Asher Roth isn't the only talented, funny, self-effacing white rapper hoping to follow in Eminem's footsteps: Chicagoan Ramsey Judson is a pudgy, bearded, Pitchfork-looking dude who cheerfully laughs at the unusual image he brings to hip-hop in a D.I.Y. video that finds him riding an antique bicycle while dressed in a suit and tie a la "Pee-wee's Big Adventure." But Judson can deftly string twisting rhymes at the mike, and he builds on a Chicago underground hip-hop tradition by doing so over inventive, mid-tempo jazz-inflected grooves.
Biographical info is woefully short on Judson's MySpace page--he claims to have been "born in Siam to a family of humble mule breeders," though he moved to Chicago at age 12 and has since "made several unsuccessful runs at mayor (f---in' Daley!)." But the music speaks for itself, especially his signature anthem "The 7 Beer Itch," which, despite the goofy title, is actually an eloquent slacker statement against gangster nihilism: "Raise your glasses up and enjoy the laughter/I don't listen to those who say that life is a bitch/I treat it like a gorgeous woman with a seven-year itch." Hear it for yourself at www.myspace.com/ramseyjudson.