Somewhere in the course of making his mark as a mastermind behind Cartoon Networks smartass Adult Swim programs, Christopher Ward found time to concoct a junk culture/computer nerd rap persona that sounds like Eminem strung out on whip-its. On his 2002 debut (Lifes a Bitch and Im Her Pimp, free from mcchris.com), MC Chris proudly came on like a retro wimp. But with his later record, slightly reshuffled for re-release on Good Charlottes label, hes got growing pains, and occasionally plays the role of playa. Mostly, his brains stuck in a VH1 time warp: Fat Albert, Mr. T, Kenny Rogers, Doogie Howser. So hes believable as a runny-nose, white-as-Wite-Out geek searching Google, addicted to Xbox, jonesing for Star Wars. John Felwells heady mix of drillcore, bhangra, metal, and IDM carries MC Chris motor mouth, too. But his stabs at studliness sound forced after chronicling his chronic masturbating, schoolyard embarrassments, and fart obsessions, hes hard to take seriously as a mannish boy who brags about squirting buckets of his paste on his vacuum-action girlfriends. If only he could embrace his inner nerd full-time, hed realize his true calling as a mouthpiece for sucker MCs everywhere.
Wed., Oct. 22, 7 p.m., 2008