Last week brought the news that a Chicago outfit called the Smoke Jumpers had recorded a track called “My Flow So Tight,” a “James Brown Is Dead”-ish piece of piffle that became newsworthy because of its chorus asking for the ass-kicking of one Chris Brown. In the five days that have passed, the song has been gaining steam both on the radio and at the iTunes Store—and it’s also been causing steam to come out of the years of the Texas outfit called the Smoke Jumpers, a garage-rap outfit from Austin.
The Smoke Jumpers have spoken, and oh man are they sick of the celebrity-industrial complex:
Their music is actually quite good, and it’s certainly better than the techno-y tabloid-baiting nonsense put forth by its dopplegangers. (I like “Nowadays,” which is streaming from their MySpace page, a lot.) Anyway, the wannabe pugilists are now calling themselves the Jump Smokers—get it? yeah, it makes no sense—and so that’s settled for now.
Let’s turn this into a learning opportunity! In case you, like me, were wondering just what a smoke jumper might be, the U.S. Forest Service is here to help!
Smokejumping was first proposed in 1934 by T.V. Pearson, the Forest Service Intermountain Regional Forester, as a means to quickly provide initial attack on forest fires. By parachuting in, self-sufficient firefighters could arrive fresh and ready for the strenuous work of fighting fires in rugged terrain. The smokejumper program began in 1939 as an experiment in the Pacific Northwest Region, and the first fire jump was made in 1940 on Idaho’s Nez Perce National Forest in the Northern Region. In 1981, the first woman smokejumper in the nation successfully completed the training program at the McCall Smokejumper Base in Idaho.
The Forest Service also notes that smoke jumpers need to “possess a high degree of emotional stability and mental alertness.” Does releasing a crass-in single that gets tons of tabloid attention count as “alertness”?