Handsome Boy Modeling School
White People


4.0
excellent

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF
August 12th, 2006 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


Back in 2004, I had yet to really develop any really musical identity, as I have no doubt stated on many occasions in my boring little anecdotal intro’s. However, I did have a friend was rather entrenched in the hip hop culture, and would recommend me album after album. Most of the time, I’d give it one listen and then just not bother; for one, rap sucked, and two, this was all just so…ethnic. Then, he asked me if I had heard the song Clint Eastwood. I of course answered yes, for who hadn’t? He then reccomended me a little album that not only had the guy made the beat to that song, but even had a song with that rapper! I was ever so excited, and I immediately went out and bought White People.

While at first I wasn’t particularly entranced by the music, I was completely impressed with all the people they had gotten to take guest spots. Melding in many different genres, the album features everyone from Mike Patton to Pharrel, and while it is to different degrees of success, it’s still quite a treat to hear Mike Patton on Are You Down With It. Prince Paul and Dan Nakamura (the duo behind the madness) as a general rule don’t recruit superfluous artists just to name drop (the exception being Rock And Roll (Could Never Hip Hop Like This) Pt 2), and its almost always a grand moment to realize one of your favorite 80’s pop artists is making a guest appearance.

While the guest artists might be a neat treat, Dan and Paul still assert that they are the dominant force behind the group, and its with no small amount of variety that they frolic around hip hop, rock, pop, electronica, and trip hop (although those results are…not so good). Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find something here to appease you; if you’re looking for poppy love ballads, look no further than Breakdown or Greatest Mistake. In the mood for a more straight hip hop fix? If It Wasn’t For You and The Worlds Gone Mad will fill your needs. But perhaps you want a little bit of rock/rap fusion? The aforementioned Rock And Roll (Could Never Hip Hop Like This) Pt 2 or A Day In the Life are where its at.

Dan the Automator and Prince Paul have always been known for their unique production styles (Prince Paul handled De La Soul, while Dan is most notable for producing the first Gorillaz album and Deltron 3030), an that’s still readily apparent here. Throughout the varius styles of music explored on the album, they almost always do so with an undertoned grace; the new version of Breakdown somehow surpasses Jack Johnson’s excellent original due to the strange, yet fitting, additions by the duo to the sound. They also do equally well with traditional hip hop songs, albeit with less imagination. Of course, on A Day In the Life, HBMS make perhaps the amalgamation of everything they’ve been doing; featuring RZA, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, the song seems to have too much talent to succeed. Not only does it succeed, it’s at once the best rap, rock, and pop song on the album, with the guitar squeals from Omar, hooks from Cedric, and rapping from RZA all intertwining effortlessly.

Unfortunately, the album, like so many other Dan the Automator projects in particular, gets bogged down in itself. Of course, the skits do become tiring after a few listens; even though Dating Game is a fairly nifty jab at hip hop culture, the concept wears thin after a while, and then the “Handsome Boy Modeling School” promo’s are really just idiotic in the first place. Even disregarding that, though, there’s just too much material here. A few songs could do with being left off altogether (The Hours, Class System, and First…And Then), and then there are songs that just go on a bit too lng for their own good. It’s not a huge detriment; even those cut songs all show some kind of promise or are an enjoyable listen occasionally, but they feel like b-sides left on to extend the albums length.

Regardless, White People certainly is a triumph in genre melding. While it is still mainly a showcase of a variety of hip hop artists, Dan and Paul integrate other artists so well, they almost come close to to perfecting the rap-rock melding formula. When you throw in Cat Power and Jack Johnson into the mix with Del tha Funky Homosapien and Mike Patton, how can an album not end up being great? I really recommend to this to just about anyone; the variety is large enough so that you’ll find at least a few songs to enjoy, and hey, maybe you’ll get into De La Soul because of this album. Which is enough to spend 12 bucks on anyways.

Reccomended Tracks:
Breakdown
I’ve Been Thinking
A Day in the Life
Greatest Mistake




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A few people have been waiting for this review for a long time. Dissapointing, I know.

The Jungler
August 12th 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh, snap.

I have yet to listen to this entire album, but what I have listened to I really really like.

edit: took you long enoughThis Message Edited On 08.12.06

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

omg wtf you should listen to the whole album it's really good.
I fixed up a few things I thought sounded weird. It's probably unnoticable and there are probbly more obvious things. Oh well.

Cygnus Inter Anates
August 12th 2006


721 Comments


This is super secret suck disguised in good.

I bet.

Intransit
August 12th 2006


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review, although disappointing after like 3 months of hype.

This album is absolutely magnificent, and tied for my favorite hip hop album of all time with Deltron3030

pulseczar
August 12th 2006


2385 Comments


See black folk is different from white folk NIGGA WHAT


cool review

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 12th 2006


17920 Comments


cool nice good etc

STLMiguel
August 12th 2006


335 Comments


I can't think of a single previous Dan the Automator project that was "bogged down in itself."

This album is OK ... their debut is much, much better.

The Jungler
August 12th 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just listened to this in full. If they took some of the skits off and left tracks 10-12 off I would give it at least a 4.5, maybe a 5. For now, just a four.

LF96
August 13th 2006


97 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I pretty much agree with the rating, but I like tracks 11-12, track 10 is quite awful though. The dating game skits are hilarious imo, I don't skip them. The other skits can be fairly boring though.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Deltron 3030, the other HBMS album, Dr. Octagon...everything is just too long for its own good.

Zesty Mordant
August 15th 2006


1196 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I was gonna actually do a review for this but....I couldn't put it together. This album is meh. To me, alot of the songs seem very half-baked and the flow of the album itself is very rigid.
However, I'm glad that you mentioned "A Day in the Life" being the best song on the album (along with "It's Like That").
Great review.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a strange album. I can easily see why someone wouldn't like it, but I think that for the most part, the songs on here are too great on an individual basis to dislike the album.

Tyler
Emeritus
August 15th 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I cant see this as a 4, but it's still a pretty good album.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
August 16th 2007


4950 Comments


I thought The Hours was a pretty solid track...

Intransit
October 10th 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Man this album is so fucking good still.

Inveigh
December 27th 2009


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pretty bomb stuff, I completely forgot about this album until I put my entire 7,000 song iTunes on shuffle yesterday. Good review.

Fuff24
December 28th 2009


1118 Comments


more of a collection of songs than an coherent album, but still AWESOME.

Inveigh
December 28th 2009


24968 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^agreed

MUNGOLOID
January 30th 2011


4305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

their first album is SOOOOOOO much better. this was still interesting though.



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