Jewish Hip Hop
“…hip-hop video producer Jeremy Goldscheider said, â€œNobody realizes there is a Jewish hip-hop scene spread out in different parts of the world.â€ Eager to educate hip-hop fans about international Jewish rappers, Goldscheider recently joined forces with local Jewish singer, songwriter and music producer Craig Taubman, co-producing a new album, â€œCelebrate Hip Hop: Jewish Artists From Around the Globeâ€ â€” the latest in Taubmanâ€™s â€œCelebrateâ€ series.”
I suspect that many people would be surprised to see/hear about something like this. It is an interesting article. Here is another nugget:
â€œA lot of Jewish rap up to now has been about parody,â€ Noreck said. â€œI canâ€™t stand it. If Jewish rap music wants a place of its own and wants to be taken seriously, it canâ€™t be parody all the time.â€
Goldscheider steered clear of such acts in this compilation CD. â€œFirst and foremost,â€ he said, â€œI tried to choose artists that were serious about their music…. I stayed away from Jewish hip-hop artists that do a shtick. I chose music that had something to say â€” musically or lyrically.â€
Through songs like â€œRemember Benâ€ by Israeli rappers Sagol 59 and A7, the album does come through in addressing significant and timely topics: â€œIâ€™ve seen many rappers come and go/Iâ€™ve seen many DJs with inflated egos/But Iâ€™ve never seen anyone quite like you/One hand on the turntables/One hand flipping through the Torah/You didnâ€™t care if it was in a small club in front of three people/Or if in a huge festival in front of three thousand/You played Cube and Snoop, Common and Cyprus/I remember you always said, â€˜I donâ€™t spin on Shabbosâ€™/But now youâ€™re not here/Youâ€™ve fallen victim to the stupid war of small-minded people.â€
â€œDJ Benny the B was an Orthodox Jewish guy from Pennsylvania,â€ said Sagol 59, who raps in Hebrew. â€œHe came to study Torah in Jerusalem. He was a hip-hop DJ by night, with his kippah and tzitzit and four earrings in each ear, spinning Snoop Doggy Dog. The day before he was supposed to go back to America, he went to say goodbye to some friends at Hebrew University. He actually had the plane ticket in his pocket when he was blown up by a suicide bomber in the school cafeteria. He was one of nine people killed…. It was really difficult to record this song, and I still get choked up when I perform it.
I just may have to pick up a copy.