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DATE 2005-12-01

HANGOUT

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MESSAGE
DATE 2005-12-07
FROM From: "Inker, Evan"
SUBJECT Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] U.S. Jewish hip-hop artists rap on Torah, Chanukah
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Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] U.S. Jewish hip-hop artists rap on Torah, Chanukah
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U.S. Jewish hip-hop artists rap on Torah, Chanukah
By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - They have baggy clothing, backward baseball caps,
the "bling bling" and racy lyrics. And these days, rappers sometimes
wear yarmulkes too.

Hip-hop music, which grew out of black inner cities, isn't typically
associated with Jews, but as the genre has grown more popular, some
Jewish artists have embraced it as their own, while transcending
theological and ethnic differences.

New York-based Hip Hop Hoodios, whose name is a play on the Spanish word
for Jews, is a Latino-Jewish group that has recorded in English, Spanish
and Hebrew. Their lyrics include such sardonic lines as: "My nose is
large, and you know I'm in charge."

A popular 26-year-old Hasidic singer, Matisyahu, raps in a brimmed hat
and dark suit over reggae beats. "Torah food for my brain let it rain
till I drown, Thunder! Let the blessings come down," he says in "King
Without a Crown."

The growing genre has also seen artists like Remedy collaborate with
mainstream acts like Wu-Tang Clan.

"It's very much a representation of the cooperative state of Jewish and
black relations today," said Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the
Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which is chaired by hip-hop
impresario Russell Simmons. "I view cooperation, not conflict, as the
defining element."

While some commentators still see rifts between American blacks and
Jews, many agree that relations have improved greatly. At the same time,
hip-hop has gone mainstream.

Experts said hip-hop can appeal to audiences of diverse backgrounds,
including Jews, while still maintaining its authenticity.

"It's impossible to separate this phenomenon from a move by Jews in
their late teens to late 30s to explicitly identify themselves as Jews
in American popular culture," said Joel Schalit, managing editor of
Tikkun magazine, who personally likes two Israeli Hebrew-language
artists -- Sagol 59 and HaDag Nahash.

"What might be new is that more artists are emphasizing their Jewishness
in their content and marketing."

An example: Chutzpah, comprised of two suburban New York natives and a
Los Angeles actor, whose first single from a self-titled CD and
accompanying DVD is "Chanukah's Da Bomb."

50 SHEKEL, MESHUGGE KNIGHT

"A lot of people think because 'Chanukah's Da Bomb' is the single, it's
for Jewish people," said the group's 44-year-old dreadlocked member,
David Scharff. "It's like saying Woody Allen is for Jewish people.
It's for everybody."

Formed by music producer Tor Hyams, Chutzpah even enlisted 71-year-old
veteran actor George Segal as "Dr. Dreck," its "coordinator."

"The lyrics are quite solid and informative, as well as witty, sharp and
funny," Segal said in a phone interview. "That's what makes it work."

Chutzpah treads the line between seriousness and satire. Parody acts in
Jewish hip-hop have been common. Among them, 50 Shekel was a takeoff on
50 Cent. M.O.T. was managed by Meshugge Knight, a takeoff on Suge
Knight. And 2 Live Jews featured Dr. Dreidle and Ice Berg.

"If you're looking for a tale of 'gangsta' life, Jewish hip-hop might
not be the place to start," said Alana Newhouse, arts and culture editor
at the Forward newspaper.

"The best Jewish hip-hop artists plumb serious elements of Jewish
history, but all are creating a new way to tell the story of Jewish
experience."

Beastie Boys are the most commercially successful Jewish rap act, and
the only one to achieve mainstream success. But it was only recently
that their Jewish backgrounds began to be reflected in their lyrics.

Rabbi Schneier said Jewish hip-hop can resonate with non-Jewish
listeners, including many with similar views in other areas.

"Jews view themselves as a minority when it comes to issues of race and
changing demographics, and on many questions their responses are
identical to those of African-American and Latino respondents," Schneier
said. "Hip-hop is a unifying force that resonates with young people."

In the video for "Chanukah's Da Bomb," Chutzpah cruises town in a Volvo
with a roof-mounted menorah and raps that Chanukah, "whichever way you
spell it," is better than Christmas because it lasts seven days longer.

"Humor (is) one of the only things the Jews had when they were being
oppressed for century after century," Hyams said.

"The only difference between us and any other hip-hop group is that they
don't say their religions before they say they're a hip-hop group," he
continued. "We say it because we're proud of it.


