Following 1999's underground favorite So ... How's Your Girl? -- a loose concept record rife with guest appearances by Del tha Funkee Homosapien, DJ Shadow, and members of the Beastie Boys -- Handsome Boy Modeling School has returned. A perennial project featuring farcical producers Dan "The Automator" Nakamura (Kool Keith and Gorillaz) and Prince Paul (De La Soul), the School intends to school you with White People, which picks up where Girl left off and encompasses an even wider array of musical genres: hip-hop, rock, roots, jazz, and even classical. The talented cast of guest stars has returned also, including RZA, John Oates, De La Soul, a coupla dudes from Linkin Park, and Pharrell Williams.
White People playfully promotes the virtues of physical beauty and social grace, but don't let the album's humor fool you. Although punctuated by hilarious skits from Saturday Night Live alums Father Guido Sarducci and Tim Meadows, this record also tackles some pretty serious issues --sometimes satirically, sometimes forthrightly -- such as caste discrimination ("Class System") or crack use ("A Day in the Life"). Most effectively, the single "The World's Gone Mad" preaches the importance of loving one's brother despite superficial differences, and appropriately brings together such diverse artists as Franz Ferdinand vocalist Alex Kapranos, reggae artist Barrington Levy, and repeat offender Del to show us how. Handsome indeed.
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