VH1 Gets Blazed

Music channel snags viral vid.

Denny Blaze
Ratatat's Mike Stroud, March 17 at the Beachland. - Walter Novak
Ratatat's Mike Stroud, March 17 at the Beachland.
VH1 will shine a spotlight on Cleveland rapper Denny Blaze in Web Junk Presents: 40 Greatest Internet Superstars. Featuring Blaze's "Average Homeboy" video, the special debuts Friday, March 23, at 8 p.m.

"Picking Denny's clip was an easy choice," says Bernie Kaminski, the show's executive producer. "Some of his rhymes are funny, and the lo-fi quality of the video is amusing. But the thing that has made the clip such a sensation is his total commitment to the concept of being the 'Average Homeboy.'"

Now a professional videographer, the Canton native produced the low-budget video in 1990. (The song was recorded with just a cassette recorder, microphone, and keyboard.) The clip, however, didn't become an internet sensation until last year, logging over a million views via YouTube, MySpace, and other sites. More than 20,000 viewers voted for its yet-to-be-revealed spot on the countdown.

The video captures the mullet-crowned white guy wearing sweaters, a day-glo jacket, and a Kent State jersey as he plays baseball, lounges in the 'burbs, and mows his lawn. At the time, Blaze submitted it to MTV, but everybody involved soon forgot about it. Last year, though, an anonymous source unearthed the video and posted it on the internet. It eventually went viral, spawning the catch phrase "You've been Blazed."

Blaze has since cut the mullet, and he's recorded several CDs and cassettes in his own studio. He hopes the VH1 appearance will create some label interest.

"My material is uniquely from a rural point of view," says Blaze. "My style of rap comes from the suburbs of Ohio. I'm just a middle-class white guy who likes to rap."

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· Turntablist Robtronix won Scene's Ultra Spin-Off at Twist, securing the drum & bass DJ a spot at this weekend's Ultra Music Festival in Miami. The dance-rock festival's headliners include Paul Van Dyk, the Cure, and Ferry Corsten.

· A representative from Bad Boy Records says the long-delayed debut album from R&B singer Cheri Dennis is due this spring. The former Clevelander's disc was originally planned for release last summer.

· American Werewolves have recorded everything but the vocals for their yet-to-be-titled third album, which ups the ante for the hardcore band's unique hybrid of old schools. "It is the real deal with the violent '50s on this one," says frontman Trevor Moment. "We used all vintage equipment and recorded most of it live onto tape. We may be the first group to ever mix country and youth crew."

· Raging new hardcore band the Cheap Tragedies features scene vets from 9 Shocks Terror, Holy Fucking Crap, Iron Teeth, Names for Graves, and the Lovekill. "Sounds like early Revelation stuff meets Gordon Solie Motherfuckers -- very Gorilla Biscuits-esque," says former Amps II Eleven bassist Tony Erba, who sings in the group. The band has two songs at MySpace.com/CheapTragediesHC. Catch them Monday, March 26, at Peabody's (2083 East 21st Street).

· The Black Diamonds' Friday, March 16 show at the Beachland was their first after a split with singer Chad Van Gils. Read more about it at Scene's C-Notes blog, which also features a review of the Daughtry show, photos from the My Chemical Romance concert, and a download of a Biggie Smalls mixtape. It's all free at www.clevescene.com/blogs.

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