PREVIEW/BUY THE CD HERE
One thing that has remained constant throughout the history of SNL has been the incorporation of music into the comedy, from the Blues Brothers all the way to the Lonely Island. Adam Sandler’s “At a Medium Pace”, Eddie Murphy’s “Boogie in Your Butt”, and Steve Martin’s “King Tut” all set the bar high for future SNL cast members’ comedy record attempts, and many have failed along the way because we have these aforementioned crown jewels of audio comedy to compare everything else to. Luckily, a couple of notches to the funny bar have been added with The Wack Album, although it’s definitely a rap experience. In fact, it’s some of the dirtiest rap out there. SO dirty, even Blowfly would blush… a little. That could end up being a double-edged sword for the Lonely Island, alienating the comedy fans who despise hard rap music. But millions upon millions of fans can’t be wrong. Just remember, it’s shtick. It is what it is. Still, when you’re hit with (and I paraphrase) “The Lonely Island were beaten to death with their own ‘junk’ outside a strip club” within the first 60 seconds of The Wack Album, you’ve gotta give it a genuine laugh. Just like you did when you first heard Adam Sandler’s “At a Medium Pace”. Even if SNL Digital Shorts and toilet humor in general are your forte, honestly… could you see that one coming.
SNL favorites “YOLO” with Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar and “3 Way” with Justin Timberlake are here, and having those cuts in high quality without the laugh track makes a great argument for shelling out the Lincolns and Washingtons on Wack, but Wack is more than just critical commentary, raunchy comedy, and greatest hits. It’s also a loving tribute to hip hop, giving nods to some of the cherished moments in the genre. “Spell It Out” shamelessly channels K-Solo’s “Spellbound”, “We Need Love” is an obvious ode to LL Cool J’s “I Need Love”, but also tips its hat to Digital Underground’s “Freaks of the Industry”. “Perfect Saturday” has got a lot of love for Cali, breaking down Snoop’s style over a formulaic revisiting of Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day”, then turning its focus onto what could be the start of a new trend… the gangsta fart joke. There are a couple of throwaways scattered among the thoughtful. “The Crew” and “We Are a Crowd” don’t come off very well, but two out of 20 ain’t bad at all. — PopMatters