By Kevin Smith
Photo courtesy of Coup d'Etat Records
Ivy-league rapper MC Paul Barman plays Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole Ave., on Saturday night at 9. Barman started rapping in the mid-1990s and had his first performance in 1997.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday November 21, 2002
Most reporters do not find themselves naming off women so that their subject can create rhymes about having sex with them. However, this exercise mirrored interviewee MC Paul Barman's song "Cock Mobsters," in which he rattled off various inventive sexual encounters with female celebrities.
Kylie Minogue: "She's not as ire as En Vogue," Barman said.
MTV News' Suchin Pak: "She loves my huge-in cock," Barman spat.
Nicole Kidman: "She gave me the whole grid, man," Barman joked.
The 27-year-old Brown University graduate rapped with the Wildcat about his Saturday night stop in Tucson to promote his new CD, Paullelujah! and about a possible job reference.
Where and When . . .
MC Paul Barman plays Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole Ave, Saturday night at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7 and the show is open to all ages.
"Man, you (should) hire me as a columnist," Barman said. "I would love to have a newspaper column. I can't do it for free, Mr. Wildcat."
When Barman was informed of the bi-weekly paycheck he'd pull down as a Wildcat columnist, he refused.
"It's because I would starve to death!" Barman screamed.
Job offers aside, Barman cringed at the prospect of his future if not for rap.
"It wouldn't be pretty," he said.
His qualifications for his current career became apparent while he was discussing his love of knowledge from wiser elders often the subject of mentors came up.
"I have a mentor/he's a centaur/and he's the men-taur/he teaches me about manifestiny/and non-troversey," Barman said.
Barman began rapping in the mid-'90s, specifically one summer right around the time when urban radio became a barren wasteland of Puffy-ness.
"I got a summer job helping the summer session R.I.S.D. (Rhode Island School of Design) kids," Barman said. "Me and like five friends doing a job that one of us could've done, so there was an intense amount of sitting around.
"I remember hearing rap radio and being like, ╬It didn't used to be like this; it used to be great. Now it's so bad that you kind of can't stand it.' So, I started writing rhymes for my friends, and then I started rhyming at a couple of parties for my friends, and then, before you knew it, I was like, ╬Oh my God, I need to graduate with an art degree?'"
Like Neo in "The Matrix," Barman conceptualized his world before he came to an understanding of an appropriate Brown University graduation send-off for his family and himself.
"I'm not getting baby carrots at Eastside Marketplace," Barman said, "I'm not hanging my best paintings of my career, most of which are only OK. The best ones got lost in the mail anyway, on the second floor; peeling off the weird ring of plastic around some crappy conveyer-belt hummus and inviting my family? That's mean! Finishing four years of hell?! No! I'm going to have Barmania! Invite all the living Barmans to my show."
For promotion of "Barmania," Barman set up a clever and cost-effective marketing campaign.
"I was the comics editor of the (university) newspaper at the time," Barman said, "and the celebratory final issue of that paper has a front and back color cover, so I put my poster on the back and then got a big stack of newspapers and free printing for my poster, and I already had my Mom's staple gun, so I went around town stapling that shit up."
Barman then held his family-integrated inaugural performance on May 17, 1997. The production also served as a graduation requirement, because Barman had to do a non-credit show to attain his diploma.
"Opened up with my grandma, talking about me and admitting to a hundred of my best friends that she dropped me on the head when I was a baby," Barman reflected. "Followed by my brother doing a slideshow about our hometown of Ridgewood (New Jersey), with his girlfriend on the clicker. Followed by my Dad doing a full 45 minute set of standup comedy about England, which elicited plenty of nervous and sympathetic laughter. And then me: dancers, beat-boxers, a drummer, a DJ 10-feet up in the air with an upside down American flag. And me with like eight songs."
The audience's reaction was schizophrenic.
"It was definitely polar reaction," Barman said. "Kind of, ╬What the fuck?' and kind of like, ╬Oh my God, I am so into this. This is the best moment of my week.'"
With hip-hop, Barman said he had finally found his calling.
"It's like finding a place where you belong," Barman said. "I'm doing what I have to do."
Barman encouraged people to come out to his show because he said spectators get few opportunities to bear witness to this kind of event.
"You've got to come to my show," Barman said, "you know, it's just one of those things. It's like the Cohen brothers only come out with a movie once a year. The Cohen brothers don't make movies like anybody else makes them, and you've got to go see it."
Barman went on to state that attending the show might even be beneficial to one's health.
"The best thing for you is probably to get a breath of fresh air outside," Barman reckoned, "but second to that would be having a breath of fresh air communicated to you."