Album: Flavor Flav <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Flavor Flav, DRAYTOWN
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The Independent Culture

I must admit, I rather preferred Flavor Flav's incorrigible mischief to Chuck D's hectoring lectures in Public Enemy, and despite his subsequent travails, he remains one of hip-hop's more likeable characters. These days, he's the pivot of a VH1 dating-game show, in which "tha ladeez" vie for Flav's affections - sounds like a recipe for fun. He will probably wind up a beloved television entertainer, which may be why this first solo album will, he claims, also be his last. Mind you, this is no bad thing if he insists on trying his hand as a soul balladeer, as on "Two Wrongz" and the calamitous opener "Let It Show". Flav's no Luther or Marvin, that's for sure, and his struggle to hit the right notes here is compounded by his apparent inability to realise he's singing flat. Things improve considerably when he sticks to rapping - though there's a limit to how much one needs to learn about his time at Rykers Island prison. But while he's engaged in the serious business of bigging himself up, or rattling off cartoonish nonsense-raps like "Unga Bunga Bunga", things are more enjoyable. Though only for a while.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Flavor-Man', 'Unga Bunga Bunga', 'Wonder Why'