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Both revered and condemned for his brazen humor, Bishop Bullwinkle is a meme-ready bluesman

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Bishop Bullwinkle’s profanity-laced takedowns of roguish churchmen and their hypocritical flocks on “Hell 2 Da Naw Naw” and “Some Preachers [Ain’t Shit]” have made him a cult, meme-ready YouTube celebrity quite apart from the praise and condemnation he’s received from modern-day southern-soul aficionados. And his shows go even further: they’re basically an unexpurgated barrage of toasts, dozens-style insult routines, and sexual throwdowns. Seemingly designed to both amuse and offend as wide a spectrum of listeners as possible, Bullwinkle’s act represents a long-standing “underground” strain of black folk humor, similar to what Rudy Ray Moore did with Dolemite—though Bullwinkle’s “Bishop” gimmick adds a new layer of transgressiveness. He provides a glimpse at one of the vernacular roots of hip-hop, a living history so to speak, while simultaneously pushing the envelope and being riotously funny (at least to those who aren’t easily offended). None of this is to mention that both “Hell 2 Da Naw Naw” and “Some Preachers” also ignited a little controversy: the former lifted the backing track from singer Bigg Robb’s “Looking For a Country Girl,” while “Some Preachers” appropriated elements of Sheba Potts-Wright’s “The Real Deal.” Still, Bullwinkle doesn’t edit either of those songs when he performs them live.   v

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