soce, The Elemental Wizard ~ I'm in My Own World
Date: Saturday, June 12, 2004 @ 08:41:44 UTC

Artist: soce, The Elemental Wizard

CD: I'm in My Own World

Home: New York City

Style: Hip-Hop

Quote: "Each track pushes the boundaries of what hip-hop artists are supposed to look and sound like."

By Jennifer Layton

So I put this CD in my stereo, and suddenly Im listening to ethereal, new agey rap hip-hop from a Jewish, gay, white MC. And it doesnt seem strange at all. Instead of sitting here trying to figure out what Im listening to, Im just pulled right into it. This take on hip-hop feels really good.

Each track pushes the boundaries of what hip-hop artists are supposed to look and sound like. What Ive seen of the genre, thanks to MTV, tends to be miniskirt-chasing and homophobic, Yet this self-admitted misfit insists on taking his place in this genre, telling us exactly who he is, what it was like growing up liking guys, and how hes not going to let his true nature stop him from what he wants to do. No self-pity. A little bitterness, maybe, but it feels more channeled into determination.

He also refuses to take himself too seriously, as tracks like Work/Play prove when he gets downright silly on the chorus. And is that a violin on News? Some rappers would have heart attacks, but they should be grateful for such musical blasphemy. It suggests that hip-hop can be more musically diverse and present more than sex, violence, and hating other minorities.

What gives soce so much credibility is that he not only presents himself as he is but tells us again and again what hes not. Hes not from the Bronx. Hes never been to jail. Hes never killed anyone. Just think, if this guy had come along a few years ago, Vanilla Ice never would have had the cajones to show his face at all.

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