Song Of The Day 6/15/2016: William Shatner & Rated R – “No Tears for Caesar”

Improbable Collaborations – I know, it must appear that this blog is overly taken with William Shatner. He automatically gets a Song Of The Day every year on the day of its anniversary. I've squeezed him in at least one other time that I know of. And I haven't even resorted to playing "Rocket Man" yet. But come on -- he's one of our most interesting trans-generational multi-media figures, and he's obviously been having a great time through several portions of his post-Star Trek career. Plus, I said it before, I'll say it again, I'll say it until you want to smack me: Has-Been is a great album. Not ironically great. Just a great album. Spun gold. Sue me.

Admittedly, any collaboration with William Shatner is an improbable one. But this one, in a second or third career filled with illegal left musical turns -- well, this one's the leftest. This was from a movie called Free Enterprise that came out in 1999. I did not see it, but I pimped the soundtrack for my job in L.A. The movie was about a couple of dudes, one played by Eric McCormack of Will & Grace, who are coming to terms with the onset of adult matters while still elastically tethered to their nerd culture past. It may have come out a decade too soon. Shatner is the thematic center and projected, pseudo-Messianic figure of the film. I don't know anything more about it, but I bet it's on DVD. Reviews were not terrible.

One of the gags in Free Enterprise is that the evolvingly self-aware Shatner is trying to be taken seriously again as an actor and a musician. His conduit? A one-man musical production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. How does this come about? I don't know, I didn't see the movie. But I do know that the last song on the soundtrack was a collaboration with rapper Rated R called "No Tears for Caesar." If you know the least bit about Shakespeare's most enduring dramatic monologues, you probably know exactly what's coming. Shatner, who I just assume gets along with everyone except George Takei, hit it off quite well with Rated R, who unfortunately is now serving a life sentence in prison for something I couldn't determine. Apparently Shatner and R had an intense conversation in which they compared and contrasted Caesar with Dr. Martin Luther King. Now that's what I call a strange new world, Wizzle Shatnizzle.


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