In addition to knockin’ old-school, R&B-inflected rap out the box daily, two young North Texas rhyme-makers, Dallas’ Pikahsso and Arlington’s Tahiti –– together known as AwkQuarius –– have been hearkening back to rap’s nascence by re-appropriating common mainstream, consumer-culture entertainment modes, specifically children’s cartoons and K-tel-ish TV commercials from the 1970s, an era with which AwkQuarius is transfixed –– not only does Pikahsso and Tahiti’s band name reference the Dawning of the Age thereof but their music incorporates a lot of funky rhythms, humorous flow, and a lot of Soul Train-ish chicka-bow-wow.
Much in the way that Bronx DJs birthed rap by rhyming over the extended-play versions of disco records, Pikahsso and Tahiti, as the multi-media production team Intellectual Idiots, add their own lewd, politically incorrect, downright filthy voiceover narration to old episodes of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Fat-Ass Albert in the Hood is dirt-eee. And sometimes pretty funny. Not as clever or linear as the average Dave Chappelle skit but in sending up gangtsa culture, the cartoon can be biting. In “You Are the Father” (below), Fat Albert repeatedly and angrily denies siring a lovechild to the baby’s vengeful mother. She first confronts Fat Albert while he and the gang are at the park building a sailboat. “Albert, we need to talk,” she says, cradling their baby. Someone calls out, “Who’s baby is that?” Someone else yells, “N—a look like Fat Albert!” To which Albert responds, “That big-head baby ain’t mine.” And it’s all down the gutter from there. But if real gangstas didn’t behave in the ridiculous way in which they’re depicted in Fat-Ass Albert in the Hood, none of what Pikahsso and Tahiti have done with the cartoon would qualify as funny or even satirical. As the old saying goes, In every good joke there’s a kernel of truth. And there’s more than a little truth in Fat-Ass Albert in the Hood.
The cartoon is NSFW or for kids. Or for people who are quickly offended.