An Oral History of The Polar Bear MC’s aka Tha Killa Korpse Gangstaz
By Henry Johnson
Fifteen years is a long time for anything to last. A friendship, a job, love, most dog breeds… And it’s no different in the world of music. Some of the most famous, world renowned bands never made it close to fifteen years.
The Polar Bear MC’s aka Tha Killa Korpse Gangstaz (Jewish Dave, MC Randumb, D-Mize, Q, Mex 2 Da Bizzo, Rock & Roll Billy and Rubbz), an infamous Las Vegas based comedy-rap group didn’t either. Well, they sort of did if you count all of the many offshoots of the group that still live on… The group as a whole though only lasted a few years. But it was a wild few years, and it all started 15 years ago on September 22nd, 2002. Well, that’s not true actually… It all started on October 31st, 2001, but it seemed more appropriate to do this now, since it was the release date of their debut album, “I Hope U Melt” and their first live performance at the now defunct Maryland Parkway college bar The Rock (you’ll notice a trend of closed venues as the story continues).
Whatever… I’ll let them tell their own story.
On the first recording sessions
Q (The Polar Bear MC’s): I have a distinct memory of what I think was the very first recording we did, which was really just Jewish Dave and Mystah Korpse rapping over a midi beat. I remember D-Mize and Mex 2 Da Bizzo being present, and we were heading out to a costume party but we were all far too cool to be wearing costumes back then.
Jewish Dave (The Polar Bear MC’s, MC Randumb & Jewish Dave, D-Mize & Dee. Rockz, Tha Big Yummy, FA-COCK-TA, David Rosen): Mystah Korpse wanted to make the worst rap song imaginable and that’s what we tried to do that night with “Slime!”
D-Mize (The Polar Bear MC’s, D-Mize & Dee. Rockz): The First sessions (I call them seshes) were just us waiting around at Dave’s parent’s house while he finished working with “the real rappers.”
Rubbz (The Polar Bear MC’s): Dave was the only one who knew what he was doing… barely.
D-Mize: After hours of drinking Sunnys’ iced tea, Dave would play a beat and we would all write for 20-30 minutes before each taking turns recording.
Jewish Dave: Back then I was very protective of the good beats and saved them for those “real rappers” so I was only giving you guys my second rate tracks. Of course all those good beats never got used and are now dated or I can’t even load the files anymore.
Mex 2 Da Bizzo (The Polar Bear MC’s, Tha Big Yummy): Who was the first one to get on a track other than you and Mystah Korpse?
Jewish Dave: I don’t remember, I think it was MC Randumb and D-Mize, maybe the same song… Then you. I think Q and Billy were last.
MC Randumb (The Polar Bear MC’s, MC Randumb & Jewish Dave): I was already making my own stupid songs with Acid Loops but they sucked, so when Mystah Korpse played me your first songs I wanted to come to a recording session. I was, maybe not coked up but really a lot of booze because I was nervous but I got to know all you fun little guys and it was great. I had so much fun!
On The Killa Korpse Gangstaz aka Tha Polar Bear MC’s
MC Randumb: We named ourselves that because of the first fucking song dude, right? Mystah Korpse said it.
D-Mize: We named ourselves that because Goodie Mobb was already taken.
Jewish Dave: Well Killa Korpse Gangstaz was something Mystah Korpse said on that first song yeah, and then The Polar Bear MC’s was something he said joking about how this rap group I was producing, Desert Mobb, was always talking about how cold they were.
Q: Our early tagline was “the coldest MC’s on earf” which fit with The Polar Bear MC’s name, which incorrectly got an apostrophe early on and was never corrected to my eternal annoyance.
On the debut album I Hope U Melt
D-Mize: We had recorded close to a million songs already.
Jewish Dave: Not quite a million but considering the three disc special edition I’m about to release for this 15 year anniversary, it’s pretty close.
MC Randumb: We had our CD on sale at Tower Records and WOW Superstore and Big B’s… It was everywhere. It was kind of cool.
Jewish Dave: Yeah it was before it was easy for anyone to just have an album on iTunes or whatever, you had to actually physically distribute the album. It was different back then. Unfortunately I tried to save money by printing over 1000 inserts without the CDs thinking I could make them myself and now I have like 500 inserts sitting in my garage that I can’t give away unless I make the rest of the CD too.
Rock & Roll Billy (The Polar Bear MC’s): You’re a CD.
On the first show at The Rock
Mex 2 Da Bizzo: I remember you telling us we all had to do it and you would hate us if we didn’t do it.
Jewish Dave: (laughing) Is that true?
Mex 2 Da Bizzo: Yes. None of us wanted to.
Q: We were definitely not ready and for one of us to suggest that we would benefit from practice would garner jeers from the rest because the height of uncoolness was to appear as if we cared about anything or wanted to be good.
