W. Kamau Bell's latest comedy MP3 album and CD digital album Semi-Prominent Negro is out now (Sept 30th, 2016) on the Kill Rock Stars label, a label that is quickly making a substantial name for itself in the stand-up comedy arena.
Since Donald Trump's announcement that he wanted to become President of the United States, there have been 14.6 trillion jokes made about him; I counted. I ran each of those jokes through my patented joke-ometer, and I can tell you that a one-liner delivered by W. Kamau Bell is the best I have heard -- "Trump is like that nagging cough that turns into full-blown AIDS." Simply perfect.
Much like Hari Kondabolu (whose new album on Kill Rock Stars was released a couple of weeks ago), Bell is also a social/political comic, and both are masters at ensuring that funny takes priority over the message, which is what makes them comics instead of preachers.
Although this is billed as Bell's first "special," it is actually his third album, and all of them are fantastic. This one focuses in large part on the fact that he is married to a white woman and, hence, has mixed race children. That leads to discussions about what it's like spending time with his in-laws, and a hilarious bit about how his wife suddently realized while pregnant that she does not know how to do black hair.
Bell also includes a funny yet poignant bit about the difference between west coast and east coast liberalism. On the west coast, people will say the right things (ie., say they are in favor of marriage equality using politically correct terminology), but not actually vote for it; whereas on the east coast they may not use the most politically correct language while talking about marriage equality, but will actually vote for that equality – which begs the question, does politically correct language have any meaning absent the action of voting? I believe not.
Bell closes the album with a discussion of the crop of Republican Presidential candidates (that existed at the time this album was recorded) and the absurdity of the entire batch, along with how much he's going to miss Obama.
I am a huge fan of Bell and was really disappointed when his show Totally Biased was cancelled, so I'm glad to have this album and will look forward to the next.