Ol’ Jew-Tang himself, Ross “Remedy” Filler, is feeling the crush of a failed career. His sole hit single “Never Again” (a reflection on the Shoah), set listeners up for a major disappointment when he dropped his first album, The Genuine Article. The album was practically devoid of intelligible content, and glorified gang violence and the degredation of women — not exactly the kind of material you’d expect from the Jewish role model Filler portrays himself as. His follow-up, Code Red had some salvagable material, particularly the track “A Muslim & A Jew,” however the album flopped, having already done irreperable harm to his reputation with his prior release. Now Filler’s back, about to drop his third album, recorded in Israel with Israeli MCs, and is gearing up for its release by trash-talking his fellow Jew in the goyishe press!
In an interview with RapReviews.com, Filler exposes the cracks in his tough facade:
After doing some rough math in his head Remedy feels that “you got 85% of America that just goes for whatever, they work nine to five, pay their bills and keep the machine turning. Then you have 10% of America that knows the truth but they try to exploit it. Then you have the 5% that knows the truth tries to teach it.” Remedy feels he fits into that final five percent saying “I came with the Code Red album and tried to save the world but it didn’t work, nobody cares.”
That’s not “rough math,” that’s the theology of the 5% Nation of Islam, the Nation of Gods and Earths, of which several members of Wu-Tang are adherents. When I interviewed Remedy in 1999, he was little more than apologetic for their theology, which is rich with smatterings of antisemitism. Now he’s outright espousing it himself.
“The Jewish label owners don’t really look out for other Jews,” he explains, “I thought Steve Rifkind, Lyor Cohen would look out for me, instead they turned their back on me.” While there are quite a few Jewish people in power in the Hip-Hop world, Remedy feels separate from a lot of them saying “I’m a little different, I acknowledge my Judaism. Hip-Hop is supposed to be the realest form of expression, to me I’m Jewish, I am what I am, for me not to express that would be to making things up. Your lyrics and yourself as an artist is what you are and how you got to where you at. That all stems from history, if you don’t know your past how you gonna know your future.”
Pssst, Rem, has it dawned on you that Jewish label owners don’t have your back ‘cuz you’re a mediocre MC? Being “the white guy in Wu-Tang” is a gimmick that can go only so far. How ’bout raising the bar a bit, hmm? If you want to play up that Jewish gangsta shit, how ’bout cutting an album with Necro? Now that could be hott. But this nonsense?
Honestly, I don’t know what to expect from Filler on his next album. As far as I know, he’s teamed up with Subliminal, Sagol 59, Mookie, and a slew of other popular Israeli artists for the forthcoming release. My hope is the album will take me by total surprise and be one of the most inventive, exciting, and pioneering Jewish hip-hop releases to date. But being intimately familiar with his work thus far, I ain’t gettin’ my hopes up. I pray the Israeli artists give him a stage on which to shine. We need proud Jewish MCs. But we need them to have strong Jewish values, and the buck does not stop at ethnocentricity.