Midnight Album Feature: Handsome Boy Modeling School – White People

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Every Friday night on KEXP I do a show called Nite Life at 9pm. In the midnight hour I choose a record from my personal collection and bring you trax and stories from that album.

Tonight’s Midnight Album Feature is from Handsome Boy Modeling School, a band made up of producer Prince Paul and producer and DJ Dan the Automator. Prince Paul is from De La Soul and Dan the Automator is from Gorillaz and Doctor Octagon. They teamed up and assumed alter egos Chest Rockwell and Nathaniel Merriweather. Teachers of a modeling school for men. They play characters on this album, White People, which was released in 2004.

This record always makes me laugh because there are some very strange skits on this album. But it’s the music that is really incredible. The song “The World’s Gone Mad” has a lot of dub and it features the great Del the Funky Homosapien. Check out this vid. That’s Dan the Automator and Prince Paul in those stupid mustaches! And it’s nice to see Del getting some work:

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Del the Funky Homosapien is just one of the many great guest stars on “White People”. There’s Father Guido Sarducci doing a skit and then a bunch of different people doing characters playing the Dating Game. The skits are played between the tracks featuring so many different great artists.

“Breakdown” is a track featuring Jack Johnson, he has such a soulful, warm voice. And normally he’s a bit cheesy, so the electronica acts as the perfect compliment of darkness. I love it.

The song “I’ve Been Thinking” features Chan Marshall, the woman who calls herself Cat Power, and this is Chan Marshall as you have never heard her before. She is produced completely differently and she sings in a sultry style over some trip hop, it is pretty sweet.

I went to see Handsome Boy Modeling School in concert once, and I don’t recommend it. I’m not sure what was up but they just walked around the stage in their getups while the beats ran. So lame. But the record is top-notch. Highly recommended.

Join me this Friday night for Nite Life at 9pm and the Midnight Album Feature at 12 am. This week we’ll focus on rapper Brother Ali and his super smart hip hop release from 2007, The Undisputed Truth.

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