Last night, the Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone) teased a Netflix surprise that turned out to be a visual rap album, reimagined from the perspective of the Oakland A's Jose Canseco (Samberg) and Mark McGwire (Schaffer).
The baseball-themed musical-comedy, titled The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, dropped at midnight on Netflix alongside a full original album.
Rest assured, if you haven't gotten a chance to watch the full 30-minute Netflix special, which the Lonely Island boys are calling a "visual poem," they've uploaded two of the videos on YouTube: "Uniform On," a high-energy rap intro that boasts of taking steroids, and the, uh, performance issues that can come along with it; and "Oakland Nights," a slightly smoother cut that features Jenny Slate and Hannah Simone as working girls who don't "date ball players," and Sterling K. Brown as Sia. McGwire adds, "The greatest aphrodisiac is physical fitness."
The Netflix release comes ahead of their first-ever U.S. tour next month. The comedy troupe's debut album, Incredibad, came out over a decade ago. Since breaking out through their SNL skit masterpieces, the "I'm On A Boat" singers haven't stopped creating. The Bash Brothers special is the first filmed project they've put out since the 2016 mockumentary, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Behind the scenes, the Lonely Island guys have helped produce some of the best new comedy series. from PEN15 to the enormously funny sketch series, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson.
The full album is available on Spotify, and while it's full of their signature, absurdly vulgar irreverence, it's actually a pretty solid collection of songs. Sonically, it's an impressive range of tracks––no matter how ridiculous––featuring the amped-up Beastie Boys-styled rap of "Let's Bash", the pulsating "Focused AF," and the mumbly, SoundCloud-rap reminiscent "Focus on the Game." Lyrically, they sing about everything from bench-pressing bikini babes on "Bikini Babe Workout" to roid-raging about puka shells on "IHOP," which transitions to the funky pastiche "IHOP Parking Lot" featuring Haim & Maya Rudolph (honestly, a standout bop). The album ends on the autotuned warble of "Daddy," a song that gets oddly emotional, despite being about little league days.
Of course, part of the excitement is closely tied to the nostalgia that the Lonely Island brings out in all of us. They came up in a time when being on the Internet felt more innocent, when goofy music videos about Jack Sparrow and premature ejaculation were enough to make us laugh––simpler times. the Lonely Island videos were among the first online SNL content to go viral. This is all to say that as much as the Lonely Island are a remnant of the mid-aughts parody video culture, they're also really talented comedians who know how to write some solid bangers. Kudos, boys.