Anthrax – I’m The Man EP
So, it’s been a crazy week for me and I haven’t been able to sit down bang out a review in a few days. Again, I’m just going to borrow from the original series and Wikipedia and see if I can have it all makes sense.
“Today we explore one of the earliest, if not the first rap/metal songs ever recorded with Anthrax’s ‘I’m The Man’ EP. The song is a bit of a joke now, but when I had this back in 7th grade I loved it. But listening to it 25 years later it really doesn’t stand up to the test of time. But then again it wasn’t really meant to be a serious song, to begin with. Just one listen and you can tell they were having fun with this one, but they weren’t actually mocking rap artist and rap music, but sort of paying tribute to it. Though that may be kind of hard to pick up on when you look at the cover and listen to the song. But it is what it is. Though there were few rap/rock songs written and recorded by the time this EP came out, this song may be the first rap/metal song to be released. It definitely predates Faith No More’s ‘Epic’ by a year at least.
After not hearing this record since I was in middle school, I have to say the best thing about it is the cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ and the live versions of ‘Caught In A Mosh’ and ‘I Am The Law’. The live version of ‘I’m The Man’ is slightly more amusing than the studio versions, but the joke has gotten old after all these years, and if you wanna hear a much better example of Anthrax exploring rap/metal I’d suggest checking out their cover of Public Enemy’s ‘Bring Da’ Noise’, it’s way better than this song.”
So, after looking at the Wikipedia page for this EP I learned that the song contains so many more samples than I originally thought. The Metallica and Sam Kinison samples are obvious, but there are quite a few more that I never noticed. Rather than try and rewrite the Wikipedia article I’m just going to quote it verbatim:
“The beginning of “I’m the Man” features an electric guitar sample of Jewish folk song “Hava Nagila”, which can also be heard in the chorus. The chorus’ lyrics are borrowed from one of Taylor Negron’s lines in the Rodney Dangerfield movie “Easy Money.” Rather than using a sample, the lines are performed by Frankie Bello. Anthrax even used one of Sam Kinison’s famous primal screams for the song.
In “I’m the Man”, right out of the gate after Sam’s iconic scream, opens with a sample of “In A Big Country” from Big Country, and at about 1:55 a sample of the Metallica song “Master of Puppets” from their 1986 album Master of Puppets can be heard. A few times after “I’m The Man” is said, you can hear “Shut Up” from Run–D.M.C.’s “You Talk Too Much” off their 1985 album King of Rock. Quite a few times throughout “I’m the Man” the “Yeah” that begins the song “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” by the Beastie Boys on their 1986 debut, Licensed to Ill is sampled. Also, the main drum rhythm through the song is very reminiscent to Billy Squier’s “The Big Beat”, from his debut album The Tale of the Tape.”
So anyway, after listening to this EP again this afternoon I must say I stand by my assessment that this song was fun back in 1987 when I was 13 yrs old but is really lame now. The only reason I bought this record a few years ago, was because I owned back in the day on vinyl and the collector in me wanted to pick up all the old records I grew up with. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered with it. Because when you get right down to it the song ‘I’m The Man’ is just a novelty tune and only needs to be heard once.