Flavor Flav

Flavor Flav

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AllMusic Review by

Whether you think of him as Chuck D's sidekick/hype man in Public Enemy or as that flamboyant crazy cat who starred in the jaw-droppingly weird reality series Flavor of Love, a solo album from Flavor Flav is an iffy proposition. Flav's self-titled debut is pleasingly loose at times, fun overall, and often so charming it's easy to ignore the shoddy packaging and patched-together feel of the album. First off, Flav produces more than you'd expect and plays most of the instruments, something that makes the fist-pumping "Flavor-Man" sound a bit like -- hold on to something -- the Roots kickin' it live. He's no slouch when it comes to production either. The kooky party number "Unga Bunga Bunga" has a funky, crooked bassline that Radio 4 and LCD Soundsystem fans will embrace, and on the easy-rolling "Wonder Why," his reminiscing is supported by a hypnotic bed of soul. On the other hand, "Wonder Why" is a great example of how haphazard the album can be, since it's edited on both the clean and explicit version while other tracks on the explicit version let the cussing fly. Since the album was released in 2006, another example of its questionable origins is Flav's "2005!!" holla on "Two Wrongz" or the "1998-2000" mention on "No Loot" (course "Two Wrongz" includes the great "Man, I miss my first three kids/But there's some foul sh*t their mother did"). Other tracks seem to start mid-beat or sound likes demos, and there's every reason to believe this was cobbled together from the two unreleased albums Flav had recorded. Toward the end there's some trying club music that betrays the casual feel that began the album, but there's also the "Brass Monkey"-biting "Col-Leepin," which uses Flav's classic PE track "Cold Lampin' with Flavor" as a jump-off point. The edits are annoying, the highlights are mostly upfront, and Biz Markie and Kool Keith are still the whack-job kings, but there's so many great moments of undiluted Flava on the album, you can't help but recommend it to hardcore fans.

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