Bill Cosby hip hop album to be released in May
Published Monday, April 14, 2008 11:16PM EDT
Bill Cosby's path has taken him from pudding pops to hip hop.
The 70-year-old has recorded a hip-hop CD set for release next month. "Cosby Narratives Vol. 1: State of Emergency'' blends the comedian's concepts and stories with a hip-hop, pop and jazz soundtrack.
"I do not rap on any of these things,'' Cosby told The Associated Press on Monday. "I wouldn't know how to fix my mouth to say some of the words.''
What Cosby does know, though, is that the hip-hop music he hears is profane and degrading. His album is "the opposite of what I think is the profanity for no particular reason, the misogyny for no particular reason. It really looks at the frustration and the anger that a young man may have,'' he said.
The album, assembled by Cosby's longtime musical collaborator Bill "Spaceman'' Patterson, has guest rappers providing the rhymes. The subject matter? "The value of an education. The value of respecting one's self and ... giving (listeners) a chance to raise their self-esteem and confidence,'' Cosby said.
Patterson said he was surprised when Cosby first inquired about making a rap record -- until the comedian revealed he wouldn't be the one doing the rapping.
"People started speculating -- is he going to rap about Jell-O Pudding Pops or what?'' Patterson said. "But he's always been involved in music and he was there for the first generation of spoken word ... He has always understood rap's potential, but he was appalled by the foul language and the misogyny -- the way people used a medium that could be used to elevate people, to open their eyes and provoke thought.''
Cosby made the album as a companion to his 2007 best-selling book, "Come on, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors.'' And though he doesn't expect the CD to be a huge hit, it won't be his last hip-hop venture.
"We can do even better,'' he said. "The next one will be even more cheerleading.''