Baby Elephant – Turn My Teeth Up!
Baby Elephant is the brainchild of master producer Prince Paul – most famous for his paradigm-shifting work on De La Soul‘s iconic 3 Feet High and Rising – who recruited regular collaborator Don Newkirk and legendary Parliament (and Talking Heads) keyboardist Bernie Worrell to conjure this endearing, strange funk blast in 2007.
Turn My Teeth Up! echoes the twisty deep tunes George Clinton set in stone several decades ago while employing every modern studio tool Paul had been using in recent solo projects and his Handsome Boy Modeling School duo with Dan the Automator, simultaneously evoking both a salacious and humorous atmosphere; it’s the definition of a playful, unassuming masterpiece. Riding high on languid synth lines and old school breakbeats, incisively split samples of everything from school children to video games, and every manner of futuristic funk conveyance, the trio judiciously drop surprisingly entertaining comedy skits throughout the album – a Paul innovation if there ever was one. Attempting no more coherence than a party jam vibe spread by men with Funkadelic in their veins, these 45 minutes never fall short of the modest goal of entertaining those down for a good time and addictive beats.
Featuring appearances by Nona Hendryx, Yellowman, and both Clinton and David Byrne themselves, it has the whiff of a minor-key supergroup release without any of the expected pretense. This is simply a thrilling fun set of tunes aiming to make listeners shake – and laugh – their asses off. Turn this up and let it brighten your mood and, just maybe, make your day.