Arthur Simeon might sell out his home country to get laid, but he won't run at level 7.5 on a treadmill. On his new album Born and Raised, which was released on iTunes yesterday, the Ugandan-born, Toronto-based comedian outlines his romantic misadventures in Canada while shedding light on his previous lifestyle in Kampala. It's an entertaining mix of sly cultural observations and lightly raunchy tales from singlehood.
As the title of the album would suggest, Simeon's African heritage forms the basis for much of his material, and the first half of his tracks riff almost entirely on the comedian's experiences as a Ugandan man living in Canada. Simeon has a clever way of turning this theme on his Canadian audience: many of his jokes highlight absurd beliefs and questions about Uganda that he's encountered from North Americans, while others point out straight-up offensive Hollywood representations of Africa. His bit on He's Just Not That Into You—a truly hateful movie—is among the strongest on the album, while the story of a Lululemon employee who went to Uganda to "help out" ends on we-didn't-see-that-coming note. (Spoiler: this is why he sells out his home country.)
Almost all the tracks have fun observations to offer, with the exception of the self-admittedly sexist "Girls Are Shitty Storytellers," which doesn't suffer so much from being a generalization (although that's a problem), but from its reliance on boring, heard-it-before opinions. (Yes, some women tell long, vocal-fried stories about yesterday's lineup at Starbucks—but most don't.) Still, Simeon's dating anecdotes have a mischievous charm that quickly transcends the girls-do-this, boys-do-that formula. From his prankster girl roommate to his friend whose boyfriend dumped her for a baby raccoon, the female characters in Simeon's jokes only add to the wacky vibe. And this is a decidedly goofy take on race and romance: just listen to "Christmas Trees" and you'll get what we mean.
If you're just that into Simeon, click here to buy Born and Raised on iTunes, or hit play below to check out his style.