Hasidic Rap: No, It's Not An Oxymoron

If you thought Eminem was an oddity among rappers, here's another strange development: the hit music of Matisyahu, a Pennsylvania-born Hasidic Jew who wants to "make innovative music that is proudly Jewish." Hiphoprnbsoul.com reports on his newly-released album, Youth:
Bringing reggae and Judaism to the Rap chart is Hasidic vocalist and band Matisyahu whose Youth drops at No. 3 on the Rap Albums tally. The combination of rap, old school reggae dancehall delivery and Talmudic teachings is a refreshing change to the usual fare, and although he talks about conscious topics he doesn't come off as preachy. The set ranks as one of the few reggae albums with Top 10 openings on the popular chart, and even beat Sean Paul's Trinity opening at No. 7.
Christians seeking to shine light into the world of music would do well to take a closer look at this musician's success. Who is being drawn to Matisyahu's music and why? What makes his message palatable to people from such different backgrounds? Why can he so easily rap about his faith to a mainstream audience? Check out a few lines from his song, King Without A Crown:
You're all that I have and you're all that I need
Each and every day I pray to get to know you please
I want to be close to you, yes I'm so hungry
You're like water for my soul when it gets thirsty
Without you there's no me
You're the air that I breathe
Said, thank you to my God, now I finally got it right
And I'll fight with all of my heart, and all a' my soul, and all a' my might

Here are some more resources to help you navigate the world of popular music.


~Mark said...

Breaking the mold can be a good thing!

Mitali Perkins said...

I agree. Let the cross-pollination of genres begin!