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
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
It's definitely time to enrol in this particular school.
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
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,
14. Greatest Mistake Feat John Oates & Jamie Cullem
15. Dating Game Part 2 Feat Tim Meadows, Hines Buchanan &