first, far superior, video “Delirious” in my friend’s basement. We knew we were doing something very wrong, and I didn’t get a lot of the jokes, but I knew it was funny.
Most young people now only know Eddie Murphy as Donkey or Dr. Doolittle. There is very little dangerous about him. But I remember Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood, Gumby, Buckwheat, and his duet with Joe Piscopo as Frank Sinatra doing “Ebony and Ivory.” I am black and you are white. You are blind as a bat and I have sight. Yet it seemed like Eddie Murphy always wished he was a singer. And when he sang as a part of his comedy routines, he was funny, and a pretty good singer.
The problem arose when he tried to sing as a singer. Michael Jackson and Eddie Murphy could easily be described as geniuses, but if they were judged solely on “What’s Up With You,” I don’t think the word genius would appear. The song, I think, is supposed to be about the environment and how we are supposed to treat the earth. Beyond repeating “Whazzup wit you” about 45 times, he doesn’t really say much. Although I’m pretty sure he says something like “Let’s Jackie Chan each other.”
The vocals are “good for a comedian” but not food for a singer. This video is just weird. I’d love to describe it for you, but let’s just say it includes Murphy in an undershirt, Jackson in his pretend-army uniform, a bunch of kids that went to school with Carlton and Will skipping and dancing around, some animated hearts, birds and musical notes, some shifts from black and white to color, and some half-hearted dancing which includes Murphy doing some of Jackson’s moves and a lot of exaggerated head nodding.
Like I said, worst video ever. And further proof that Einstein knew what he was talking about. Do what you’re good at, or you might just look stupid.