CD REVIEW: Eric Schwartz - "Wimp Pimp"
By Gian F - 05/09/2006 - 10:52 PM EDT
Artist: Eric Schwartz
Album: "Wimp Pimp"
Sounds Like: ?
Technical Grade: 10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10
Commercial Value: 10
Overall Talent Level: 10
Songwriting Skills: 10
Performance Skill: 10
Best Songs: Office Memo, Wait (Till You See Her Kid), Not Your Typical, Rock Your Coccyx, Blog It Like It's Hot, Feminem - Comin' Out The Closet
CD Review: I met Eric Schwartz (a.k.a. "Smooth-E" a.k.a. the Jamba Jew), a stand-up comedian/hip-hop artist while moderating a NARIP seminar in San Francisco. His creative energy illuminates him and his first CD should launch him into stardom. That's right, stardom!
To those who casually observe Smooth-E from afar, they may draw the false conclusion that he is merely a parody act like Weird Al Yankovic whose claim to fame was "Eat It," his spoof of Michael Jackson's ground-breaking 80's hit, "Beat It." There will also be inevitable comparisons to Eminem because of similarites in tonality, delivery, and rhyming skills, but ultimately, Eminem is a humorist and Smooth-E is a comedic specialist who picks up where Eminem leaves off; leaving the door wide open for Smooth-E and his hyper cerebral brand of hip-hop comedy.
His opening track "Not Your Typical," establishes two things from the gate: 1.) This cat can really rap 2.) This cat is crazy-creative AND 3.) He has a keen awareness of what goes into making a commercial song.
Sure there are those who will say, "Yeah, it's easy to do a parody of a song that someone has already made a hit and have people like it." Well, that doesn't stop millions of vocalists from making cover songs of hit records every year that bomb. They bomb because the artist does not put a new twist on old material and fails capitalize on a golden opportunity for artistic interpretaion and creative expression. Smooth-E ponces on such opportunities like a hungry lion on a defenseless lamb.
Whether he's rocking instrumental tracks from Chingy or the Ying Yang Twins, Smooth-E is always stimulating, engaging, entertaining, and just plain funny as hell at times "Wait (Till You See Her Kid)"). The project's most commercial track, which he should do a video for, is "Office Memo," a track that will break ground, break down doors, and build what should be his key demographic: corporate America.
Other stand-out tracks include, "Underground Track," which pokes fun at the cryptic phenomenon of underground success, the dance floor groove "Rock The Coccyx," and "Blog It Like It's Hot," which is sure to appeal to generation "I."
Lucky for many hip-hop acts, Smooth-E is content to stick to comedic rap, should he ever change his mind and rap seriously, he would still be the one laughing all the way to the bank, whether as a wimp, or a pimp. It's his choice.
Advice: You represent the new tripple threat: Music, Comedy, and Acting. Devise a plan that will grant you inroads into into all three at the same time.
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