Culture, Sex & Gender

Gay Jewish Hip-Hop Saturday Night

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
In hip-hop, Soce the Elemental Wizard is as self-aware as it gets. Not that you could accuse the man of any less. His new album, the inspiringly-titled “Master of Fine Arts,” was released this week, and there’s a launch party Saturday night at the Bowery Poetry Club. (Tickets are $10, which includes a CD, so it’s basically like getting a Saturday night concert for free.)
Soce’s real name is Andrew Singer, and he has a day job as a computer guy on Wall Street. If you think that disqualifies him from hip-hop greatness, you’re so misled — nerd-rap is the very basis of his raison d’etre. His album begins with the warning “I was a renegade/until I started drinking my lemonade/now I’m better-paid” — and the album’s first video, “They Call Me,” starts out with a 7-year-old Soce getting beaten up in a schoolyard, and lays heavy claims, like that he’s got “an edge like matzoh and cheese.”

He’s not afraid to put himself on the line (and, yes, his rhymes are totally {and intentionally} laughable), but Soce also keeps it real — his jams are legitimate hip-hop, his wordplay as smart as it is silly, and his beats are quality, radio-friendly music. There’s the Jewish thing, of course, and the gay thing, but Soce is refreshingly creative in his lyrics. He’s just as likely to rhyme about Dungeons & Dragons as he is about the dude he’s crushing on. Soce keeps it good-natured but chill, and is likely to pull out the crowd of equally-attractive young Jews, so you should probably get there early. And make sure there’s plenty of room around you to dance.
Crossposted on MyJewishLearning

8 thoughts on “Gay Jewish Hip-Hop Saturday Night

  1. You know something’s not right when you have to defend an artist’s work as “legitimate hip hop”… preemptively. Ridiculous video, inane song, I really struggle to find anything interesting about it. I’ll stick to So-Called.

  2. Dude, don’t make with the hating. In a genre where the best-known acts are 2 Live Jews, Hip Hop Hoodios, and 50 Shekel, if you’re describing something as funny Jewish hip-hop, then yes — saying that the beats sound like legitimate hip-hop beats *is* kind of necessary.
    Don’t turn this thing into a So-Called vs. Soce thing. Or else, next thing you know, everyone’ll be sticking Uzis in each other’s faces….
    One Love. And try to keep the (gay jewish hip-hop) peace.

  3. oh, i’m not comparing so-called and soce. their music couldn’t be more different. i just don’t think this is a strong track or video, that’s all. i’d listen to another song to give him a second chance, though. unfortunately being a fan of quality secular hip hop makes it a lot harder to appreciate jewish hip-hop. but i don’t stop trying, and on a rare occasion i do find something that impresses me.

  4. Hey, no worries. As a hip-hop fan and a Jew, I know how it is. Most of the stuff on Soce’s myspace page right now is more r&b, and I personally dig his new hip-hop stuff more — but I’m a sucker for clever rapidfire wordplay. If you can find it, check out “Brand New Day” or “Grossed Out.” Both great beats, both totally worth your while.

  5. “Brand New Day” is available on soce’s myspace page. You can actually hear all of his songs for free on (just search for “soce”). I’d recommend starting with his new album Master of Fine Arts and then I guess working backwards?

  6. Sweet and funny video. I think it actually speaks quite loudly of personal empowerment despite “put-downs” by know nothings.

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