The U-Krew – Ugly (1990)

Here’s where good old-fashioned civic pride intersects with bad music. The U-Krew, an act I’ll be surprised if any of you remember, had a #28 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990 with “If U Were Mine,” thus instantly becoming the biggest rap group to ever come from Portland, Oregon. This is a chart record which remains unbroken by the untold legions of Portland rap artists who have released music in the last 17 years, which means that Portland music fans with long memories are pretty much required to be proud of the U-Krew.

I don’t have a copy of “If U Were Mine,” and the video has already been removed from YouTube by the Viacom sheepfuckers police, so we won’t be listening to it today. All you get is the U-Krew’s final single, “Ugly.”

Well. That isn’t really all you get. The group’s label, the soon-to-be-defunct-for-what-will-soon-be-obvious-reasons Enigma Records, thoughtfully included a whopping three versions of the song, the “Ugly Face mix” (download), the “Ugly Stupid Dope Boom mix” (download), and the “Dub Ugly mix” (download):not to mention something called “Rock That Shit” (download).

I could go on and on about this song. It’s simultaneously awesome and awful in a way that very few songs have ever been. But the song speaks for itself more persuasively than I could. I’ve gone to the trouble of transcribing most of the lyrics I’m able to understand:

Oh my God, I don’t believe this! Yo, G-Mac, c’mere for a second, man!


Remember that ugly girl, Clarella, in high school, man?


She over here looking for you! Here you go! Here’s Jimmy! He up on the stage!

Be quiet!

Hey, what’s wrong with Clarella? She’s nice and everything. Why don’t you go talk to her, man?


She’s an ugly woman, and this is the truth
She got a big rotten tooth and a ???
Little kids get ghost when she get near, ’cause she could
Trick or treat every day of the year
She’s a misafrickin’ freak! (Yeah, I know what you mean)
Born October 31st, and the queen of Halloween
“Mud duck” is the term the homeboys use
For the wacked-out women that we refuse
She’s a prehistoric freezer burn frost-bitten prune
You never wanna see her, man, the girl is a goon
She got ring around the collar
Not worth a dollar
Walk into a church and make grown folks holler
They don’t say “hallelujah,” they just jump back
And say “Lord have mercy, would you look at that?”
She’s a dizzy dirty dog
A descendant of a demon
Tried to kick it with a genie
And the boys start screamin’

I don’t know why

Well, it’s the ugly girls that I can’t stand
‘Specially when an ugly girl look like an ugly man
80-inch neck, 50-inch hips
No hair on the head, the big ??? lips
??? women, like to wrestle alligators
Musclebound hairy Hulk Hogan impersonators
Oh my God! There goes another
Innocent victim of an ugly mother
They do their ugly dance to an ugly beat
They live in an ugly house on an ugly street
They like to wear their ugly shoes on their ugly feet
Must have sat their ugly butt on an ugly seat
When they get a man, he just wants the money
Couldn’t be seen with the ???
It must be the tail, or the way they smell
‘Cause when they walk by, Lavelle, he just yells

I don’t know why
You make me cry
You sure ain’t fly

Ugly girls in the place, we know how you feel
You think you look good? Ha ha ha! Be for real
We knew you in school, you was ugly then
You got fly for a minute, now you’re ugly again
‘Cause you was born ugly
Raised ugly
Damn, girl, you just ugly
U-G-L-Y is your middle name
(But her first name is Ugly!)
And her last name’s the same
So it’s Ugly Ugly Ugly on the birth certificate
And that’s about as ugly as a girl can get
Now that’s true, yeah that’s true, and it is no lie
And ugly is spelled U-G-L-Y

I don’t know why
You make me cry
You sure ain’t fly

U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi
Ugly, absolutely ugly

(“Ugly” did not chart anywhere, ever.)