Hip-hop is a funny thing. Producers make beats, orchestrating samples, drums, and synths to create a track that is then brought to life by an MC rapping. The three things that make a producer are the cleverness of the beats and the range of the samples, and the space for the rhymes. Prodezra, a Jewish producer from Georgia, is quickly making a name for himself on all three counts. His track "Change", produced for rappers Describe and Y-Love, is fabulous and garnered a lot of attention (the YouTube video has had over 100,000 views).
Prodezra just released his first album "Until When." The album includes Change, but also has him stepping in front of the mic. At it's most successful, on Change, Liora, Sound the Alarm, and Stood at Sinai, Prodezra's draws on a pop orchestral soundscape that is as comfortable with bells, acoustic guitar and, what sounds like, a marching band tuba, as with more common urban static and brass. I swear I even hear a Blue Oyster Cult riff in there. Prodezra's lyrics are sharply written and heartfelt but aren't the equal of Describe and Y-love. He's more willing, though, to let the music breath. The instrumentals, including title track, Ein Od Milvado, and Masa L'Geulah are lovely lookbacks to an earlier generation of electronica (think Mannheim Steamroller, Jean Michel Jarre & Mike Oldfield).
Bottom line: Other than Change, Until When isn't quite the next Jewish hip-hop breakout, but it's a solid and satisfying effort by a guy with a rich musical imagination.
In case you missed it, here's the Change video...
Here's a compilation of samples from Until When.
For more info check out Prodezra's MySpace & CD Baby pages.