I LOVE SOCE

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Well, I must say, this month is WAY too busy. I am all over the place and going nowhere! I have to write three entries to cover some of the more recent stuff, and that’s not even going to cover a fraction. Living in New York is like having saucer-eyes in front of a buffet of experiences. It’s just difficult sometimes to take it all in, let alone dish it back out into my blog, but I’m trying… I’m TRYYYinnnnn’!

So, first off, I gotta give props to my homey,
SOCE, THE ELEMENTAL WIZARD

Thass right… I’m usin’ da “Language of YO” (as I call it). Yo.

Anyway, he’s my Jewish, Gay, White Boy, YALE-grad, Wall Street, New Hampshire-raised RAPPER pal! It will never matter if he becomes mainstream with his work because he is truly an historic event, a legend, in and of himself. I went to see him perform among many other Hip-Hop artists the other night at Soce’s CD Release party. It was SO FUN!!!!

One thing I learned that night beyond a shadow of a doubt is how much I truly cannot stand HIP HOP. Yeah, I said it. Yo, what up wit DAT!?? you say? Well, it stands about as equally creative a musical genre as Hair Metal and Reggae. After one or two songs, you feel like you are hearing THE SAME SHIT OVER AND OVER AGAIN! My god, it just would not end! Now, Reggae is, at least, very pleasant and warm to the listener, even if redundantly repetitive beyond belief. Hip Hop, you don’t get no warmth. All you get in hip hop is a lot of angry grunting and spitting, mostly as a self-celebration of how much money, sex, or pride the rapper has.

HOWEVER, I discovered at Soce’s party just how much I DO like hip hop, when it’s done more as an art, instead of as a commercial formula. Most of the performers I will never listen to again, but a couple of them were truly smart and smooth and meaningful and original! All of them were cute, however… damn hottie thugs!

So here is Soce, standing among some of the toughest, hetero rappers in the area, celebrating his cd release, with every one of them cheering him on and hailing him, and he bursts forth with his own performance. Bridging the gap between bitch-slappin’ rappers and angry political rappers, Soce comes in with songs that cover the EXACT same territory, but with a vastly different spin:

They are ALL GAY. And not just gay-oriented, or gay-themed, but seriously, TOTALLY, GAY. I mean, in YO FACE gay! The only thing that Soce does not do that so many rappers do, is that he does not make you feel BAD. Not a single song is angry, but all CELEBRATORY and inspiring, somehow! He managed to have even the most hetero thug singin’ and head-bobbin’ to songs such as “I AM (SO GAY)” and “SD” (Suckin’ Dick). Songs with deep beats over violins (played by Soce, himself!), catchy choruses that had the audiences singing along immediately, joining in with his huge, underground following, and even nasty, fun remixes of traditional Jewish songs, such as the “WORK/PLAY bar mitsvah remix.” His music is ORIGINAL, smart, and manages to make everyone happy, laughing, smiling, and proud to be gay or even WANTING to be gay! LOL!

Soce, is unabashadly, unapologetically GAY. It was beautiful to see such freedom, which is probably why rap (aka hip hop) rose to popularity in the first place, becoming a tough genre contributing to the lift of oppression, obvious or unseen. Well, at least, it used to be. Now it’s just a bunch of noise, which is why Soce is SO REFRESHING, even among his peers!

Excellent job, SOCE! In addition to your list of descriptions that are already suprising, contradictory, and even oxymoronic, you can add “pioneer.”

LINKS:

SOCE on MySpace

GREATHIPHOP.COM

BUY HIS ALBUMS!

5 thoughts on “I LOVE SOCE”

  1. I love hip-hop/rap… no apologies… I fell in love with the early stuff in middle school at the skating rink. I spent hours as a teenager dreaming about being able to make my oh-so-unsuited white girl body do all those brand-new moves.

    Like all generes, especially when that genre is part of the current pop scene, there is a lot of empty, repetitive stuff out there. But there is so much more than that, often lurking on the “B sides” of what you might hear on the radio (like you say, the non-commercial stuff definitely has more to offer). I’m so glad you had a chance to see the show and appreciate some of it!

