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Chris Rock: Bigger And Blacker
Chris Rock: Bigger And Blacker
turnover time:2024-06-22 05:49:06

In recent years, stand-up comedy has served mainly as a breeding ground for comics eager to move on to bigger and more lucrative things. Chris Rock, on the other hand, is possibly the only figure in recent memory to have used a stand-up performance—his 1997 HBO special Bring The Pain—as the catalyst for a major comeback. But while few would dispute Rock's position as one of today's funniest and most insightful stand-up comics, the companion albums for each of his two specials have been mixed bags, each alternating solid stand-up material with skits that can charitably be described as inconsistent. It's admirable that Rock and his producer, the legendary Prince Paul, want their albums to be more than just straight recordings of Rock performing live, but Bigger And Blacker might have worked a lot better had it been just that. Its stand-up segments—featuring much of the material used during the title special but recorded elsewhere—supply its strongest moments, with Rock gleefully dissecting the differences between black and white malls, the Columbine massacre, and male-female relationships, but they lose something intangible in their transition from live performance to CD. The skits and song parodies, meanwhile, are an altogether different bag, with bits ranging from the cringe-inducing (a hoary "interview" with Monica Lewinsky relying heavily on Li'l Kim samples) to bits that are a lot funnier in theory than in practice, like a parody of "Brown Sugar" featuring Biz Markie. Bigger And Blacker should please Rock's legions of fans, but the uninitiated are better off catching his two powerhouse specials and skipping this intermittently funny but mildly disappointing hodge-podge.

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