Thursday, June 10, 2010

ephryme "Waywonderwill"

(Modular Moods) There have been a lot of Jewish hip hop, and not just super Jewish dudes involved in hip hop like the Beasties or Lyor Cohen but I mean actual straight up Jewish-themed hip hop. But none of them, not the Jewish Public Enemy-style act Blood of Abraham, not the Jewish gangsta rapper A-to the D the Renegade Jew, not the novelty music act 2 Live Jews, not the Orthodox in religion but unorthodox in hip hop (because he just does reggae) Matisyahu - are Jew-ier than Eprhyme. He uses klezmer backbeats, he flows in Heb-lish (going  between Hebrew and ENglish), and he is being completely earnest and joke-free when he uses a metaphor about something being as great as a nice sedar. In fact, the least Jewish thing about this is that he's not humorous enough. Because he's going for the backpack/underground/conscious vibe it's hard to criticize stuff here (though his rap voice and flow suffer when he gets too speedy), but for the most part tis is a spiritual, smart, musically risky record -- the actual introduction of Jewish music traditions elevates this.

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