How exactly does one define what Reggie Watts does? Is he a socio-political commentator? Comedian? Beat boxer? World class squirrel impersonator? Truth be told, he’s all that and more.
i was first introduced to Brother Watts (and mentioned him to you cats shortly therafter) when he first dropped the video for “Fuck Shit Stack,” still one of my favorite tracks for 2010. That led me to do the on-line research that led to that article, but it in no way prepared me for the full CD/DVD combo pack just recently released by Comedy Central Records, of all folks. To call him strictly a comedian, though, would be the same as calling Prince just some guy who likes to sing in falsetto. Watts’ comedy clearly is more in-line with the likes of Andy Kauffman, i.e., pushing the boundaries of what defines “comedy” in the first place. This is not to demean his work at all, because i find it hilarious, but if you’re looking for a simple set-up/delivery/punchline guy, Reggie is a few steps beyond that.
On top of all that, the man is quite the musician, utilizing strong singing, rapping and beat boxing and a loop machine to incredible effect. He appears to do largely stream-of-conscious songs that speak heavily to his world, from what it’s like in his neighborhood to what his friends are doing. Where this might seem trite in lesser hands, Watts adds equal measures of talent, insight and humor to create songs to get into on a deeper level.
The majority of tracks here are from a series of live shows (also documented in the DVD), though there also are a couple of studio tracks to round out things. You probably need to watch the DVD to get the full feel for what Watts’ is going for here (that’s what took so long for this review; i couldn’t find time to watch the DVD even though i was listening to the CD on repeat).
In the interest of full disclosure, The Missus didn’t seem to enjoy this one too much, but she also doesn’t like drugs, so take her opinion as such. i think the guy is hilarious and crazy talented and am pissed to find that he already came through town for his solo tour promoting the CD/DVD. He’s also opening for Conan O’Brien on his latest tour, but that thing sold out in seconds, so i got screwed there, too. i can tell you this, though, i won’t make that mistake again.