Hot on the stiletto heels of 2 Live Crew's 1989 cultural firebomb As Nasty as They Wanna Be was the ethnic joke with a beat, 1990's As Kosher as They Wanna Be. 2 Live Jews' debut album featured the rhyming skills of "Moisha MC" and "Easy Irving," two aged Jewish-American men who had ostensibly discovered a latent penchant for rocking the mike. In actuality, they were personas created in a studio by Eric Lambert (Moisha) and Joe Stone (Irving), who weren't even elderly. Featuring songs like "Shake Your Tuchas" and "Oy! It's So Humid" ("I was sweating like a mule/I was frying like a blintz"), Kosher was the comedy rap opposite of 2 Live Crew's Nasty. Chock-full of in-jokes and Jewish clichés, the album was also a goof on the emerging clichés of hip-hop itself -- in this case, the chest-thumping bravado and canned bass music backing beats of 2 Live Crew. "Shake Your Tuchas" found Moisha and Irving bragging in Yiddish slang over the synthesized cowbell beat common to early hip-hop. While Lambert and Stone were likely hoping only for a quick payday, As Kosher as They Wanna Be was a genius novelty record that functioned on numerous levels. But just as 2 Live Crew effectively blew their wad with "Me So Horny" and Nasty, "Shake Your Tuchas" and Kosher represented the creative apex of 2 Live Jews. The 1991 "Hebe-hop" reworking of Fiddler on the Roof, Fiddling With Tradition, may have been comedy rap's first concept piece, but it quickly faded. The self-explanatory Disco Jews appeared in 1994; Christmas Jews followed in 1998. The latter featured such hilarity as "Bagel Rock" (set to the tune of "Jingle Bell Rock") and "Christmas Wrap." The entire 2 Live Jews catalog eventually became featured fodder for Dr. Demento's late-night radio hijinks and the 2005 compilation The Worst of.... ~ Johnny Loftus
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