Rock On

"After my last special, I got all this hype, and it was just like, 'Do an album, Chris,'" Rock recalls. "Everybody's vying for me to do an album, and I just picked Prince Paul. I don't know why; it just seemed natural. I can't even imagine working with anyone else. Who else would I work with? I was thinking maybe Dr. Dre -- maybe. But with Prince Paul, it's very relaxing. We have the same sensibility. We never have arguments. And Paul is always talking to me like, 'You should do a record, or just produce a record for somebody.' But I don't have any interest in doing that, 'cause most people are good at one thing, and that's a lot to be good at one thing, and it would really suck if I tried that. I did CB4. That's the closest I get to doing a hip-hop record, and even that was a joke. But there is an artistic community I'm lucky to be a part of."

Perhaps one need look no further than Eddie Murphy's own recording career to understand the significance of Chris Rock. When Murphy decided to split the grooves between comedy and music, he sought out the lightest, whitest men around: Narada Michael Walden and Michael Jackson. For Bigger and Blacker Rock's posse includes Ice Cube, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and Biz Markie, with whom he turns the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" into the astonishingly funny "White Bitches." Then there's the Roger and Zapp homage, during which Rock wonders what the disc would have sounded like if Roger Troutman had produced the record. He then begins singing through a digital vocoder: "I'm buying a Cadillac/I'm thinking of pussy." White folks will not get it. But they will love it nonetheless.

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