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
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 I’m listening to ethereal, new agey rap hip-hop from a Jewish, gay, white MC. And it doesn’t seem strange at all. Instead of sitting here trying to figure out what I’m listening to, I’m 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 I’ve 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 he’s 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 he’s not. He’s not from the Bronx. He’s never been to jail. He’s 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.