MC Chris has many avatars: rapper, writer, animator, cartoon-voice talent -- and giant, shower cap-and-diaper-wearing spider.
The last in that list, formerly called MC Pee Pants, is found on Cartoon Network's hit Adult Swim show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." While the spider keeps meeting his demise (then rising once again), MC Chris is just hitting his stride.
In a boozy Cinderella story, Chris (aka Chris Ward) was discovered while getting wasted at a bar. Turns out, the fellows he had been bugging all night to buy him drinks were two of the "Aqua Teen" creators.
Soon, Chris was installed in the hallowed halls of Williams Street Productions in Atlanta as a writer/producer/animator, working on "The Brak Show," "Sealab 2021" (where he's the voice of Hesh) and "Space Ghost Coast to Coast," in addition to "Aqua Teen."
Rapping came about during his years attending NYU, and at Adult Swim he was able to finagle his songs into the programming. Hordes of fans responded, and he soon released Life's a Bitch and I'm Her Pimp (which can be downloaded in its entirety for free at mcchris.com).
Chris' third and latest CD, Eating's Not Cheating, follows the same premise: dork rap that name-checks Robocop, DQ Blizzards and Dostoyevsky, while infusing the usual rap inferences of fame and dolla dolla bills, y'all. It's goofy, but infectious; his comically high Chris Tucker-like voice is backed up by drum 'n bass wizard DJ John Fewell, who sells everything from hyper-fast danceouts to old-school bass-pumpers.
Still, rap generally is a genre that fosters big bling and bigger egos, not diapered spiders. Chris, however, thinks the tide is turning.
"You never know," he says. "We got Cee-Lo to be on 'The Brak Show,' and he said 'yes' in a second. The more pop hip-hop becomes -- the more malleable -- it doesn't have to have such a tough image. 50 Cent has a video game. I think that says it all."
-- Kara Luger
MC Chris with SNMNMNM
and The Ergs
The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10, all ages; visit sodajerkpresents.com.