    I have to say that I disagree about lack of creativity, especially in relation to hair metal! Rap is a far more complex and already more enduring art form than hair metal could ever pretend to be! I know that some people take exception to the use of sampling, and that a rapper’s style can lend a sameness to all of their songs… but to me, there’s nothing like hearing a sample from a song I loved long ago used to create something new and vibrant and timely, and most musicians in any genre have a recognizable style that belongs to them.

    A lot of what you hear is definitely self-aggrandizing, but I can ignore the ego for the beat most times… and though I concede there is a lot of self-promotion in the genre, I think that it is a true reflection of our modern culture – and not just the culture of people of color! We have become a society of self-absorbed consumers and it seems fitting that some of our music reflects that. It’s also easy to understand glorifying self and possessions from a culture that has only been in possession of themselves as free people in our country for a relatively short time, and still experiences daily economic inequality.

    All that aside, I guess it’s really just a matter of what different people relate to. I don’t know how someone as terminally white as me came to love rap so much, but there it is.

    The way you feel about rap is how I feel about your faves – it all sounds the same to me (not to mention puts me to sleep;-} Though I do appreciate the emotion and complexity of the musical arrangements, I’m just not “turned on” by it. What’s music to one person’s ear is often indiscernible as music to another’s…I guess that’s why there’s so many different ways to groove!

  2. Point well taken, ms. Tara. Everyone is entitled to bad taste…

    HA!!!!! Just kidding!!!

    I didn’t write my entry very well, but my point was trying to get to the fact of just what you pointed out: that there is creativity and originality in all of it.

    A musical genre always sounds “all the same” when one doesn’t give it a thorough listen, or a chance. That’s why I was happy by the end of the night at Soce’s cd release. I was like, YEAH, I can like this stuff!!! YAY! And, truth be told, I love a lot of select bands or songs from almost all genres.

    Y’just gotta listen.

    THAT being said, yo, Tara, I expect a different attitude to “MY” music next time I hear from you,… mmmmmkaaayyy?? If I can learn to love yo honkey rap shit, you can love my artistic soundscapes that DON’T put you to sleep, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, but pull you into the space between the worlds…. Yeeeyaahhh! Thass right. I said it!

    [trying to throw in some tough thug yo language to try to get through to her; seriously, you gotta smack dem bitches inta shape!]

    LOL!!!

    Troy

  3. As the first performer that night, I too obviously love Hip Hop and am glad that you could see it in that type of environment. That’s Hip Hop. Creativity, freedom of expression, fun,

    Of course the mainstream media and pop music industry has churned out mass quantities of fast food repetitive music in the effort to make a quick buck. They have neglected the position that A&R is supposed to fill and pushed to the front clones of whatever is hot at the moment from whatever imitator they can find which perpetuates and beats into the ground a small range of topics and ideas.

    Hip Hop at it’s core, that freedom of expression you got from Soce a rapper who is at odds with the idea of what a person in Hip Hop is, is still around. My music is a broad scope of socially conscious, spiritual, political and fun topics that you don’t get in mainstream world of big booty hoe’s, jewelry and cars that cost more than houses, violence and drugs.

    Soce gets respect from us “hetero thugs” because he just does himself.

    Btw, didn’t he graduate from Yale?

    Among the two, bitch-slappin’ rappers and angry political rappers, I guess I was the latter.

    …and did you just call me a cute hottie thug?

  4. Wait, which one were you?? If you were the first performer, umm, yeah, you were hot, AND I liked your stuff! In retrospect, several were REALLY EXCELLENT!!! Actually, everyone was hot, and in the end, it was the truth that everyone THAT NIGHT in particular did an excellent, EXCELLENT job of their art.

    I was particularly smitten with Koba from Kontrast. YOW ZA! He stared at me intensely the entire time of his rap set, but then I found out he is straight. WHAT ever. Why was he starin’ at me, bitch? I was ready to get all up in his grill-o-love. Whut evuh. I guess maybe he was staring at the bright light from behind my head? I dunno. All I know is that I love him. Yeah, I said it! OWWW!

    And you, Timid, yeah, you were a cute, hottie thug. I think our whole group thought so, YEeeeYahhh!

    Thass right.

    xoxo
    troy

  5. Well I’m glad I was apart of a night of Hip Hop that opened you up to a new experience….umm..i meant that as hetero as possible.

    Peace.

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