Rap / Funk Raunch by Arsenio’s Little ‘Bro’ : ARSENIO HALL “Arsenio Hall Presents Chunky A--Large & in Charge.” MCA ***:<i> Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to five (a classic). </i>
Hall should have the last laugh on his pal Eddie Murphy, who’s had little luck making records as a straight singer. Hall may one-up Murphy by selling tons of albums in which he adds funky music to what he does best--comedy.
This is a raunchy, frequently hilarious album that’s part rap--reflecting influences by the Fat Boys and Heavy D--and part funk, done in the talk-singing style of George Clinton and Cameo’s Larry Blackmon. Hall does no straight singing, which is probably for the best.
Hall, who wrote and co-produced the album, performs under the persona of Chunky A, an alter ego presented as his rowdy, decadent, chubby younger brother. Many guys will crack up at las civious songs like “Dipstick +,” “Stank Breath” (about the woes of having a girlfriend with bad breath) and “Ho Is Lazy” ( ho is ghetto slang for woman, coming from whore ), done to the tune of the Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy.” Some women, though, won’t be able to see the humor for the sexism.
Hall turns sassy funkster on “Owwww!” and “I Command You to Dance,” but he’s better on songs that have stronger emphasis on comedy, like “Sorry,” a contrite lover’s side-splitting confession of a series of wrongdoings, and the Prince parody “Very High Key.”
The album ends on a serious note, with the anti-drug plea “Dope, the Big Lie"--featuring guest comments by the likes of Paula Abdul and Ice-T. It sort of breaks the mood, but Hall obviously wants to get across the message that he’s not all fun and games.