Rock plays a wannabe rapper named Albert Brown, who assumes the identity of a gang member called Gusto.
When the real Gusto (Charlie Murphy) goes to jail after Albert accidentally causes his arrest, Albert becomes MC Gusto, and his middle-class Los Angeles buddies Euripides (Allen Payne) and Otis (Deezer D) take on the aliases Dead Mike and Stab Master Arson to make up CB4 (short for “Cell Block 4”).
The trio record tracks like Straight Outta LoCash – an NWA parody with Rock (who sounds a lot like Eazy E) rapping, “I fucked ya wife, ’cause the bitch is a big ho/I fucked ya sister, I fucked ya cat/I would have fucked ya mom, but the bitch is too fat!”
The flamboyant reign of CB4 is viewed through the awed eyes of a wimpy, fawning, impressionable white filmmaker (Chris Elliott) who is making a “Rapumentary” and can’t get enough of hostile black attitude.
CB4 climb the charts while bedding uninhibited groupies and fleeing trigger-happy mobsters, but Albert yearns to return to his prim girlfriend (Rachel True) and his self-made dad.
The film has its moments, including an early sequence in which real-life rap stars Ice T, Ice Cube and Flavor Flav – along with Halle Berry and Shaquille O’Neal – deliver deadpan assessments of CB4 (“They’re wack,” says Flav dismissively). But the movie runs short of material and loses its comic edge about halfway through, although it’s jumpy enough to keep you interested.
The rap video parodies are almost indistinguishable from the real thing . . .
Albert Brown/MC Gusto
Euripides Smalls/Dead Mike
Otis/Stab Master Arson
Willard E. Pugh
Ty Granderson Jones
Baa Baa Ack
Mari J. Sahley
Mary Ann Hermansen