SoCalled GhettoBlaster

Rapper, beat-maker, Klezmer musician, journalist, photographer, claymation filmmaker and magician, Montreal’s SoCalled is back but only as the first two titles. In his follow-up to The SoCalled Seder, SoCalled again braids his Jewish roots with his hip-hop atmosphere and binds them with an insatiable taste for music. "Frankly, there’s nothing so unusual about being a Jewish cowboy” is the opening line sampled for "You Are Never Alone,” a standout song on GhettoBlaster. But there is something unusual, albeit in a wonderful way, about SoCalled’s music. Some hip-hop heads might find it inaccessible because it’s so eclectic; you’ll hear C-Rayz Walz pounding the beat on one track, a piano solo on the next, followed by an ostensibly dope Yiddish rap. But any unadulterated music lover will appreciate the texture and complexity of his beats and songs, and the attempt to unite rap, country, gospel and Klezmer singers on one interdependent album. And while I’m not fond of the techno remix tacked at the end, it further illustrates what this Jewish cowboy is capable of. (JDub)