Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
Mainter

Jewish hip-hop artists

Recommended Posts

They have baggy clothing, backward baseball caps, the "bling bling" and racy lyrics.

 

And these days, rappers sometimes wear yarmulkes too.

Hip-hop music, which grew out of black inner cities, is not typically associated with Jews, but as the genre has grown more popular, some Jewish artists have embraced it as their own, while transcending theological and ethnic differences.

 

New York-based Hip Hop Hoodios, whose name is a play on the Spanish word for Jews, is a Latino-Jewish group that has recorded in English, Spanish and Hebrew.

 

Their lyrics include such sardonic lines as: "My nose is large, and you know I'm in charge."

 

A popular 26-year-old Hasidic singer, Matisyahu, raps in a brimmed hat and dark suit over reggae beats. "Torah food for my brain let it rain till I drown, Thunder! Let the blessings come down," he says in King Without a Crown.

 

The growing genre has also seen artists like Remedy collaborate with mainstream acts like Wu-Tang Clan.

 

"It's very much a representation of the cooperative state of Jewish and black relations today," said Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which is chaired by hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons.

 

"I view cooperation, not conflict, as the defining element."

 

While some commentators still see rifts between American blacks and Jews, many agree that relations have improved greatly. At the same time, hip-hop has gone mainstream.

 

Experts said hip-hop can appeal to audiences of diverse backgrounds, including Jews, while still maintaining its authenticity.

 

"It's impossible to separate this phenomenon from a move by Jews in their late teens to late 30s to explicitly identify themselves as Jews in American popular culture," said Joel Schalit, managing editor of Tikkun magazine, who personally likes two Israeli Hebrew-language artists Sagol 59 and HaDag Nahash.

 

"What might be new is that more artists are emphasising their Jewishness in their content and marketing."

 

An example: Chutzpah, comprised of two suburban New York natives and a Los Angeles actor, whose first single from a self-titled CD and accompanying DVD is Chanukah's Da Bomb.

 

"A lot of people think because Chanukah's Da Bomb is the single, it's for Jewish people," said the group's 44-year-old dreadlocked member, David Scharff.

 

"It's like saying Woody Allen is for Jewish people. It's for everybody."

 

Formed by music producer Tor Hyams, Chutzpah even enlisted

71-year-old veteran actor George Segal as Dr Dreck, its "coordinator".

"The lyrics are quite solid and informative, as well as witty, sharp and funny," Segal said in a phone interview.

 

"That's what makes it work."

 

Chutzpah treads the line between seriousness and satire. Parody acts in Jewish hip-hop have been common.

 

Among them, 50 Shekel was a takeoff on 50 Cent. MOT was managed by Meshugge Knight, a takeoff on Suge Knight. And 2 Live Jews featured Dr Dreidle and Ice Berg.

 

"If you're looking for a tale of `gangsta' life, Jewish hip-hop might not be the place to start," said Alana Newhouse, arts and culture editor at the Forward newspaper.

 

"The best Jewish hip-hop artists plumb serious elements of Jewish history, but all are creating a new way to tell the story of Jewish experience."

Beastie Boys are the most commercially successful Jewish rap act, and the only one to achieve mainstream success.

 

But it was only recently that their Jewish backgrounds began to be reflected in their lyrics.

 

Rabbi Schneier said Jewish hip-hop can resonate with non-Jewish listeners, including many with similar views in other areas.

 

"Jews view themselves as a minority when it comes to issues of race and changing demographics, and on many questions their responses are identical to those of African-American and Latino respondents," Schneier said.

 

"Hip-hop is a unifying force that resonates with young people."

 

In the video for Chanukah's Da Bomb, Chutzpah cruises town in a Volvo with a roof-mounted menorah and raps that Chanukah, "whichever way you spell it", is better than Christmas because it lasts seven days longer.

 

"Humour (is) one of the only things the Jews had when they were being oppressed for century after century," Hyams said.

 

"The only difference between us and any other hip-hop group is that they don't say their religions before they say they're a hip-hop group," he continued.

 

"We say it because we're proud of it."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what do you say to a Jew when he wants to bust a freestyle?

 

Ha, ha, nah forget it...

 

question? or POLL. (what do you think)

 

is being jewish a race thing or a nationality thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

another jew thread?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LET THE BASHING COMMENCE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Sparoism

This is a trick question, but I'll go with "ethnicity".

 

What about the fucking Beastie Boys? They were the FIRST Jewish rappers (and, for a while, damn good at wearing many different yarmulkes...not sure about the last album, so much as anything up to "Hello Nasty", and there's some dogs on there....)

 

Shit, if you can rap, you can hang, as far as I'm concerned. Doesn't matter WHAT the fuck race/religion/ethnicity/age/sex/orientation you are. Do it to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Sparoism

"another jew thread?

 

LET THE BASHING COMMENCE!"

 

It's the season, and the fact that Hanukkah is so close to Xmas this year.

 

Big fuckin' whoop-de-do. George Bush is still in "charge", get mad about that. Or something else less trife. The haters, the haters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just saying that because the past 2 jew threads quickly detiorated into jew bashing threads, and i think the thread about google being racist turned into an anti jew thread as well.

 

maybe im jumping the gun here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Sparoism@Dec 11 2005, 11:29 PM

Shit, if you can rap, you can hang, as far as I'm concerned. Doesn't matter WHAT the fuck race/religion/ethnicity/age/sex/orientation you are. Do it to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by dumy+Dec 12 2005, 08:49 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (dumy - Dec 12 2005, 08:49 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-Sparoism@Dec 11 2005, 11:29 PM

Shit, if you can rap, you can hang, as far as I'm concerned. Doesn't matter WHAT the fuck race/religion/ethnicity/age/sex/orientation you are. Do it to it.

[/b]

 

ill second that, people need to quit being obsessed over dumb shit like gay midget jewish rappers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look Im sorry, alright? I was drunk and the dude kept on messing with my girlfriend. Didnt know he had such a large fanclub.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest imported_Tesseract

Seeing how this evolves, i guess seekings thread was much better on pretty much the same basis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×