Eprhyme – “Shomer Salaam” 7”
Acquired: KJHK Music Staff, New, 2009
Eprhyme makes "Iconoclastic Neo-Hassidic Hip-Hop." I’m not sure if he wants that to be his defining quality, but when you’re a Hassidic Jewish rapper it kind of has to be (and it's the headline on his website so, you know). Unless you’re rapping about bitches and money, but even then you’re gimmicking. You’re that Hassidic Jewish rapper who raps about bitches and money and ISN’T THIS IRONIC AND FUNNY. So on. Etcetera. Eprhyme presents transparent messages of faith, peace, love and tolerance over beats heavily incorporate traditional middle eastern instrumentation. It’s all pretty hokey and plays like God rock. That said, I’m clearly not the target audience, and despite my own personal beliefs I do appreciate an artist who can articulate his or her faith in a way that is not heavy handed. The point of God rock is to beat you over the head with The Message, whereas it is much more interesting for an artist to approach faith on a personal level. Eprhyme has a Message, but there is little meaning to it because it’s all surface level stuff. It is obvious that these things are important to him. The dude very clearly cares about his faith and his community and has the best intentions, but good intentions can’t make up for lackluster emcee skills and surface level raps.