In a genre in which larger-than-life, questionably sane eccentrics are about as much of a novelty as unwashed male virgins at an Insane Clown Posse concert, Ol' Dirty Bastard (a.k.a. Big Baby Jesus, a.k.a. Osiris) is the indisputable king of the crazies. But what does a bona fide hip-hop loon do for a follow-up when he has already become a multi-platinum artist, a household name, a nightly punchline, and a kiddie favorite? Well, if you're Ol' Dirty Bastard, and a number of people have doubted whether you're even physically capable of recording a second solo record, the answer seems to be to deliver a great big "fuck you" to the world in album form. Like the work of the similarly unlikely superstars in N.W.A, ODB's second album seems to be devoted to affirming white America's worst fears about rich black men. But whereas NWA's second record was as technically impressive and cohesive as it was cartoonishly vile, ODB's N***a Please is as messy and incoherent as one of his frequently inexplicable public appearances. It's difficult to ascertain exactly who N***a Please is supposed to be for. Profane, scatological in a creepy Kool Keith-by-way-of-David Cronenberg sort of way, and enthusiastically contradictory (in one song, ODB seems to be preparing for a race war, while in another, he proudly exclaims that he is both black and white), N***a Please finds the rapper grunting, growling, howling, and half-singing his way through 12 extremely messy tracks. On most of the songs, he doesn't even seem to be in the same universe, let alone the same track, as his producers, who this time out include RZA, several RZA proteges, Irv Gotti, and the Neptunes. On "I Can't Wait," for example, he screams his lines like a punk singer before thanking an endless string of people and things including, but not limited to, munchkins, submarines, and Eskimos. On "Good Morning Heartache," he makes like a drunk at a karaoke bar, warbling off-key while Li'l Mo handles the actual singing duties. You certainly can't accuse N***a Please of being any sort of savvy commercial move, but at the same time, it's likely that middle-schoolers everywhere are already playing it to their friends in secret can-you-believe-this-guy? listening sessions. As naughty music for schoolchildren to play against their parents' wishes, N***a Please is just about perfect. As an actual album of music to listen to, it's something else entirely.

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