Eminem will tell you that being a rapper in today's society can be hard, but the MC Paul Barman will construct you a lyrical discourse on the topic. On Paul's first full-length album Paullelujah he constructs rhymes that most other rappers wouldn't even think of, mainly because this weaver of rhymes went to the very prestigious Brown University, and he takes his exceptionally extensive vocabulary to the mic with him.
Barman's new release is his attempt to venture in to new areas, one that are unexplored by other rappers. He is the Star Trek of the rap world. Most "urban" rappers would never use the word "cuneiform", much less probably be able to spell it, and Barman's songs are almost as saturated with obscure words as The Oxford English Dictionary. For example, "Gas Burps from fast slurps/ and comes back in blast/ chirps through the esophagus/ It smells like a sarcophagus," from the upbeat, "Burping & Farting" is just one little tidbit that this Jersey born boy is capable of. Not to compare Barman to another cultural staple, but The Simpson's is often acclaimed because it is able to incorporate a wide variety of historical references, from every facet of the world, and intermingle it with modern day, pop culture, and make it funny, very funny. That is probably the best way to describe Barman's lyrics; insightful, and irrelevantly humorous.
There is always something to be said about the beats on an album, they don't just appear there you know, and this album needs to have some discussion of what's going on behind the music. Most tracks don't consist of your regular drum machine loops, or samples from almost forgotten about 70s songs. Barman attempts to use very different music to rap over; it basically coincides with the music almost perfectly; neither are of the norm. For example, the 80's nostalgic "Cock Mobster", has as the beats for this funky lyrical scientist. Not all tracks consist of rapped lyrics or hellagood beats, "Talking Time Travel" is basically spoken word, with a little bit of actual singing over a guitar.
Now, nothings perfect, and as close to this album is to exceptional entertainment, there are a few places that Paullelujah falls short. First of all, it is basically an extension of Barman's previous EP, It's Very Stimulating. This isn't completely a bad thing, seeing as how that was not only a critically acclaimed album, but also it was very well done. However, a little more experimentation with the MCs sound could have been considered. Also, the MC Paul Barman spits off so many rhymes so quickly, there is a little lost in the translation. It may take the listener seven or eight listens to some tracks until they all the jokes, and some of the lesser educated listens might be left in the dark as to who or what some of the references are that Barman makes on this record.
That being said, Paullelujah is completely worth giving a listen if you're a fan of intellectual music, or if you just want to hear something a little different, with a hip-hop twist.
Jason Cipriano is an Assistant Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.