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  1. 2005-12-02 From: <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Another Blow to E-VotingCompany
  2. 2005-12-02 From: <mlr52-at-mycouponmagic.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Fwd: Fw: (no subject)
  3. 2005-12-05 Contrarian <adrba-at-nyct.net> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at FreeCultureNYU demonstration last Wed.
  4. 2005-12-05 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at FreeCultureNYU
  5. 2005-12-05 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at FreeCultureNYU
  6. 2005-12-05 Contrarian <adrba-at-nyct.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at FreeCultureNYU demonstration
  7. 2005-12-05 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at FreeCultureNYU demonstration
  8. 2005-12-06 Contrarian <adrba-at-nyct.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at FreeCultureNYU demonstration
  9. 2005-12-06 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at FreeCultureNYU
  10. 2005-12-06 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: [suse-security-announce] SUSE Security Announcement: kernel
  11. 2005-12-07 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] U.S. Jewish hip-hop artists rap on Torah, Chanukah
  12. 2005-12-07 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at FreeCultureNYU demonstration
  13. 2005-12-07 Contrarian <adrba-at-nyct.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] $100 laptops with a hand crank.... (fwd)
  14. 2005-12-07 From: "rc" <ray-pub-at-rcn.com> RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at FreeCultureNYUdemonstration last Wed.
  15. 2005-12-07 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at
  16. 2005-12-07 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at
  17. 2005-12-07 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at FreeCultureNYU demonstration
  18. 2005-12-08 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman at
  19. 2005-12-08 From: <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] I Want one.
  20. 2005-12-09 From: "Yolande Hill" <kvjzhangout-at-mrbrklyn.com> Best Choice Rx - Free Online Prescriptions - FedExed Overnight
  21. 2005-12-09 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: [Hardhats-members] [Fwd: [Fwd: Call for Papers: The Use of
  22. 2005-12-09 From: "rc" <ray-pub-at-rcn.com> RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman atFreeCultureNYUdemonstration last Wed.
  23. 2005-12-09 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: DRM protest tomorrow, 3pm-5pm outside Virgin Records in
  24. 2005-12-09 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Richard Stallman
  25. 2005-12-10 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: JobCircle Weekly Summary of New Jobs]
  26. 2005-12-10 From: "J.E. Cripps" <cycmn-at-nyct.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: DRM protest tomorrow, 3pm-5pm outside
  27. 2005-12-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: ISOC-NY Monthly Membership Meeting]
  28. 2005-12-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Recreation
  29. 2005-12-12 Contrarian <adrba-at-nyct.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Recreation
  30. 2005-12-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Recreation
  31. 2005-12-12 hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Recreation
  32. 2005-12-12 hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Recreation
  33. 2005-12-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Recreation
  34. 2005-12-12 swd <sderrick-at-optonline.net> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Jobs (LINUX and other)
  35. 2005-12-16 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] OSDL cautiously optimistic on desktop Linux
  36. 2005-12-16 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] OSDL cautiously optimistic on desktop Linux
  37. 2005-12-17 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] For the newxt Free Software Institute Meeting
  38. 2005-12-17 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Custom GNU/Linux Video Machine
  39. 2005-12-18 From: <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Tale of Espionage Marks a'Bizarre' Turn in N. Ireland
  40. 2005-12-18 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Tale of Espionage Marks a'Bizarre' Turn in
  41. 2005-12-18 Billy <billy-at-dadadada.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Tale of Espionage Marks a'Bizarre' Turn in
  42. 2005-12-18 From: <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Tale of Espionage Marks a'Bizarre' Turn in N. Ireland
  43. 2005-12-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: [suse-security-announce] SUSE Security Announcement:
  44. 2005-12-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] I Hate This Mayor
  45. 2005-12-21 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: Borrow a computer?
  46. 2005-12-21 swd <sderrick-at-optonline.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: Borrow a computer?
  47. 2005-12-22 swd <sderrick-at-optonline.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: Borrow a computer?
  48. 2005-12-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: Borrow a computer?
  49. 2005-12-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: E-Update for the Committee on Technology in Government -
  50. 2005-12-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: Borrow a computer?
  51. 2005-12-23 From: "Steve Milo" <slavik914-at-rennlist.net> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Anyone care to make sense of this?
  52. 2005-12-26 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Pricing of Downloaded Songs Prompts Antitrust Subpoenas
  53. 2005-12-26 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] There is Blood in your wine (We like our bears on flags)
  54. 2005-12-26 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] There is Blood in your wine (We like our bears on flags)
  55. 2005-12-26 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Pricing of Downloaded Songs Prompts Antitrust Subpoenas
  56. 2005-12-27 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] The cost of Justice in the digital age.
  57. 2005-12-27 From: "Inker, Evan" <EInker-at-gam.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Whose up to go drinking?
  58. 2005-12-27 Contrarian <adrba-at-nyct.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Whose up to go drinking?
  59. 2005-12-28 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Free Software faults part 3
  60. 2005-12-28 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Free Software Faults Part 2
  61. 2005-12-28 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] New Digital Camera with GNU/Linux
  62. 2005-12-30 mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [FWD: Richard Stallman to speak at GNUbies Jan 4, 2006]

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