Socalled: A Rapper sings Yiddish songs


Socalled is a cultural Multitasker. The canadian is a Pianist, Rapper, singer, producer, film – and theatre maker, Puppet-maker, photographer, cartoonist and magician. Now he brings out an Album of Yiddish folk songs.

In “The Socalled Movie”, a Film about his art, says Socalled alias Joshua Dolgin: “I am the Mahatma Gandhi of hip-hop. Because I’m really thin.” The 41-Year-old is known for his absurd Humor. Dolgin was born in Ottawa into a Jewish family and discovered his love of traditional Yiddish songs are really rather random. In the middle of the Nineties he was constantly in search of good Samples for his hip-hop Tracks. First of all, he was digging through the old records in the collection of his parents, then at flea markets and in Second-Hand shops, until he finally came across an Album of Yiddish singer Aaron Lebedeff, his flamboyantes look fascinated.

“This music was full of Funkiness, Riffs, and very good Material for Samples. It was crying out for a reissue. So I used it in my own productions.” Over the years, his interest grew into a true passion for collecting, and Expertise. At a Klezmer Workshop, the clarinettist David Krakauer (The Klezmatics) on Socalled, and hired him as a Beat composer. In consequence, Socalled has worked with numerous Bands and artists from the Klezmer, Yiddish Folk and World Music. His Album HiphopKhasene has been awarded the 2003 prize of the German record critics. Now, Socalled has recorded together with the Hamburg-based Kaiser Quartet “Di Frosh” his first Album of traditional Yiddish songs, which he has.

Socalled (left) and Hamburg’s Kaiser Quartett

More than a Yiddish Revival?

Dolgin and his alter Ego, Socalled, belong to the spearhead of a Yiddish Revival, which continues from zero years up to today. Today, he argues, this Revival is already snow of yesterday. “We live in a new Jewish Era.” Excessive optimism or fact? Simon Neuberg, a Professor of Yiddish language, history of language and literature at the University of Trier, writes that it is virtually impossible for the speaker outside of the Orthodox families figures to risk, because “the speakers are very scattered, everywhere a small minority and anywhere multilingual. But there are, as I said, in fact, more worldly young Yiddish speakers today than 30 years ago. You can very well say that the interest is growing, that multilingualism is upgraded today, while she was still seen in a relatively short period of time as harmful.”

We should find ourselves actually in a new Era of secular Yiddish culture, a chronicler and Innovator, is the Socalled, at the same time. In his apartment in the middle of a Jewish Orthodox neighbourhood in Montreal, piling up more than 5,000 LPS between self-made dolls, countless books, sketches, maps, and images. At first glance it is clear: Here is a collector of lives. In between, a ball of wool of good whizzes dog named Poopsie A lap Socalleds and Everything. Of course, Poopsie can play in addition to art pieces, the piano and sing. The relationship between him and the Orthodox Jews of his district, raised, says the Socalled: “basically, the Hasidim are very. However, there is a constant exchange between us. Are you curious about me, and I in you. You don’t know what to think of me: If fat crack Jewish Beats out of my window, there are small groups of young Hasidim in front of my window and don’t know what you see there. I keep confusing you like that.”

Socalled and Germany

In the course of his career, Socalled has worked with many international Stars, including such diverse artists as Funk legend Fred Wesley (including trombonist for James Brown), Pianist, Chilly Gonzales, U.S. composer Irving Fields, the trumpeter BobanMarković or the Hamburg-based Rapper Samy Deluxe. For the Track “Mimimi” from the Top 5 of the Album “Famous last words” Socalled supplied Beats and Samples. In collaboration with Samy Deluxe, raised, says the canadian: “It was a natural and easy collaboration, which has made me very much fun. Samy Deluxe is a great musician and Poet, he is open and ‘old school’. That means he likes the way I make music, and the Sound that I create.”

The album cover of Socalleds newest work “Di Frosh”

At all Hamburg has in recent years become a second home for Socalled. Here, he celebrated with his Anarcho-Musical “The Season” will Premiere in the prestigious theatre at Kampnagel, he found here with membrane Label for his latest Album “Di Frosh” and here he met the Emperor Quartet, which has already with the Boy, Gregory Porter, Jarvis Cocker, Chilly Gonzales and worked. In the past, for me, musically, much here in Germany. Also by the festival of the Yiddish Revival, I am always here, Yiddish Summer in Weimar, the Fürth International Klezmer Festival, the Jewish Museum in Berlin…”

Passion as a drive

Socalled has performed in Carnegie Hall, the Paris Olympia and the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He gives music Workshops and Masterclasses around the world. He writes Musicals, plays, cook books and has just turned “The house sitter” a gay art house Porn in his parents ‘ house. Where does he get the energy for so many different projects? For Socalled the answer is clear: “I don’t have to force myself to work, I am inspired. I have a lot of interests, very different, so the work is never boring. Sometimes a part goes me on the nerves – the piano, write lyrics, practice transcribing, Songs, puppets, Comics, drawing or Photography. Then I find a new energy, I start the next project. My passions drive me, each feeding the next.”

“Socalled Sings Di Frosh And Other Yiddish Songs With The Kaiser Quartet” appears on the 21. September.