Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Member CD Reviews
Pauline F. (musicaddict) from LIBERTY, IL
Reviewed on 7/27/2006...
It's Arsenio Hall...it's great!
Am I the only one?!
enuffodis | SF | 04/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK, OK, so this album, by CHUNKY A, is not necessarily one that you will cherish forever, and play for your kids when you are old and tell 'em about how music was so much better when you were their age.Still, you've absolutely gotta respect this record.Remember -- there was a time in which rappers DID NOT talk about racist, sexist, (...). Even though CHUNKY A talked about most of these things, he did it all for the sake of fun, in a humorous way. He was not serious -- as a matter of fact he made fun of serious rappers by releasing this album.You have to give CHUNKY A's cousin, Arsenio Hall credit, for helping this album come together. Remember, young ones, that once apon a time, it was very uncommon to see hip-hop culture on TV, and Arsenio Hall was one of the first to make it happen. Not only that, but realize that this record features a rare appearance by ICE T, along with KRS ONE! GO ahead and try to tell me this release was not legit!!!Show respect!"
Alright, lets not get carried away...
Boss Fan | Take a Right at the Light, Keep Going Straight Unt | 08/04/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Some bash it, some love it. Either way, those people are too extreme. This album definitely isn't great; it was merely a vanity project for Arsenio Hall (Chunky "A," get it?) who, at the height of his popularity was given a recording contract by MCA records to trot out is obese alter-ego (sorry to burst the bubble of the reviewer who seems to think this is actually Arsenio's cousin). This 1989 album may seem slight, ridiculous, and all but forgotten now, but in its time it was a harmless piece of comedy rap-pop that was amiable enough to stand with, while never getting the same recognition as, any rap of its type (Biz Marke, Fat Boys, etc).
I remember buying the tape as a fifth or sixth grader, and listening to it quite often. I found it funny, but as music, also not half bad, and plenty catchy. Like another reviewer, I picked the CD up at an Everything's a Dollar store several years after its release. I don't think I found it quite as funny as a high schooler, but not only did it bring back memories of my youth, but I still found something oddly endearing about its simple, ridiculous nature. You don't see stuff like this anymore. That's generally a good thing, since the music industry is flooded with enough frivolous recordings anyway, but a few projects like these now and then aren't all together a bad thing. Usually they are met with a fair amount of eye rolls and end up becoming something very much of their time; but years later, with all the discussion behind us we can just take these things for what they are. And what they wanted to be.
I don't think Arsenio thought he was gonna set the world on fire here or find another career for himself. He is a comedian, and as such, this project should not really surprise anyone since his brand of comedy has always been parody and face-shifting and character-morphing (ala his many alter egos in, say, "Coming to America"). I remember watching the Arsenio show when Chunky was on as the musical "guest." Don't remember how it came off, but he was able to make the costume changes between commercial breaks. Maybe there was a taped, split screen mock interview; I don't recall.
As for the music, its almost besides the point. A few of the songs just sample or outright rip-off real songs. Cameo's "Word Up," which every body remembers includes many shoutings of 'Owwww!' becomes - you guessed it - "Owwww!" That my not sound like high comedy, but "She Drives Me Crazy" from the Fine Young Cannibals, which becomes "The Ho is Lazy," fares slightly better - at least lyrically, mainly because the lyrics are so absurd, boastful and a dead-on parody of what "real" rappers were getting away with calling "art" at the time, the song stands up as an interesting rap relic of the 8o's.
"Sorry," in which Chunky pleads with a woman not to leave him even though he stole all her s**t, sold her car and he and his buddy Tyrone used her gold card to open a Popeye's Chicken in Germany, well... that's just fine comedy.
Then there is "Dipstick," (no subtle metaphors here, folks) which is also an obvious parody of the 90's smooth R&B jams: "I'd be dead baby if good looks could kill and what I love most is that your weave looks so real." And if overcoming subtle tendencies was A's aim, "Very High Key" is a smashing success: "This song is written in a very high key," he sings (yep, just as the title promises), "this song should be for Prince and not me." But the song also ponders those tough questions of life like, "Why do dogs hump your leg, what's the connection between pantyhose and the egg... I don't know what makes a man eat clams, I don't know what happened to the other guy from the rock group Wham." Sure we could all write this stuff, but that doesn't make it any less absurdly entertaining when Chunky says it with all sincerity.
And, like all 80's rap albums, there is the standard, anti-drug track "Dope, the Big Lie," This song is to other anti-drug songs from the time what Dolomite was to Shaft - a sillier, more low budget, less subtle clone. But like Dolomite, the song, even given the serious topic, like the rest here, is more entertaining than meaningful. And that is a good thing.
So that's what you're in for. No its not great, and it does not beg to be heard, but if you lived through or grew up with rap of the 80s and 90s, there is no denying that you will have a soft spot for an album like this. Especially all these years later. You may be embarrassed for Arsenio listening to some of this, but by the end, you may be embarrassed for yourself when you're tempted to give this another spin.
Somebody, turn up "Stank Breath" for me one more time!
To "MC White": Nice try, but if you knew how to read (or write, for that matter), you'd see I said several times in my review that this album is not bad (just not great) and is quite funny (I gave several examples) and told people not to be too hard on it and take it for what it is (although, 'what it is' will not be everyone's cup of tee). I know you're pissed because I called you out a few terrible and terribly written reviews you wrote (mainly because you did not see the movies you were praising your bashing - like this item, obviously), but that doesn't mean you need to start tracking my critiques and writing even more of your fake reviews just to get back at me. When I write something where I admit to having not seen, heard or purchased the item I am reviewing, yet tell others it is gonna win an Oscar or that they should avoid it at all costs, as the case may be, then you can talk some s**t. Anyone reading this with any doubt, feel free to click on the great MC's `see-all-reviews.' You're in for a jaw-dropping experience filled with fake reviews, poor spelling and grammar, and entire paragraphs that are either horribly tasteless, unfunny, or just make no sense (you're "World Trade Center" review - again, written without having actually seen the movie - should be stripped off Amazon and I'll tell you where you can relocate it to). I know this is the rise you hope to get out of people by playing your little games. Happy to oblige. And if you're reading this, I hope you have someone to help you with the big words. "MC White says: Two Thumps Up!" Hope Ebert sues your butt for copyright infringement."