Published Jan 01, 2006His skin is ivory, his degree is Ivy, and his rhymes make you say "Oy vey!" MC Paul Barman is a white Jewish rapper from Long Island, NY whose latest album, Paullelujah!, is boldly pushing hip-hop in new directions. Paul offers the following advice to aspiring MCs.
Come original. "Don't copy the way your favourite artists deliver," he says. "Copy where they're coming from." In other words, be yourself, as yourself.
Ignore labels. "I think [my music] is hip-hop according to my own definitions," Paul says. "When I grew up, I thought that the most important thing was to express yourself and be as honest as humanly possible, to represent your own personal world view, to be witty and funny, to make sure that the rhymes that you've used have never been used before, to the best of your knowledge."
Don't swear. "Don't curse unless you have to," Paul encourages. "I curse on [Paullelujah!] but I wish I didn't."
Don't brag. While Paul acknowledges that bragging is "a mainstay of the art form, and vital," he cautions against it. "For a brag to hit home, for me personally, it better be some funny incredible shit." For example, "My dandy voice makes the most anti-choice granny's panties moist!"
Write a story. "Set it somewhere that you really know about, that you can represent, that you have some kind of understanding of, some observations on and it occurs to you that you haven't heard that place commented on the way you feel you could comment on it just because no one has had the exact same situation. That's your setting. And what the characters do, and the story that you tell, that's your way of commenting on the world and how it works according to you."