Roots Rock Rabbi
Hailing from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Matisyahu Miller is the original, self-proclaimed "Hassidic Reggae Superstar." If that sounds kinda fakachta to you, you're not alone: Time magazine and Carson Daly both found the former Phishhead curious enough to give him some exposure. On his JDub Records debut, Shake Off the Dust... Arise, Matis (as he's known to his mishpacha, or family) chants down traditional Yiddish-style nigunim, or spiritual melodies, and mixes in reggae rhythms, conscious lyrics, beatbox, and some hip-hop flow for good measure. Surprisingly, it all works beautifully, revealing the previously unexplored Jew-to-Jah connection. Outtakes takes a closer look...
Thick beards, tie dye, head wraps, and dreadlocks (long, rope-like hair).
Reggae is celebratory Jamaican folk music featuring syncopated rhythms and hypnotic bass lines. May spur skank stepping and cries of "Jah! Rastafari."
Praises Haile Selassie, former emperor of Ethiopia, as the messiah. Adheres to ancient Torah texts. Ganja is a sacrament.
Ital allows for only organically grown fruits, vegetables, and grains and prohibits meat and milk, as well as salt and alcohol.
Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley.
Capleton, the conscious dancehall toaster.
Thick beards, black coats, yarmulke, and payis (long, curly sideburns).
Klezmer is celebratory Eastern European folk music featuring instruments like clarinet, flute, and violin. May incite frenzied circle dancing and rabid clapping.
Praises the one true God through rigorous study of ancient Torah texts. Restricts interaction between men and women. Wine is a sacrament.
Kashrut allows only humanely slaughtered animals, separates dairy and meat products, and prohibits "animals with a non-cloven hoof" like pigs and camels.
Heard of Naftule Brandwein, the "King of Yiddish Clarinet"? Neither have we.
Matisyahu, the Hasidic reggae superstar.
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