MC Paul BarmanView in iTunes
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It's almost an understatement to say that New Jersey-native MC Paul Barman defies hip-hop convention. Rail thin and lilly white with a mop of curly hair hanging off his head, Barman plays the geek image to the hilt. His off-kilter verses and painful delivery almost seem like a put-on, but the Brown graduate has a disarming charm and comes with serious credentials. With only one EP under his belt, Barman attracted critical attention from heavyweights like the New York Times and Rolling Stone and found the opportunity to work with a number of respected artists. The legendary Prince Paul produced Barman's debut EP, It's Very Stimulating, which was released in early 2000 by prestigious underground label Wordsound. Barman's unconventional rapping was bolstered by his aptitude for storytelling and the album's hilarious, self-deprecating anecdotes. Barman switched to Matador for the release of How Hard is That?, later that year. Though Barman's act smacks of novelty to some, How Hard Is That was another winner. Definitely one of a kind, Barman has earned the respect of his peers, appearing on projects like Deltron 3030 and albums by the likes of Mr. Dead and Masta Ace. In 2002, Barman released his first full-length, Paullelujah!, on Coup d'Etat. After taking nearly a decade off, Barman teamed back up with producers Prince Paul, ?uestlove, MF Doom and Memory Man to release Thought Balloon Mushroom Cloud in 2009. ~ Martin Woodside