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November 8, 2004 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Matisyahu - Hasidic Reggae.
posted by dobbs (11 comments total)
The music sounds good - and what a unique story! Thanks dobbs.

The neighborhood I live in has a large hasidic population, which at first seemed very foreign. The longer I've lived there, though, the more I've realized that aside from the closure of the community to non-hasidim, it is a very vibrant cultural group. This is a good example of a diversity I would never have thought existed two years ago. It also taught me something new, as I didn't realize there were branches of hasidism that were open to converts.
posted by louigi at 10:44 AM on November 8, 2004

I keep reading this as Hasidic Rage, not reggae. That is all.
posted by ashbury at 10:53 AM on November 8, 2004

ashbury, care to elaborate on your vapid, foul observation?

The phenomenon of expatriate American hippy-type kids you find living in Israel is not unique. There is a huge representation across Israel that completely fit Matisyahu's bio description, and sometimes in the clubs you see more dreadlocks than yamakas. I also know quite a few clubs in Israel that take on a complete reggae format, including Club Soweto, the largest reggae club in Israel. Personally, I prefer the rhymes of MC 50 Shekel.
posted by naxosaxur at 11:19 AM on November 8, 2004

Vapid perhaps, but foul? No, I don't think so. I was just mentioning that I was misreading reggae as rage, is all - no hidden agenda or meaning, just an interesting slip of the eye - well, I find those kinds of things interesting. Apparently you don't. No big deal.
posted by ashbury at 11:28 AM on November 8, 2004

Foul because I was trying to prevent the thread from devolving into unjustifiable criticism of Hasidic culture...seeing that Matisyahu's music delves in reggae, which breaks most conceptions of regimented Hasidic rules. Your comment simply approached that possibility. I apologize for being hasty: You win at the internet this time, ashbury!!1!
posted by naxosaxur at 11:47 AM on November 8, 2004

This is excellent, very nice tunes! Not knowing anything about Hassidism, I was wondering if others could let me know of ways in which reggae might *specifically* be antithetical to these tenets? A lot of reggae has after all references to Israel, Zion, etc.

I thought the Rastafarian inflections in the vocals charming.
posted by carter at 11:56 AM on November 8, 2004

Another example of Hasdic music culture is Reva l'Sheva. I saw them while I was in Jerusalem and they're more or less the Hasidic version of the Dead.
posted by amandaudoff at 12:07 PM on November 8, 2004

A sidenote from my pal the enthomusicologist...
"Matisyahu is everything I know about hasidic reggae. The trick to him is that he was already a reggae guy before he became hassidic. I actually saw him on Steve Harvey's Big Time last night and the cool thing is that everybody thinks he's a joke at first (and he knows that). Then when he can really bring it, they're like 'damn!' "
Thanks dobbs.
posted by jessamyn at 12:11 PM on November 8, 2004

Holy, sacred shit this is cool.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:07 PM on November 8, 2004

Nice stuff, and I'm not easily impressed (whoa, a blue car!). Thanks dobbs. (great post-title, btw)
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:46 PM on November 8, 2004

And if you like your orthodox pop-rock there's always Blue Fringe.
posted by PenDevil at 11:25 PM on November 8, 2004

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