“They call it the remainder / it’s the number that remains.”
With these two meagre lines the right of Toney Jackson to refer to himself as ‘the rapping teacher’ is destroyed forever. What you do Toney, if it has a name, is to speak words quickly in a monotone while jiggling up and down a bit. This is the worst rapping I’ve heard since, well, since virtually any white man attempted to rap.
This is rapping worse than Honey G, a weird white woman who appeared on The X-Factor and immediately set race relations in the UK back a generation. Though admittedly it has more credibility than Ed Sheeran. But it’s both more amusing and less listenable that this parody of rap from the hilarious Look Around You.
I’ve always pondered why American adverts are beamed into our homes as they’re virtually guaranteed to irritate any right-minded Brit. Sure there’s racists here – the last two years have been a depressing reminder of that very fact – but what’s almost admirable about the British character is how it has an impressive power to be repulsed by the sort of earnest, shit-eating American nonsense that’s all too visible in this Windows advert. Comments are disabled on Youtube because of course they are.
Toney Jackson looks like an idiot. He’s everything Brentish and squirm-inducingly unaware that you see in management culture, self-help gurus and occasionally politicians. He’s a second away from describing himself as a ‘chilled-out entertainer’ or, while musing on the dynamic between himself and his kids as ‘friend first, teacher second…’. Well, you probably know the rest. On the extended version of the advert he refers to the classroom as his ‘stage’ and describes himself as ‘a performer’.
Here’s some more of his insanely catchy flow:
“Welcome to fourth grade;
Today will only be a short day;
I’m Mr Jackson;
I like to laugh and – of course – play.”
We Brits simply can’t cope with this level of blithe self-belief. It’s almost physically awkward for us to witness. Our weapons and self-defences are made of irony, sarcasm and cynicism – shields designed to protect us from uncomfortable social interactions. Making us watch stuff like this is like pinning our eyes open and making us watch scene after scene of violence and rape. Honestly American, first you inflict Trump on the world, now this?
Hey, if the kids yum it up and no-one gets hurt then knock yourself out. If teaching is your calling and you want to spend day upon day, year after year rapping constantly about long division long into old age then I see no reason why not. But don’t export it around the world and beam it into our living rooms, otherwise we’ll start to wonder whether Kim Jong-Un has a point.
At the end of this clearly dangerous 30 seconds come the following claims about Windows 10: “I feel like the sky’s the limit” and “I’ve seen the future”. Far be it for me to suggest that this is total bollocks – after all the words ‘real people paid for real opinions’ are evident under Toney’s face at one point, thereby confirming that he’s earning cash for this guff but, perhaps more worryingly, confirming he is an actually real person – but this is clearly total bollocks.
If a man with glowing eyes turns up in your bedroom at night, stepping out a glowing door to infinity, and claims he has seen the future you’d be pretty fucking devastated if his experience of this undiscovered country was a tablet you can draw swirly lines on to make a rap about ancient Egyptians slightly easier to deliver to bewildered pre-teens. Stick your future – it’s an austerity Jetsons.
Perhaps if Toney went back to the boroughs of New York in the early 80s and revealed himself to be the ultimate expression of hip-hop he might immediately become part of some sort of weird sci-fi paradox where he instantly disappeared. Because all of the genre’s progenitors would immediately get jobs sweeping the streets – or simply immolate themselves – in a desperate effort to prevent a future every bit as horrifying as that seen in the Terminator franchise.
I watch this Windows 10 advert featuring Toney Jackson, the ‘rapping teacher’, and from The Bronx I hear the sound of KRS-ONE gently weeping.