Yes, it’s true: Bill Cosby’s long-awaited hip-hop album, which drops next month and is supposedly going to serve as a corrective to the scorched-earth landscape that Cosby sees as the current commercial hip-hop world, will feature rhymes written, but not performed, by the Fat Albert creator/patterned sweater aficionado. Why? Because, he told the AP, “I wouldn’t know how to fix my mouth to say some of the words.” Can’t he just channel Jeffrey? OK, that was 25 years ago, but still.
The album, assembled by Cosby’s longtime musical collaborator Bill “Spaceman” Patterson, contains rhymes provided by guest rappers. 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.”
The list of guest MCs for Cosby Narratives Vol. 1: State of Emergency hasn’t been released to the public yet, thus setting up even more speculation for a Malcolm Jamal-Warner appearance.