These days, you can’t go anywhere without hearing about Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s unborn child, a.k.a. “Destiny’s Child”, a.k.a. Bey-Jay II (which is what they should name the baby if it comes out and is a dinosaur movie). It might be fake ! Its crib is a mansion ! Shouldn’t they be “a little bit scared to leave their baby in such a huge room?” (Real and very good question asked by the reporter in that video.) But it doesn’t seem fair that Beyjayby is taking up the spotlight even though its first single, “Zero-Something,” isn’t due out for at least another six months. Meanwhile, there’s another rapping baby who’s feeling left out. You might remember him by the name of Jordy.
You might also remember his timeless/hilarious/infuriating lament-turned-dance-hit “Dur dur d’être bébé” or, in English, ‘’It’s Tough to Be a Baby”.
Supposedly the lyrical inspiration for this song came from Jordy’s dad, a record producer responsible for the late 70s space rock outfit Rockets (that video is worth watching), when he brought Jordy to a diaper commercial audition. I guess Jordy’s line in the commercial was “hard, hard to be wet” and Jordy’s dad, understandably, could not get this out of his head. He changed it up to the more palatable complaint “hard, hard to be a baby”, set it to a discotheque-friendly beat, and France could. not. get. enough.
Liz: Do you think the parents in the video are based on Jordy’s real-life parents? They seem super fun/negligent.
Emily: They also seem a little bit like the French version of Matilda Wormwood’s parents, what with all the fake hair and animal print clothing. Based on the wackiness of their morning routine and decor of their home, I would guess that their Birds and the Bees talk was something along the lines of, “Watch!” I’m going to call them Alphonse and Monique.
Liz: Alphonse and Monique are way cooler than I’d imagined before seeing this video. In the lyrics, they are always telling Jordy, “Do like this, do like that, for you no dessert.” But in the video, Alph and Mon let Jordy get into all sorts of shenanigans. They even let him ride unchaperoned on a motor boat with his girlfriend! I guess the message is that they are so swept up in the carefree multicultural paradise of Mitterand’s France, they fail to notice their own child slipping away.
Emily: The whirlwind love affair between Jordy and his video girlfriend makes me understand why pictures like this became popular in the early ‘90s.
Liz: I’m partial to the English lyrics version over the French one. Mostly because “My name is Jordy, I am five, and I’m small” is such a good rap gambit. That’s what Eminem’s character should have rapped in that scene from 8 Mile where he only had one shot.
Emily: Agreed! I hate how rappers today constantly talk about how they are the greatest ever and whateverside till they die. Stick with introducing yourself Jordy-style, please. “My name is Talib, I am thirty-six, and I studied experimental theater!”
Liz: Let’s talk about “Alison,” Jordy’s follow-up single from Surprise Package (yikes). It’s a C+ at best. I’m assuming this song was Jordy’s attempt to both pay tribute to and one-up his hero, Elvis Costello. All told, Jordy does not have quite the emotional range of EC; on the other hand, I doubt that Elvis’s video for “Alison” features him petting a bunny rabbit on a park bench. So I would say it’s ultimately a tie.
Emily: I think the artist he is trying to one-up here is a-ha, no? The technique in this video is very “Take On Me” and also serves to keep Jordy busy on set by giving him something to color. Way to kill two birds with one stone, producers!
Liz: They couldn’t afford the guy who animated the a-ha video, though, so they hired the guy who did the cartoons for our 5th-grade Spanish textbook.
For a singer whose single spent a total of fifteen weeks in the number one slot of the French pop charts (to put this perspective “Rolling in the Deep” was at number one of the US Billboard charts for seven weeks thus far), Jordy Lemoine seemed to have fallen into relative obscurity. Rumors swirled that Jordy’s parents had squandered all his cash and were now exploiting him purely for financial gain. France may not have the best reputation in terms of their military, but when it comes to cultural policing and protecting child artists, they are basically le meilleur. As a result of these suspicions of exploitation, Jordy’s album was suspended from the air waves and thus the impact of this single was never fully realized:
As a last ditch effort, his parents opened up what they hoped would be a popular tourist attraction for children called La Ferme de Jordy or Jordy’s Farm. I have no idea what went on there and so we’ll just speculate wildly for a minute.
Emily: I’m thinking llama rides followed by decorative umbrella shopping?
Liz: Baguette rides followed by free cigarettes and being rude?
Emily: Private viewing of a collection of anthropomorphic turnips followed by an Orangina fountain?
Liz: A high-class dinner theater co-MC’d by Jordy and a sassy talking dolphin?
Suffice to say that La Ferme closed down in 1996, the very year that it opened. Eventually, following in the footsteps of Alicia Silverstone, Macaulay Culkin, and Drew Barrymore, Jordy legally emancipated himself from Alphonse and Monique (or whatever their real, less-fun names are) and they legally emancipated themselves from each other (a.k.a. divorced). The once glorious empire that produced this petit pochette surprise was crumbling.
Freed from the clutches of his freaky stage parents, Jordy spent his teenage years living on a farm in Normandy, where he got really into dance and drumming. He also appeared on and won a French reality show called “La Ferme Célébrités 2.” Then probably some more farm stuff. (It makes you wonder if he experienced some farm-related trauma in childhood, oh wait.)
But the story doesn’t end there; as the old saying goes, “Never presume you’ve seen the last of a rapping French baby.” Now you can experience Jordy’s triumphant return with his new band: Jordy and the Farms. Just kidding, they’re called Jordy and the Dixies, and here is a video of them:
So as you can see Jordy is alive and well and sporting the deepest of deep V-necks. I guess the lesson to be learned here is that you too can overcome your farm trauma and enjoy a limited degree of success across a handful of musical genres, if you only declare your own name in every song you sing. It’s a really good lesson and everyone should learn it. Jordy for president!