Sunday, April 16, 2006

Matisyahu Update

Matisyahu did a sick beatbox rendition of the classic psalm Shir HaMa'alos at Chabad of San Francisco's Purimpalooza.
I was asked a number of times during the seders where Matisyahu was spending Pesach. Well, as reported by Esther on, he was apparently at the Chabad House at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (indeed, he turned down the invitation from Madonna to attend her Kabbala seder). You can click here for an interview from with Matis about Pesach. It's been a good while since we've had a lengthy Matisyahu post, so here you go.

Some of our readers may not be aware that it's been somewhat of a rough ride for Matisyahu in recent months. He was accused of being a back-stabbing, self-glorifying, shomer negiah woman-hating, Black-culture appropriating Yachinik. And quite a number of people have plainly said that they think his new album sucks. And they've already started looking for the next Chassidic musical sensation.

But around here, I like to think that we're a little more open-minded than most people. And I think we have a little more love for Matis than all those critics. Afterall, when is the last time that an observant Jew has held such a prominent place in pop culture in North America? Um, never.

Here's Matisyahu in the early days with Pey Dalid.
I'm sure you've all read the bios. He grew up secular, went to Israel when he was a teenager, also became a deadhead around the same time. Got into drugs and music, Phish, reggae. Then he found Torah, the truth that he had been seeking but never found in drugs. Now he's happily married and has a son, and is part of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Chassidism. His lyrics often overtly reflect themes from the central Chassidic work of the Chabad movement, composed by the Alte Rebbe, known as the Tanya.

It's well known that his music has been well received. I live near Barson Street, the ghetto of Santa Cruz (galus of galus), and people have driven by my house blasting Matisyahu. Well, as pop-culture would have it, people are already selling (and buying) not only t-shirts emblazoned with Matisyahu's face, but also kippah's with Matisyahu on them. You can even download Matis ringtones to your celly.

Here are a few sweet video clips that you may have missed, compliments of AOL Sessions: Beatbox and Ancient Lullabye.

Here's a pretty sweet interview. And here is a very special clip, passed along to me by Fedora Black, of a homevid from Matisyahu's yeshiva, Hadar HaTorah: click here.


Blogger Mobius said...

ah yes; we at jewschool are everso closed minded. we were only matis' first boosters who reported on him every step of the way until he screwed jdub over.

in the meantime, even pey dalid will tell you that y-love wipes the floor with matis lyrically. i hung out with them and y-love together on the midrachov a few months ago, and one of their entourage went off about y-love being the greatest living jewish mc. after seeing him in action, i can't but help agree.

Mon Apr 17, 01:20:00 AM 2006  
Blogger G-D SQUAD said...

Mobius, don't worry, I definitely wasn't implying that Jewschool is close-minded. I know you guys used to love him.

I was mainly referring to the likes of Edwin Decker, Kelefa Sanneh, and Jody Rosen.

Also, I don't doubt that Y-Love is the most talented Jewish MC alive.

I don't know if you'll actually end up reading this, but I was at the first meeting of Corner Prophets in January of 2005. In fact, I think Kitra Cahana ended up coming eventually only because I told her how sick it was. Keep it up.

Mon Apr 17, 01:51:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Matisyahu mp3 said...

That Mobis guy is soo funny, acting like a 6 year old girl. It seems that Matisyahu was grate before he "screwed jdub over".

I have two words for you mobis:
"grow up"


Wed Apr 26, 12:10:00 PM 2006  

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