Valley Meadows drops solid rhymes, super jokes on debut album (Review + audio)

They may not have the resources to get Nicki Minaj or Snoop Dogg to drop by on their record, but Minnesota-based hip-hop duo Valley Meadows is proving that you don’t need bling and flash to create delightfully entertaining (and funny) rap music. Gary Schishynszenski (Chris Knutson) and MC Tom Johnson (Zach Coulter) combine hilarious lyrics and high-energy stage antics with what are no doubt the most banging beats around in their new Kickstarter-funded self-titled album.

The gentlemen promised their loyal backers that they would “make a record that’s so loaded with hilarious lyrics and bangin’ beats that everyone who listens to it feels tingly in their guts and immediately rushes out to buy a pregnancy test,” and let’s just say there’s been a lot of peeing on sticks lately.

Released through Stand Up! Records, the self-titled collection is a quick listen at just over a half hour, but many of the tracks are bound to stick in your head for quite some time– particularly a catchy little number titled, “Balls on the Ceiling”, which has the boys voicing their angst towards the police by rapping, “Put your balls on the ceiling – f**k you, pig!”

The album overall paints a comical image of Gary and MC Tom, who live in Gary’s mom’s (and stepfather Neil’s) basement. Kicked off by “Neil” himself, who claims he went behind their backs to release the album to make some rent money, songs such as “Kung Fu Karate” and “Do You Remember the Rain?” are interlaced with shorter comedy bits that are as creatively unique as they are funny. “Vegan Potluck Open Mic” finds Gary and Tom crashing a vegan open mic with various meat and dairy-related material, which is sure to appeal to the comedy-loving carnivores.

This duo isn’t your average fake-rap act; their clever and often ironic songs combined with bizarre sketches make an excellent combination. Knutson, who was the winner of the 2010 Twin Cities Funniest Person Contest at Acme Comedy Company; Coulter was the winner of the 2011 ABSOLUT Funniest Comedian Contest and together they were finalists in last year’s “Minny’s Got Talent” Contest at Mall of America’s House of Comedy. But even without the accolades, this album is proof enough that Valley Meadows should be around for years, prompting laughs and the urge to dance from their eager audiences.

Download your copy of Valley Meadows today from iTunes, strap on your Velcro kicks and prepare for awesomeness with the guys… and help Neil make a little rent money this month.

Angela Frissore

Angela Frissore is a Boston-based writer and comedy producer who believes that laughter is the cure for all that ails us. Never one to take life too seriously, her mission is to seek out and share the deepest belly laughs around the country. You may contact Angie with your comments and questions at

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