K Records signs Jewish rapper Eprhyme, releases his sophomore album; take that, categorization!

K Records signs Jewish rapper Eprhyme, releases his sophomore album; take that, categorization!

From the very beginning, Calvin Johnson’s K Records label let it be known that if you wanted to play music, you could — and if you wanted to play music, you could get it released. Its output has spanned from Johnson’s own über-DIY band Beat Happening to punk, twee, and experimental weirdos like Old Time Relijun. K’s newest release deviates even more from the lo-fi grab bag we’ve come to expect: a hip-hop album from Eprhyme!

Dopestylevsky will be Eprhyme’s (pronounced e-prime) second full-length, and his first with K. The press release declares that this is “the first hip hop album to come on K Records in over a decade,” but try as I might, I couldn’t think of any hip-hop album to precede Eprhyme on K, with the exception of two Eprhyme 7-inches they put out in 2008 and 2009 — which is kind of like using a word in its own definition. Of course, being on K Records, this isn’t your normal brand of hip-hop. In 2009, Eprhyme put out his debut, Waywordwonderwill, on Shemspeed, a genre-bending reggae/rock/rap, world/Jewish label in Brooklyn, and (again, according to the press release, which phrases it best), it was an “around the world audio tour of the Jewish Diaspora, as well as an in-depth exploration of Contemporary Jewish American experience and identity.” One more quote from the press release, and then we’ll put it away: “Eprhyme is also one-half of the Musical Midrash Project Darshan, whih combines Hip Hop with Hebrew Chant, Folk-Rock with Electro-Pop and Love Poetry with Kabbalistic Psychology.” You just can’t make up that kind of stuff.

Kind of weird to be hobnobbing with Calvin and Karl Blau, right? (Well, maybe not so weird if you consider Chain & The Gang a political band — but who actually does that?) All I have left to say is that you should watch the official video for the song “Punklezmerap” to get a better idea. Crash, like glass at a wedding.

Dopestylevsky is out on April 26, and if you’re as intrigued as I am by this video of Eprhyme performing in a London synagogue, you can see him in action on an upcoming tour.


04.28.11 - Seattle, WA - The Rendezvous ^
04.30.11 - Olympia, WA - Northern *
05.01.11 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios #
05.08.11 - San Francisco, CA - The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
05.09.11 - Scottsdale, AZ - Chasers Nightclub
05.11.11 - New York, NY - Tamany Hall
05.12.11 - Albuquerque, NM - Dialogue
05.14.11 - Santa Fe, NM - Little Wing
05.25.11 - New York, NY - The Cake Shop @

^ D. Black, Erev Rav
* Arrington de Dionyso, Smoke of Oldominion, Br’er
# Arrington de Dionyso, Mad Rad, Singa
@ Arrington de Dionyo’s Malaikat dan Singa

• Eprhyme: http://www.eprhyme.com
• K: http://www.krecs.com

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