The last few years have seen an unprecedented explosion of Milwaukee pride. If there’s a new list that mentions Milwaukee in a remotely positive light, Milwaukeeans will fawn over it. If there’s a new T-shirt that features the word “Milwaukee” followed by another word, Milwaukeeans will buy it. (Our Milwaukee Record T-shirts, coincidentally, are currently for sale.) Put simply, Milwaukee just can’t get enough of Milwaukee.
But as we all know, there’s more to Milwaukee than smiling millennials and 8 trillion glowing stories about how the city is “reinventing” itself. Enter the perplexingly monikered Bang Local Dads, a local collective of music and visual artists looking to make—or would that be keep?—the Brew City weird. In a just-released video created by Bang Local Dads member and rapper Stupid Neel, Milwaukee is portrayed as the weird, wonderful, and, let’s be honest, sometimes awful place it really is. It’s a mind-melting collage of drunken goofballs dancing at street festivals, drunken assholes fighting, creepy home movies, cheesy commercials for local bars, depressing TV news footage, and much, much more. Buckle up, Milwaukee—a VISIT Milwaukee promo this ain’t:
“So much stuff about Milwaukee has been stupidly, overly positive,” Neel says in an Explain News interview. “Everyone’s like don’t sleep on Milwaukee! Milwaukee’s a real city! Just constantly trying to justify it.”
Much like that infamous West Allis video, “Milwaukee” takes a few cheap shots and can sometimes be in poor taste, but it still succeeds in poking a hole in the incessant cheerleading balloon that has been floating around the city for the last few years. Yeah, we love Milwaukee, but’s let’s not pretend it’s all sunshine and sobriety.