The other white beat

Four random caucasian MCs better than Asher Roth
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 7, 2009


Raw brah: Why you need to shut up about Asher Roth. By Chris Faraone.
In the home of Slaine, Esoteric, Sullee, Bomshot, Lyrical, and about 10,000 other pale MCs who can hang with brothers of all shades and styles, the notion of prolific whiteboys is hardly novel. Neither is it to anyone who's even vaguely familiar with the larger underground establishment (way below the world of Asher's Universal Motown distribution, not to mention Eminem or the Beasties), which has yielded far more than just Slug, Aesop Rock, Apathy, and the few others who usually grace Asher Roth sidebars. Here are four hella-nice Caucasians whom pedestrians might not know about but who make your favorite mainstream rappers sound like Shaq with a lobotomy.

BEKAY | Highly influenced by such fellow Brooklyn bombers as Necro and Ill Bill, Bekay is an unrelenting dick-in-your-mom's-mouth nihilist with raucous breath control to match. Two years ago, he opened a Heltah Skeltah show in Boston and roofed the crowd without a hype man. His Horror Flick LP (Coalmine) was equally impressive, full of fright and battle-ready banter. Bekay's dramatic arrogance might catch up with him in the street, but on record it's ruthlessly delicious.

QWEL | In several regards, Qwel has been my favorite hip-hop artist for more than a year now. Discovering him was like finding a new author with a deep repertoire. In his decade-plus of rhyming, the Chicago poet has cut more than a dozen projects with subterranea's most revered producers. Just beware: Qwel is hardly for laypeople. In addition to weaving rap's most intricate scriptures, he's also got a Jesus streak, though it's the oddest form of idolatry ever uttered.

SUPERSTAH SNUK | Termanology's right-hand white man from nearby Haverhill, Snuk is the rare pasty MC who sounds black on record. I wouldn't hold it against him if his spit rang nasally, but it's definitely dope that it doesn't. In other perks that could benefit only rappers, Snuk has a toxic personal history and a lethal flow that could inspire jealousy in rivers. And when you consider his infamous "Cocaine Freestyle" — on which he promises to "blow the brains out the back of your cranium and laugh" — homeboy is also pretty rude for a white dude.

MC PAUL BARMAN | For all I know, Paul Barman quit rapping years ago and became a dentist in New Jersey. But I still take every opportunity to expose heads to Paullelujah, a 2002 comic opus produced entirely by Prince Paul. With such lines as "I'm advancing the art form/De-pantsing a fart storm/Some rappers just don't like thinking/I guess it's too hard for 'em," it's not only the smartest white-rap disc of all-time, it's also the funniest.

Related: Beyond Dilla and Dipset, Mr. Incongeniality, Review: The Roots of Hip-Hop, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Slug, Slug,  More more >
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