MC Randumb: It was so much fun though. So funny. Getting up in front of all those people.
Q: Aside from our inability to memorize lyrics and our staggering lack of talent, Jewish Dave was a piss-poor live producer.
Jewish Dave: (laughing) I was just figuring it out as we went.
Q: He was literally stumbling his way through basic cable exchanges, MP3 player file format issues, and power supply issues in real time, in front of the audience.
Rubbz: You had me though…
On the reaction to the album and first shows
D-Mize: Some of the shows went great and some didn’t at all.
MC Randumb: Only the ones that wanted to have fun liked it. Everyone loved us at The Boston.
Sunny Rosen (Jewish Dave’s Mom, Wax Trax Records): I remember having to stay up way past my bedtime to watch you. I was at almost every show and I loved every minute of it.
Jewish Dave: Of course you did.
Alex Bleecker (Jiggy Pfhatt, DoeNuts): We discovered you guys at the Smoothie King show. I remember smiling dancing Jewish afros and frogs and rabbits.
Q: That Smoothie King show was amazing, but overall we weren’t very good. I mean most of the songs were very, very bad.
Jewish Dave: Stop. You love those songs and you know it.
Will Hines (Knoxx Prime, Desert Mobb): Hey, you guys were eclectic as shit and like nothing else you’ve ever seen.
Rich Ruane (The Polar Bear MC’s #1 Fan): Randumb wearing an animal costume shooting water guns at the crowd at Club Se7en was the best.
MC Randumb: Dude, the midget?
Jewish Dave: It’s little person.
MC Randumb: Yeah at Club Utopia, we paid him with McDonalds.
Simon Winthrop (Mentalist Magician, Club Utopia Booker): You guys were crazy, crazy, crazy!
Mex 2 Da Bizzo: (laughing) You got Simon to respond to this?
Jewish Dave: I reached out to everyone who has ever been part of music in Las Vegas and got twelve responses.
Mex 2 Da Bizzo: Did you try to reach out to Mystah Korpse?
Jewish Dave: He’s disappeared. Gone. I tried for like an hour to find him online.
MC Randumb: He was so funny but he was like embarrassed of doing funny shit. He wanted to do his environmental sub-conscience bullshit rap and moved to Japan. I was so upset because I was really good friends with him but he cut ties with everyone.
On the years after the album was released (2002-2005)
Q: Our Polar Bear logo became iconic, in that if you were ambling drunkenly down Maryland Parkway or through the UNLV campus from the years 2002-2005 you probably saw it plastered in vandalized public spaces.
Mikey VIP (Campfire Music, Sometimes DJ for The Polar Bear MC’s): I remember seeing a Polar Bear Sticker so far up high in the Robertos across from UNLV, I don’t know how you got it up there.
Nicole Sligar (Shoestring Promotions): I kept seeing those flyers everywhere. I thought it was a joke.
DJ Michael Toast (FA-COCK-TA, Mt/Mz): You guys also blew up MySpace back in the day.
Jewish Dave: I remember in between using the printer at UNLV to print our flyers using a teacher code someone gave us, we also would check for people who left MySpace open on their computers and share info about our album and shows.
D-Mize: The Polar Bear MC’s were 2nd place at The Beach Battle of the Bands and 3rd place at The Boston Battle of the Bands.
MC Randumb: We were the most active in those years. We must have done 40 or more shows.
Shaun Degraff (The Shaun Degraff Trio, Brother Luke): Didn’t someone get murdered at one of those MC Randumb & Jewish Dave shows?
Jewish Dave: Yeah sort of, but before we started performing as just the two of us all the time the full group played a lot, plus a few Tha Big Yummy shows.
Mex 2 Da Bizzo: The thing I regret most in my life is those years.
Jewish Dave: No you don’t.
Mex 2 Da Bizzo: Yeah, yeah, you know what’s funny though is that all those years were really was you taking a little bit of time out of your day to make a phone call or stop by a place and turn it into another show.
Jewish Dave: Well that goes back to the point of the group being how ridiculous everything is. Making silly rap songs and making fun of the entire act of even doing shows just by us doing shows when we had no real business being in the music business.
Will Hines: Plus I swear Randumb was always dead-ass drunk.
Jewish Dave: The full group never officially died, but I started doing separate songs with Randumb as MC Randumb & Jewish Dave, with D-Mize as D-Mize & Dee. Rockz, with Mex 2 Da Bizzo as The Big Yummy, and a separate jewish comedy group FA-COCK-TA.
Q: You spread yourself too thin. That was your biggest weakness, your lack of focus. It’s your fault.
Billy: You’re too thin.
Jewish Dave: We were slowly but surely working towards a second album with all the new songs from the full group but yeah, I was also doing all the side groups, producing real rappers still, working for Sony Music and putting out the UNLV Polar Bear Club local music compilation CDs.
