March 8, 2007

MC Paul Barman - It's Very Stimulating (February 15, 2000)

I am fully prepared to take a lot of shit for this album. Paul Barman has been pigeonholed into the "nerdcore" rap category, and probably for good reason: his rhymes are fucking nerdy. They're so full of obscure references, from filmmakers to astrological charts, that it makes Ghostface Killah look as if he speaks the Queen's English. Barman's wordplay is awkward as hell, rambling all over the track, but it somehow works, maybe because some of his lyrics actually make serious points (such as the failure of the public school system, for instance), even though they are hilarious.

People make a big deal about the fact that he's Jewish and an Ivy League graduate; I choose to make fun of the corny-ass album cover. Besides, the Ivy League-comedian thing is old hat by now (I see you, Conan).

I picked up It's Very Stimulating thanks to the contributions of a different Paul: Prince Paul, of early De La Soul, Stetsasonic, and Handsome Boy Modeling School fame (as I wrote in an earlier post, he's one of my favorite producers ever). It was released on Wordsound, Prince Paul's vanity label (which, to the shock of nobody, is no longer around). Prince Paul produced all six tracks on this eighteen minute album, and as odd as this sounds, it feels as if it's just the right length.

Also: I don't know why this matters, but the album comes with the lyrics. I know, unheard of in hip hop, right?

1. AN INTRODUCTION
Yeah, rap album intro. However, he uses the word "extrapolate", which was unexpected on a rap album (but I guess expected for an Ivy League graduate?).

2. THE JOY OF YOUR WORLD
The instrumental wouldn't sound out of place in an old-school Disney movie. I like the "If you want sex with me, be prepared for bad sex, and slapstick" line; c'mon, it's funny.

3. SCHOOL ANTHEM
Probably won't be played at any high school football game anytime soon.

4. SALVATION BARMY
My favorite track off of this EP. Barman's lack of breath control is highly evident on this track, but I'll chalk it up to inexperience.

5. I'M FRICKING AWESOME
Um...yeah, I got nothing.

6. MTV GET OFF THE AIR, PT. 2 (FEAT PRINCESS SUPERSTAR)
Only God and Prince Paul know what happened to Part One.

FINAL THOUGHTS: It's Very Stimulating is entertaining (and short, which is a plus), especially for fans of both emo rap (Atmosphere, etc.) and other nerdcore rappers (like MC Chris of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Sealab 2021 fame). For the instrumental freaks like myself, the Prince Paul shit here is fricking awesome.

BUY OR BURN? Tough to say, as this is out of print, but if you can find this anywhere used, spend the money. It may look strange next to your Wu-Tang and Tribe albums, but then again, what the hell are you doing putting this next to those artists? MC Paul Barman starts with an M.

BEST TRACKS: "Salvation Barmy"; "I'm Fricking Awesome"

-Max

9 comments:

  1. the most felonious vocalist in the wide world of showbusinessFebruary 08, 2008

    I like this because he makes a huge palindrome out of a bunch of rappers names including Mega. It's easily the nerdiest feat in the history of rap music.

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  2. the most felonious vocalist in the wide world of showbusinessFebruary 08, 2008

    Right Ivy League rapper, wrong album. I think. I believe he assembles palindromes on Paullelujah! I want to get it right because it's very important.

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  3. And thank you for being the only person thus far to admit that they have also listened to Paul Barman!

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  4. I fux with Mr. Barman as well, after hearing him on that "Hot Guacamole" track with MF DOOM. MTV Get off the Air Pt. 1 was actually released on a white label 12" and featured J-Live, Posdnuos, MF DOOM, Frank Zappa AND MTV News correspondent Kurt Loder.

    Yeah, you're 99.9999% sure that I'm full of shit, but you're going to check.

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  5. AnonymousJune 14, 2008

    hey ive just been reading your reviews, and MTV get off the air is a actually originally a Dead Kennedys song. just thought you might want to know, good band... no De La though.

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  6. I've listened to him, and I am ashamed you could recommend anybody to buy this guys album.

    His style resembles the jocky white kid who would attempt to freestyle in a desperate attempt for laughter... meets the nerdy white kid who thinks he can do anything he sets his mind to.

    Tsk, tsk Max.

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  7. @Guy Fawkes
    Never heard of any of those stereotypes.

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  8. Dead Kennedys are...were fucking awesome. Anyone know the sample used in Senioritis?

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  9. Max, is that bruh in the red t-shirt you!?

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