At last night's book party for "Duck Duck Wally" at G Spa, groups of short white Jewish dudes sat on banquettes bathed in a red light. Whirlpools of nonpotable water glowed eerily from the Jacuzzis. At one point, I ill-advisedly put my hand in one and soon developed a rash. Simon and Schuster, who published the novel, handed out fake gold chains. That the book tells the story of a short white Jewish dude who ghostwrites rhymes on the DL for a rap artist named Oral B only somewhat excused the charged racial implications. Like the novel's protagonist, its author Gabe Rotter is a short Jewish guy himself. Yesterday we got a "tip"—probably just deep cover publicist shill—that though the book was sold as a novel, "The rapper in the book is based on a few of the MAJOR rap stars, who really do have some fat white Jewish dude writing most if not ALL of their rhymes."
Do we care? Fat white Jews have been responsible for some of the best rhymes of the 20th century: Gershwin, Lieber, Stoller, Matisyahu.
Still, we asked Gabe. He became cagey. "I never worked in the music industry," he said, using more air quotes than one would in little bunny Foo Foo. Later when we asked his editor Kerri Kolen, she similarly clammed up. "I can't say anything about that."
We went to the book to cross-reference some rhymes, appropriately reformatted:
I'm stoned and I'm spinin' and the chronic got me feelin'
Like I"m Lionel fuckin' Richie and I'm dancin' on the ceilin'
I'm a fat little cracker from the suburbs of New York,
and even though I'm fuckin' Jewish I still eat a lotta pork
I got a large circulation for my freestyle rhymes,
Plus I'm white and well-read like the New York Times
Strangely, these lines showed up nowhere in the hip hop databases. Hard to believe.