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Handsome Boy Modeling School - White People


Review: Jack Foley

HANDSOME Boy Modeling School put the fun back into hip-hop.

Mixing some genuinely funky beats, some cool hip-hop grooves and even elements of rock/nu-metal, the quirky duo have delivered one of the most enjoyable hip-hop albums of the year - and one which is guaranteed to have you laughing out loud.

Comprised of super-producers Prince Paul (best-known for his work with De La Soul and Stetsasonic) and Dan 'The Automator' Nakamura (Gorillaz), Handsome Boy Modeling School take their name from an episode of the cult Chris Elliott sitcom, Get a Life (which was sampled several times on their debut album).

And it's packed with light touches, mixing up the cuts in spectacular style, courtesty of Paul and Dan's uber-stylish alter egos, Chest Rockwell and Nathaniel Merriweather, respectively.

Remember how we raved about DM and Jemini's Ghetto Pop Life last year? Well, this is the same deal, as record after record is dropped in the boys' own inimitable style.

Fancy hearing some memorable classical music spliced with some trendy hip-hop grooves? You got it.

Ever wondered what an album might sound like if Franz Ferdinand, Linkin Park, De La Soul and reggae great, Barrington Levy, all collaborated together (sometimes on the same track)? Then step forward.

Want some neat dating tips, courtesy of the smooth-talking chat-up style of Messrs Rockwell and Merriweather? Then make sure you pack some condoms with you.

This is a hip-hop album that does it all, fully living up to the boys' reputation for shattering the acknowledged rules of hip-hop production.

Highlights include the various skits that take place between records, especially the Blind Date sequence, as well as the tracks, If It Wasn't You, featuring De La Soul, and The World's Gone Mad, which features Franz Ferdinand vocalist, Alex Kapranos, as well as Del The Funky Homosapien and Barrington Levy.

Julee Cruise's deliciously smooth vocals sound all the more captivating alongside N*E*R*D supremo, Pharrell Williams' equally striking vocals on Class System.

While Rock and Roll (Could Never Hip Hop Like This) Part 2 (the follow-up to an already excellent hip-hop cut which featured on the Ocean's 11 soundtrack), features a memorable guest appearance from Linkin Park's Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, as well as Lord Finesse, Jazzy Jay and Grand Wizard Theodore.

Still need convincing? Then, the delightfully funky track, Breakdown, featuring Jack Johnson, effortlessly eases you into a good mood, while the super-smooth I've Been Thinking features another hopelessly sexy vocal from Cat Power.

It's a measure of Handsome Boy Modeling School's ability to draw from all walks of music that this hip-hop album has the crossover appeal it so undoubtedly deserves.

Hell, even John Oates and Jamie Cullum team up for the no-less memorable effort, Greatest Mistake.

Imaginative and innovative, funny and funky, not to mention downright cool, White People is the album that should be at the top of everyone's Christmas list, especially if you digged Outkast last year.

It's definitely time to enrol in this particular school.


Track listing:
1. Intro Feat Father Gudio Sarducci
2. If It Wasn’t For You Feat De La Soul And Starchild Excalibur
3. Are You Down With It Feat Mike Patton
4. The Worlds Gone Mad Feat De The Funky Homosapien, Barrington Levy And Alex Kapranos
5. Dating Game Feat Tim Meadows, Hines Buchanan Adn Introducing Neelam
6. Breakdown Feat Jack Johnson
7. It’s Like That + Skit Feat Casual
8. I’ve Been Thinking Feat Cat Power
9. Rock And Roll (Could Never Hip Hop Like This) Part 2 + Skit Feat Lord Finesse, Mike Shonoda, Chester Bennington, Rahzel, Qbert, Grand Wizard Theo
10. The Hours Feat El P & Cage
11. Class System Feat Pharrell Williams & Julee Cruise
12. First .....And Then Feat Dres
13. A Day In The Life + Skit Feat Rza, Cedric Bixler, Omar Rodriguez, & Ag
14. Greatest Mistake Feat John Oates & Jamie Cullem
15. Dating Game Part 2 Feat Tim Meadows, Hines Buchanan & Neelam

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