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- Moses Rockwell is the rap moniker of Anthony D'Angelo.
Holy Moses Rockwellmosesrockwell.bandcamp.com
Rochester loves the music of Anthony D’Angelo, aka Moses Rockwell. But he recalls times in his life when he wasn’t Mr. Popular.
Kids on the schoolbus first dubbed him Moses because he parted his hair down the middle. What began as the taunt by bullies became a lifelong nickname used by Rockwell’s family and friends to this day.
As Rockwell grew up, his hip-hop heroes were eccentric, left-of-center rappers like Aesop Rock and Busdriver, whose expansive vocabulary and clever wordplay set them apart from the mainstream.
Rockwell studied to be an art teacher in college, went on to manage a local Walgreens, and now has a day job building circuit boards for a tech company.
His songs are largely observational. If he has an odd conversation or he experiences something unfamiliar, he mines it for its comedic value and rhymes it in a song.
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On “Lemonade,” the opening track from Rockwell’s album “Until You Run Out of Cake,” the artist takes self-deprecating humor to a new level:
I used to wear a shirt in the pool, then I would run and duck for cover inside/
I used to blush, I turned purple and blue, then I would sulk under a colorless sky/
I threw a fit when all my succulents died, you’re dealing with a true hunk of a guy.
“I think that most rappers take themselves entirely too serious,” said Rockwell, 33. “And it’s always been a goal of mine to figure out, ‘How can I take the craft serious and how can I take my music serious, without taking myself serious?’ And there's also a sort of honesty and an authenticity to just taking a look at yourself. I'm a goofy guy, in general, so why wouldn't my raps be goofy?” — DANIEL J. KUSHNER
Finalists: Chi the Realist | Noah Fense | Ishmael