This is not a joke, though perhaps it should be and is best enjoyed as such. MC Paul Barman, 25-year-old Ivy League grad, actually convinced veteran hip-hop producer Prince Paul to hook up this EP of De La Soul-ish tracks, "It's Very Stimulating." Only the deal is Barman can't rap for shit, and his rhymes are loaded with references that would stump Dennis Miller.
While there's a bigger argument as to whether Barman's decidedly urban-oblivious perspective is the future of hip-hop or a sure sign of its demise, there's an inspired (if occasionally atonal) earnestness to the nerd's coffeehouse scribble flow. He boasts and toasts "the joy of your world is Paul Barman," while, like any rapper with an inflated ego, he lets us know he's "friggin awesome" on a cut of the same name.
But while we can enjoy his "wordplay," there's something laughably (if brilliantly) wrong about an MC who sounds like a retarded Beck making a hip-hop in-joke. Proceed with caution.