Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Serengeti: Dennehy (Lights, Camera, Action!) [Audio 8, 2008]
In which a prolific, unknown Chicago rapper plays every part but one on a loosely chronological song cycle about a naive young rapper named Scotty, who laps over into Serengeti himself, and a much older white working-class sports fan named Kenny Dennis, whose passion for Brian Dennehy provides the album its title and his signature track its chorus: "Favorite actor Dennehy, favorite drink O'Doul's/Bears, Hawks, Sox, Bulls." (Given Kenny's accent, this rhymes perfect.) Over soul loops for Kenny and basement beats for Scotty, both rhyme about their day to day enthusiasms and travails. It's funny, not satirical--Serengeti loves these characters. And like Kenny, he also loves Kenny's wife Jueles, whose occasional background yakking is rendered by Serengeti's friend Larissa Poluchowicz with what sounds to me like a Polish-American accent, though internal evidence indicates Jueles is of Mexican descent. Maybe she's both--since Serengeti is a "noticeably Negro" man born David Cohn, that would compute fine. And in case you're wondering, "noticeably Negro" is Serengeti's phrase--the title of a 2006 album worth seeking out. There are others. A