I’m not usually one to write music posts, and the fact that you’re reading a music post right now should tell you something about how much I like George Watsky. I’m generally not the biggest listener of rap and hip-hop, but Watsky is different. Ok, of course he’s different- you don’t see a lot of white, 20-something, half-Jewish, San Francisco-born, Emerson-educated, part-time slam poets topping the charts. And yet, there he is, at number 17 on iTunes bestselling albums with his recently-released Cardboard Castles. That’s two spots behind Of Monsters and Men, one ahead of The Lumineers, and two ahead of Mumford and Sons. On the hip-hop chart in particular, he’s at 2, sandwiched between Macklemore and Kendrick Lamar.
But a lot of people top the charts, and that’s not why I listen to him. The thing with Watsky is that you can always hear the smirk in his lyrics. He raps like he’s getting away with something, and he’s not pretending to be something he’s not. He embraces his whiteness, his 20-somethingness, his half-Jewishness (sort of like the Beastie Boys, but not as 90s), and his slam-poetness. Granted, I don’t think my words can really describe him. So I’ll let him use his own.
These are some of my favorite songs, poems, and raps by Watsky, and I encourage you to look up the rest of his stuff. There’s a lot that I haven’t seen, and plenty that might hit you more than it hit me.If you really like what you hear, get his eponymous album and Cardboard Castles (which, by the way, is tremendous) on iTunes, and the rest of his stuff at www.gwatsky.bandcamp.com.
Watsky raps fast (formerly “Pale kid raps fast”)
Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self
4 AM Monday, from A New Kind of Sexy Mixtape
S for Lisp
Man of Constant Sorrow, from Watsky & Mody (with Kush Mody, featuring Dylan Saunders)
Ghost Party, from Watsky & Mody (with Kush Mody and Mieka Pauley)
Cardboard Castles, from Cardboard Castles