Arts & Culture

Five Years After the Seder: An Interview With Socalled

Socalled’s hit single You Are Never Alone begins ‘And frankly there is nothing so unusual about being a jewish cowboy‘. Socalled, aka Josh Dolgin, does a good job at being a Jewish cowboy. He has entered musical frontiers previously unknown … Read More

By / April 5, 2010

Socalled’s hit single You Are Never Alone begins ‘And frankly there is nothing so unusual about being a jewish cowboy‘. Socalled, aka Josh Dolgin, does a good job at being a Jewish cowboy. He has entered musical frontiers previously unknown to Jews, as a DJ who for seven years has created a unique sound of klezmer/hip-hop fusion.

While some cultural Jews may need motivation to care about the final days of Passover, Dolgin has just the cure. It has been nearly five years since he produced his own take on the seder, The Socalled Seder. To commemorate this anniversary, Jewcy was lucky enough (and had the Jdub connections) to get an extremely short interview with Josh Dolgin.

Jewcy: Before I ask any questions about the anniversary of the So Called Seder,I need to know something that’s been bugging me: how many records do you own?

Josh Dolgin: Like, 3/4 thousand… I should count…

Jewcy: So of all the Jewish holidays you could have picked from, what gave you the idea to put together a "hip hop haggadah"?

JD: The records started to find me. All these cheezy Pesach records from the 50′s and 60′s… even some I had as a kid… one break in particular, from a Moishe Oysher record, just begged to be looped, so I started cutting the stuff up and before you knew it, I’d made like 4 or 5 tunes for a little EP.

Jewcy: Do you think Killah Priest rapping on "The 10 Plagues" was the most Jewish moment in the history of the Wu-Tang Clan?

JD: It’s possible.

Jewcy: Is this the only fun Seder you’ve taken part in?

JD: No way. I always loved seders, especially after my brother and I cobbled together our own Haggaddah like 15 years ago. I think another reason I started this project was because Passover was always such a fun holiday in my house, I always loved the music and food and family, so it seemed like a great element of my Jewishness to explore with the sample-based hip hop I was getting into…

Jewcy: There hasn’t been a Socalled release in 3 years. Anything new we can expect?

JD:  Almost finished my next record, and you should also check out "Tweet Tweet", by Abraham Inc, a record I produced for David Krakauer and Fred Wesley and full funk/klezmer band.