Saturday, August 23, 2008 

Spic-N-Spanish: So Fresh, So Clean

Growing up on the east coast, I can honestly say that while not ever wanting to literally BE a New Yorker, there are certain things I admire about the state and how differently they conduct business as compared to some states I’ve lived in (and I’ve hung my hat A LOT of places over the years, believe me). One of those things is public access television. The language, the nudity…there’s a whole unseen-by-the-world-at-large culture going on out there that makes me feel as if I’ve been left out of a secret that everyone else knows.

But thanks to my favorite rogue journalist and ghetto entrepreneur, Khalid Strickland of INSOMNIAC and AMPED magazines, I got my hands on “The Spic N Spanish Chronicles Vol. 1” hosted by his man, Big Al and finally got a taste of what I’ve been missing. Big Al, quite the character in his own right (and you have to be charismatic and watchable to carry even five minutes of a television show, public access or not), hosts various clips from his show - some new, some old, some never before seen - with his favorite exotic dancer, Argentinean/Italian Honey Bunny, on his lap. I'd wager Al’s onscreen persona is probably very much like his personality off-camera: he’s a fun (and admittedly horny) everyman who keeps the party going with the sheer power of his perverse presence. Al’s “I’m just one of your homeboys” approach gives the DVD a laid back feel that makes it way more fun than it would be if he were some paid talking head. Welcome to his wild world and prepare to chill…

In the first segment Big Al hosts a 30th birthday party for a close friend and brings along – guess who? – Honey Bunny and her stripper-in-arms cohort, a redhead named Theresa. Needless to say, the girls Al has in tow tear the birthday boy apart, ripping off his t-shirt, grinding on his lap and smothering his face with their gigantic asses FULLY nude. THEN they turn their attention towards each other. The next segment goes a step better than simply taking you to the 2002 Puerto Rican Day Parade. Big Al takes us to a Webster Hall afterparty during a Hot Body Contest. In order to hang with a super-thick and scorching out-of-towner from Cali who looks like she does this sort of thing for a living, the NY natives are forced to quickly step their game up and re-think their individual Hot Body strategies. I mean, you can literally see the jealousy form on the amateurs’ faces when this stacked pro performs. So like any contest involving women competing for a cash prize and the attention/affection of a club packed to the rafters with sex-starved men, it’s not long before it goes beyond the pale or being a simply conventional contest. With a bit of instigation from the screaming audience and the onstage emcee, things quickly get out of control. Soon inhibitions disappear as the ladies put aside their pride (and the vast majority of their clothing) to come out on top. Who actually wins might ultimately surprise you but what’s not a surprise is that it’s not really the girl who wins at all but the crowd in attendance.

The disc continues in a similar vein for the duration of its 105 minute running time. Two years later, back at Webster Hall once again after the Puerto Rican Day Parade, Big Al runs into two sexy freaks from Boston willing to get raunchy for his camera. Another night, another party (May 2005) and Al somehow ends up dancing and making out with legendary pornstar Tiffany Mynx. Lastly, a trip to the Bronx in February 2007 brings us to the REAL Bada Bing and Big Al (“You’re ALWAYS here,” one of the girls tells him) takes us on a guided tour of the club and introduces us to a few of the dancers up close and personal backstage. In an additional 32 minutes of Special Features, you’ll get a glance at a whole lot of latino unity as Al kicks it with world-famous video vixen Gloria Velez at the Bada Bing, Terror Squad-ians Fat Joe and Remy Ma at a pool party in Miami, you got Lil Kim, Ice-T, Jadakiss, Fabolous and of course, more tits and ass in the form of a wet and wild shower show back at Al's favorite strip club in the whole world, Bronx's Bada Bing.

Hit Big Al’s MySpace up to get yourself a copy ‘cause I ain’t parting with mine. This is a definitely a joint you can just throw in the player during some “homie time” and kick back. And it feels every bit like the next best thing to being there.

God bless Cable Access.