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December 22, 2005 - Image 41

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-12-22

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& Entertainment

Matisyahu: "It's all truth."

Don Cohen

Special to the Jewish News


Chasidic singing
sensation Matisyahu

performs at

Detroit's St.
Andrew's Hall.

sk people if they've
heard the one about the
Lubavitch reggae rap-
per and it's likely they'll be
expecting a punch line. But .
Matisyahu is no joke.
Since the July release of Live at
Stubbs — his lively and infec-
tious second album recorded in
Austin, Texas, during a 50-city
national tour — he's been a TV
guest of Jay Leno, Jimmy
Kimmel, Carson Daly and MTV,
and, in just the past month,
played before enthusiastic
crowds in London, Paris,
Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and
On Dec: 29, the fifth night of
Chanukah, he will perform at St.
Andrew's Hall in downtown
At home among both dread-


Growing Up
is a rising star in the music
• Matisyahu, 26, is, or at least was,
world and the Jewish world.
Matthew Miller, a self-pro-
Critics and music writers
claimed "teenage hippie" in a
around the country have been
non-observant Jewish home. He
largely enthusiastic and, in
writes in his online bio that at 14
October, he graced the cover of
he "grew dreadlocks and wore
Hadassah magazine. In
his Birkenstocks all winter long"
November, when the Forward
and "played bongos in the lunch-
published its Forward 50 list of
room and learned how to beat-
the most influential Jews in the
box in the back of class."
United States, the newspaper put
Bright, unmotivated and
Matisyahu in its top five. The
searching, he dropped out of
issue noted his ability to cross
high school in 11th grade, travel-
over to mainstream audiences,
ing to Colorado where, he writes,
adding that his songs "speak of
"It's all truth." Taking his now
spiritual hunger in biblically
spiritual search to Israel, he
inflected tones; set to reggae
explored Jerusalem, prayer and
beats, they become supple, airy
himself, writing that his "dor-
and sublime."
mant Jewish identity stirred into
Matisyahu adds rap to the
"roots, rock, reggae" of the leg-
But things died down back in
endary Bob Marley. But while
White Plains, N.Y., where he
Marley sang passionately about
traded minyans for being among
Jah Damaican for God),
Matisyahu vocalizes about
Reggae on page 43

locks and sidelocks, Matisyahu

T'will Be The Fifth Night Of Chanukah

T'will be the fifth night of Chanukah,
And decking the hall at St. Andrew's,
Will be the rhymes of Matisyahu,
'Bout Y'rsuhalayim and the Jews.

The Chasidic reggae singer,
Dec. 29 in Detroit,
Will combine Marley and Carlebach,
With great vigor. So adroit.

With his tzit tzit a swayin',
Black hat and white blouse,
He's earned quite a rep,
For rockin' the house.
Just like his Chanukah namesake,
He stays true to the Torah,
But he combines it with skank.
With no hint of horah.

He's now signed to Epic,

And packing them in,

While singing 'bout Moshiach
And the spirit within.

So make plans to see him,
It will be quite a sight,
A great night of reggae,
And for all Yiddishkeit.

- Don Cohen

December 22 2005


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