I’ll bet Eminem would’ve let *me* do the video, yo

Since he has a record deal and I don’t, Weird Al Yankovic — simultaneously high and low point for the visibility of accordion rockers (as the Village People were for gays) — is going to get the credit for coming up with playing Eminem and Avril Lavigne on the squeezebox. In the case of these two particular artists, I broke with my tradition of favouring “straight” versions of songs over parodies, what with turning Eminem’s Cleaning Out My Closet into a song by an open source software defector (warning: painful geek joke ahead):

I’m sorry Stallman

I never mean to hurt you

I never meant to make you cry

But tonight, I’m getting rid of Debian

…and as part of a stand-up routine, I’d rewritten Sk8r Boi into a song about that silly sub-sub-culture of goths who get into terribly silly things: “S8n Boi” by one “Avril LeVey“.

According to this article, Eminem, in typical hip-hop fashion, is taking himself a little too seriously:

Weird Al Yankovic said he held out hope until the last minute that Eminem would allow him to do a video for “Couch Potato,” his new parody based on the rapper’s Oscar-winning hit “Lose Yourself.” Yankovic negotiated with Eminem’s manager, Paul Rosenberg, who relayed Eminem’s permission for Yankovic to record the song–but delayed the decision to make an accompanying video until Eminem heard the final mix of “Couch Potato.”

“What we heard back from him (Rosenberg) was that Eminem was fine with me having the parody on my album but said he was afraid that a Weird Al video might detract from his legacy, that it would somehow make people take him less seriously as an important hip-hop artist,” Yankovic said.

Proof positive that constant self-aggrandizement is really just a mask for fears and insecurities. Surely someone at his record company must know that having a parody made of your songs and videos is a sign that you’ve made it.

Yankovic said even though he didn’t get to make the video, he’s grateful Eminem let him use the song in the first place. “I’m grateful to Eminem; he at least let me put it on the album,” Yankovic said. “I have to say I’m extremely disappointed at the same time; frankly, this was going to be the best video that I’ve ever done.”

Yankovic said that the video would have featured a “patchwork quilt” of scenes from other Eminem videos.

“Couch Potato” is the first single from Poodle Hat, which hits stores on May 20. The album also features parodies of songs by Nelly, Avril Lavigne and Billy Joel.

What? Nelly too? I sometimes drop the chorus from Hot in Here into the middle of another song.

Stupid big-name accordionists, stealing my thunder.

As my friend Eldon (who pointed me to this story) wrote to me: I’ll bet Eminem would’ve let me do the video.

[Mondo thanks, Eldon!]

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