MC Paul Barman

With Christianson, One Way We Die, and Free Flow. Friday, February 28, at the Grog Shop.

Cradle 2 the Grave
"I think about all the pube I got while reading the Rubaiyat," declares MC Paul Barman on "Cock Mobster," the first single off his debut full-length, Paullelujah!, released late last year. It's maybe the fifth or sixth most offensive thing he says on the album, which is the best hip-hop record by a white Jewish guy from suburbia in American history. Paul goes on to imagine defiling a variety of supermodels and actresses, rhyming "Liz Hurley" with "jizz early," and so on.

It seems appropriate to mention that Paul's flow is terrible, a wobbly honky train wreck that, to an observer, would not be unlike watching Zydrunas Ilgauskas dance ballet. But Barman's the only rapper in the world who could actually rhyme something with "Zydrunas Ilgauskas." Paullelujah! is all clever, profane, wacky wordplay, and as such, it's disarmingly delightful. "Old Paul," in which Barman tries to figure out why some people hate him, may even move you to tears: "Is it 'cause I go for the laugh?/Because I'm not from the ave.?/Because I target the fans that you wish you didn't have?/Had I made a mockery of a culture like the Choco Taco?/Was I to rap as France was to Morocco?" Ball's in your court, Jay-Z.

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