Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Ugly Duckling 

Taste the Secret (Emperor Norton)

These three dorky white kids from Snoop's old 'hood don't just acknowledge their utter lack of street cred; they wear it like a paper hat, creating a theme album not about guns or dope, but about . . . fast food? Specifically, the album centers on Meat Shake, the fictional Long Beach blended-dinner joint where the members claim to have worked in their adolescence. Songs and faux jingles mix with man-on-the-street testimonials ("Meat to the shizzake!") and running skits; but the album's real highlight isn't the comedy -- it's the crate-digging talent of DJ Einstein, which sustains Cooper and Dustin, even when they cough out an occasional talent-show hook.

Yes, this is a silly album -- no surprise there. But Ugly Duckling's good-natured breeziness has always been its greatest strength. Fact is, the trio raps about pop-culture piffle as well as anyone ever has, with clever, genial, funny rhymes wrapped in clever, genial, old-school beats and samples. Think Native Tongues as interpreted by Eugene Levy.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Dan Reines

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Ryan Sickler @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Dec. 9
  • Sebastian Maniscalco @ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

    • Thu., Dec. 9

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation