The SmarK Rant For Randy Savage – “Be A Man”


Now, I should start by noting that I wish I was in fact rich enough to bang strippers and cut rap albums on a whim, and thus you really do have to give Savage some props for being wealthy enough to cross the line from “crazy” to “eccentric” with such panache. Although I’m sure with less money in his account, he’d be in the funny farm by now.

You’re probably at this point thinking to yourself, WHY would Savage suddenly cut a rap album, and honestly none of the press material included actually answers that question. Maybe he just wanted to cut his challenge to Hogan and needed a full CD of filler, I don’t know.

Savage was, at the least, smart enough to get some other people to handle the production and writing for this. Khalid Keene & Brian Overton do all the writing, and Macho sticks with growling and “rapping”. The tracks are as follows:

1. Intro. A spoken-word introduction establishing that Savage is, indeed, back. (0:47)

2. I’m Back. Why does every rapper need a song declaring that they’re back? I mean, obviously they are, if the album is out. Anyway, the gist of this is that “wants to know if Randy’s still in the ring”, which he’s not, but I guess logic wasn’t the goal here. The hook itself is pretty catchy, with a layered guitar sound, albeit an obviously looped one. Savage also introduces his songwriters and everyone but his PR agent at the end, in case we cared. I liked the ending, because the catchy hook played instrumentally for a few seconds, without Savage rapping. (3:19)

3. Let’s Get It On. Savage tries to be funky, using a sample of “Oh yeah” as the hook for much of the song over a pretty decent bassline, although like much of the album it sound too mechanical and overproduced. Sample lyric: “OOOH Yeah it’s not wise to mess with Randy / Cuz you’ll catch a beatdown to the third degree.” Yeah, I’m scared. (2:36)

4. Gonna Be Trouble. Savage’s roid rage continues, as he threatens more sucker DJs and actually tries to sing in the chorus, with mixed results. Sample lyric: “Even though you haven’t seen me in the ring for awhile / I’ll still kick ya butt and walk away with a smile”. This is really starting to get disturbing, because you’d think by now everyone would know that wrestling is fake and Savage doesn’t REALLY beat people up. Especially the people who saw him get his ass kicked in Spider-Man by Tobey Maguire. This one has a rap break in the middle by an actual rapper, so it scores a little better overall. The cheesy keyboard riff is pretty weak, though. (3:34)

5. Get Back. No, not a cover of the Beatles song, although that might have been interesting. Another weak keyboard riff as Savage blusters about slamming people and dropping the pain and stuff. Oh, and he rhymes “pain”, “insane” and “brain”, so that shows you the level of stuff we’re dealing with here. Given a better producer and someone who can EMOTE, this might have worked, but here no. Another rap break tries to bail it out. (3:23)

6. R U Ready. This one has a keyboard and guitar loop right out of Jan Hammer’s nightmares, although it’s pretty catchy until Savage starts rapping again. That’s a pretty common problem with the album, which would have been easily fixed by not letting him rap. Of course, it’s his album, so perhaps kicking him off his own project would haven’t been as commercially feasible as they would have liked, but I’m trying to help here. Sample lyric: “I’m as ready as ever like the batteries
And like Q-tip I’ll make ‘em stop and breathe.” Savage even makes sure to call out both east and west coasts. And it finishes with an actual guitar solo! Well, I don’t know that it’s an actual guitar, but it’s a solo. Again, less Savage, this works as a catchy little pop number, but otherwise, no. (4:14)

7. Remember Me. Back to the cheesy Puff Daddy keyboard loops and background singers, as Savage switches from his tough-guy rapper voice to a whispered growl. What is WITH his incessant need to assert his manliness? I mean, he’s the MACHO MAN, you’d think it’d be evident. Once he had three valets in WCW, I got the point. Rapping “Macho Man” as an acronym (the O is for ‘OOOOH YEAH!’, apparently) is unintentionally hilarious. Oh, and he raps about Wrestlemanias III and IV here, which also had me falling off my chair with laughter. (4:00)

8. Be A Man. The title track and centerpiece of the album, as Savage throws out the most ludicrous challenge in a rap song in the past 15 years, and that’s saying something. This is about Hogan’s cowardly refusal to wrestle Savage in a real fight, and apparently is Savage overcompensating for his one big movie role by criticizing all of Hogan’s previous ones. Hogan’s current persona-non-grata role in wrestling makes this all the sadder. Sample lyric: “Dude please your pay per view event was a joke / You’re avoidin’ Randy Savage cuz you know you’ll get smoked / Come on that phony fight the Rock spanked you fast / But when I challenged Hogan to a real fight he passed”. This is not only the silliest song on the album, but the worst, musically. (2:58)

9. Hit The Floor. We’re into the real filler on the album now (and it’s only a 40 minute album!) as this sounds like pieces of better songs assembled with splicing tape. Savage is hardly even on this one, which makes it one of the better ones, as DJ Kool handles most of the grunt-work here. And with Savage, it’s LITERALLY grunt-work. Sample lyric: “East Coast, West Coast, everybody worldwide get ya hands in the air / Hit The Floor / Right side, Left side, inside, outside, this side, that side / Come On Hit The Floor”. (3:34)

10. Feel the Madness. Bizarre hair-metal looped riff and shrieking chorus, as Savage again names off the various coasts. And that’s about it, as we’re supposed to feel the madness, basically. I’d feel madness for paying for this CD, but luckily I didn’t. (3:18)

11. Tear It Up. Another generic guitar riff and session singer background vocal does nothing to distinguish this “party time” song. Kinda like Andrew WK without the deep social message. Sample lyric: “You can’t believe Macho Man’s rockin’ the crowd like this / Pound this hit in the club now they’re pumpin’ their fists / Haters are pissed cuz I got the mic in my hand / Now I got rap and rock plus my wrestlin’ fans” I wouldn’t be so fast to make assumptions until I saw the record sales, Randy. (3:18)

12. It’s a Macho Thing. Savage gets in touch with his inner pimp, as he switches back to his whispered growl and talks about picking up in chicks in bars over another cheesy riff. Major yawner. (2:57)

13. Pretty Lady. Now Savage channels Barry White, almost moving to singing again instead of rapping, getting in touch with his feelings and stuff. Kind of like Shaggy, but slowed down and even less intelligible. Sample lyric: “The fame’s cool but you really complete me / And I never felt this way about another so deeply.” Awww, under the steroids, he’s really a big teddy bear. (3:42)

14. Perfect Friend. The best part of the album, because it’s the END OF IT. Savage sends this one out to Mr. Perfect, with another generic mellow riff and really no insight into the friendship between Savage and Hennig. I didn’t even know they had one, in fact, but it’s on the album, so who am I to argue? (3:54)

The album totals about 45:00, but totally dies once he gets to “Be A Man”. It’s not that the album is TERRIBLE (it’s better than, say, the WWE’s rap album from a few years ago), but it’s just so generic and Savage is crazy enough with his regular speaking voice that we don’t need to hear him try to sing, too. Plus he has no vocal range whatsoever and no emotional range, either. Whether rapping about scoring with chicks or about how he wants to beat up Hogan, it’s all the same voice.

The Bottom Line:

As a novelty album, I’ve heard far worse. As a wrestler ego project, it’s certainly better than Hogan’s CD, and in fact the production and writing are good enough that you can almost judge it against regular rap music rather than wrestler music, but then it’s not even a contest.