“I like to keep my man in the 718s, ‘cause I’m 212 and I’ve got things to do,” Cazwell says on “The Sex That I Need.” He’s bona fide Noo Yawk—aside from having been born in Massachusetts. He’s a Generation Y, stubble-and-scar-tissue XY homo. He’s a skinny white—as in not tan, but white—boy spitting duct-taped game to an audience tired of being force-fed vocal cartwheels from curvaceous black sirens. He’s also been sitting on much of the material on his new album, Watch My Mouth, for a few years now. It’s basically an expanded and remixed version of his 2006 EP Get Into It, which was released by West End Records, who generously allowed him to riff on cum, cock, zits, and socks over samples of their most valuable properties: Loose Joints’s “Is It All Over My Face” and Taana Gardner’s “Heartbeat.”
Listening to the songs again in the context of this new LP (released by Peace Bisquit), Cazwell’s Eminem-derivative singsong delivery still radiates resolutely masculine pheromones and solid genderqueer credentials. His rhymes and flow are loose, but that’s okay, because so is he. Caz might be filling a niche, but it’s an incredibly well defined and specific niche. He represents the creative underclass, the homo-punk post-Palahniuk mob for whom blood is an aphrodisiac, and the booger-flinging, fast-food-chowing, greasy-grimy demographic. If songs like “Limousine,” “Money Back,” and “Getting Over” (Cazwell’s epic dismissal of a cash-strapped piece of thing who “just won’t let go of my remote control and now I’m stuck watching Golden Girls twice in a row”) sound conspicuously cheap, it’s a serendipitous but calculated cred boost. As the man says himself in an interview excerpt linked on his Wikipedia page, “‘me’ rhymes with ‘free.’”
The outrageous love letter/diss track “I Seen Beyoncé…” wouldn’t work half as well if Cazwell’s satirical, class-conscious portrait of gay culture’s current sacred heifer wasn’t matched cent-for-cent in the backing track. Even the customary barrage of remixes that close out the album buck the consumerist trend by hewing relatively close to the economical originals. Cazwell’s ghetto-fabulous admissions may be a tad too aggressive to be real, but they reflect a state of mind often eschewed in gay bars in favor of heavily coded affirmations by deep-throated divas. Should I be concerned that the only thing Cazwell won’t admit to being, as far as I can tell, is a bottom?