Mikey VIP: Those CDs are jewels.
Jason Parker (Jr. Anti Sex League, Red Light School District): Those CDs are Jr. Anti Sex League’s only existence on streaming music platforms… I think Jewish Dave owes me some streaming royalties.
Fuzz (Black Camaro, Fuzz SoLow, Cooler Lounge Booker): Are you kidding me? Once Black Camaro made it on those CDs our careers were never the same. Jewish Dave is an angel.
Alex Bleecker: Jewish Dave and those CDs gave me motivation as a youth in the Las Vegas Art scene when nobody would take me or my crew seriously.
Jason Bracelin (Las Vegas Review-Journal): What’s a CD?
On the never completed second album Greatest Tits
Rubbz: I think everyone got bored of it. That’s why it never got finished.
Brian Garth (Black Camaro): Wait, they didn’t have a second album? Why are we even doing this?
Fuzz: I wouldn’t hold my breath, but we can dream, can’t we?
Jewish Dave: One day I might take all the unfinished songs and try to finish them… We certainly had enough for 3 more full group albums…
MC Randumb: Is Greatest Tits the follow-up? Well the title… ehhh… It’s mediocre. Come on man, what is this slapstick comedy?
Jewish Dave: Kind of…
D-Mize: There’s no time limit for a follow-up. We’ll finish it one day.
Q: I have a life now and I’m a very important businessman.
Billy: You’re a businessman.
Q: I know, Billy, that’s what I said.
On whether there will ever be any kind of real reunion
Jason Bracelin: I have it on good authority that Guns N’ Roses is going to open the reunion tour.
Michael Toast: Anything is possible… If The Eagles can do it The Polar Bear MC’s can come back together too… But my question is will the reunion destroy the legacy?
Jewish Dave: My dream is to finish that album and do one more concert to go along with it.
Mex 2 Da Bizzo: No. Never. Not a fucking chance.
Q: I’d rather if we reunited just to be friends and hang out again.
D-Mize: We’ve come close a few times. Once the moon and stars align it will happen. Hopefully it dosn’t take too long though… Our material probably won’t go over as well with a bunch of 60 year olds rapping about butts and murder.
Jewish Dave: I’ll settle for a group picture.
On the legacy of the group
Jewish Dave: It is pretty crazy all the places we played and nights we started or were a part of.
Sunny Rosen: And how many you closed! Should I even talk about all the places that went out of business after you played there? The Rock, The Junkyard, The Boston, Club Seven, Club Utopia, Doggystyle Hotdogs, you even closed The Beatles’ Revolution Lounge!
Jewish Dave: I think that’s enough mom.
Brian Garth: I never saw you guys… Or if I did I don’t remember seeing you. I think you wore wigs and had props… Like a prop comedy rap group that wasn’t really funny and couldn’t rap.
Jason Parker: The Polar Bear MC’s performed with reckless abandon, which is something that is certainly lacking in these times.
Mikey VIP: Motherfuckers, you guys were like the Vegas Hip-Hop forefathers. I know you were a novelty group but when it comes down to it, it was real rap even if you were doing your antics and rapping in a bunny costume and shit. You were there at the beginning. And my first times DJing in public was with you guys.
Alex Bleecker: We saw them for the first time when I was 14. They invited me to a party after and I had sex for the first time with my first girlfriend there.
Jewish Dave: That’s an amazing and slightly disturbing story.
Shaun Degraff: The Polar Bear MC’s are the homies for real. And I still want to hear the song that I’m on.
Jewish Dave: That will be on Tha Big Yummy CD if I ever finish it.
Q: It’s too bad we didn’t have any real fans to speak of other than Rich Ruane and Mex 2 Da Bizzo’s little sister. Most of what we did was in empty bars surrounded by substance abusers, manic/depressive gambling addicts and homeless people.
Jewish Dave: And members of the Las Vegas local music scene.
Rubbz: I’m just glad I could be a part of it and hopefully we can continue it one day.
Jewish Dave: It’s not going to stop 100% because I love it too much and we have two new D-Mize & Dee. Rockz albums coming soon, a new MC Randumb & Jewish Dave album coming soon, a D-Mize & Dee. Rockz & MC Randumb trio album coming soon, and I might finally be releasing the long on the shelf Tha Big Yummy albums one of these days. All of this while neglecting my growing real music composing career. I can’t help myself. I doubt we’ll ever do another show though. Well me and Randumb will probably do another one one day, but that goes without saying.
Nicole Sligar: I could be wrong but I don’t really think you guys ever existed… I think you just wanted flyers to pass out so you could get girls.
Check out I Hope U Melt 15 Year Anniversary Edition on September 22nd, 2017 on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Google Play Music and everywhere else music is sold. Or get more info at The Polar Bear MC’s section of this website.