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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Matisyahu "Youth" - Listen To The Entire Album

Listen To The Entire Youth Album Online On MTV's "The Leak"

As I write these lines I'm listening to Matisyahu's new album "Youth".
sounds very good, parts unlike anything I've heared before, and other parts I have heared before.

here is a link where you can listen to the entire "Youth" album:

I would like to get some review from people after they listen to this so I could post some reviews here.

If you want you can buy it from
sony music store


have fun, and thanks to Chaim for the link.

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Matisyahu - Shows on March

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

8:00pm Matisyahu in Kansas City, MO
KRBZ The Buzz Presents
Matisyahu in Kansas City
The Beaumont Club
Doors 8:00/Show 9:00
Tickets: $21 Advance/$25 DOS
All Ages
Also perorming Trevor Hall
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Thursday, March 2, 2006
6:00pm Matisyahu in Minneapolis, MN
Drive 105 Presents
Matisyahu in Minneapolis
First Avenue
Doors 6:00/Show 7:30
Tickets: $21 Advance/$23 DOS
Also perorming Trevor Hall
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Saturday, March 4, 2006
7:00pm Matisyahu in Chicago, IL
Riviera Theatre
Doors 7:00/Show 8:00
Tickets $25
All Ages
Also perorming Trevor Hall
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Sunday, March 5, 2006
7:00pm Matisyahu in Indianapolis, IN
The Vogue
Doors 7:00/Show 8:30
Tickets: $23 Advance/$25 DOS
Also perorming Trevor Hall
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Monday, March 6, 2006
6:30pm Matisyahu in NYC
Hammerstein Ballroom
Doors 6:30 / Show 8:00
All Ages
$25.50 Advance / $27.50 Door
Also perorming Trevor Hall
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Tuesday, March 7, 2006
6:30pm Matisyahu in NYC
Hammerstein Ballroom
Doors 6:30 / Show 8:00
All Ages
$25.50 Advance / $27.50 Door
with special guest Balkan Beat Box
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Saturday, March 11, 2006
8:00pm Matisyahu in Austin, TX
101X Presents: Matisyahu, Live at Stubb's, (Outdoor Stage)
With Balkan Beat Box
Doors 8:00 / Show 9:00
Tickets $25
All Ages
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Sunday, March 12, 2006
8:00pm Matisyahu in Houston, TX
KTBZ The Buzz Presents
Matisyahu in Houston
Warehouse Live
Doors 8:00/Show 9:00
Tickets: $17 Advance/$20 DOS
All Ages
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
7:00pm Matisyahu in Grand Prairie, TX
Nokia Live
Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00
All Ages
with special guest Balkan Beat Box
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Thursday, March 16, 2006
7:00pm Matisyahu in St. Louis
The Pageant
Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00
All Ages
with special guest Balkan Beat Box
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Saturday, March 18, 2006
8:30pm Matisyahu in Cincinnati
Doors 8:30 / Show 9:15
All Ages
$20.00 Advance / $23.00 Door
with special guest Balkan Beat Box
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Sunday, March 19, 2006
7:30pm Matisyahu in Philadelphia, PA
WXPNPresents Matisyahu in Philadelphia
The Electric Factory
Doors 7:30 / Show 8:30
All Ages
$22.50 Advance / $23.00 Door
with special guest Balkan Beat Box
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Monday, March 20, 2006
8:30pm Matisyahu in Baltimore, MD
Ram's Head Live
Doors 7:00 / Show 8:30
Onstage 9:30
All Ages
$24.00/Day of Show
with special guest Balkan Beat Box
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2006
8:00pm Matisyahu in Asheville, NC
The Orange Peel
Doors 8:00 / Show 9:00
$21.00 Advance / $23.00 Door
with special guest Balkan Beat Box
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Thursday, March 23, 2006
7:00pm Matisyahu in Orlando, FL
House of Blues
Doors 7:00 / Show 8:00
All Ages
$23.00 Advance / $26.00 Door
with special guest Balkan Beat Box
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Saturday, March 25, 2006
Matisyahu in Pompano Beach, FL
Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Monday, February 27, 2006

Madonna wants to party with the Jewish reggae star

Matisyahu: Hasidic Hot Stepper

Madonna wants to party with the Jewish reggae star

Walking home recently from morning prayers, Matisyahu -- the Hasidic reggae MC -- got a call from his manager: Madonna wanted to invite him over for Passover Seder. A follower of the Jewish mystical tradition Kabbalah, Madonna promised to follow all the strictures of Matisyahu's faith, but he remained suspicious. "I don't know if I can go," he says. "I'll have to check it out with, like, multiple people, to make sure it's kosher."

Matisyahu, born Matthew Miller, grew up a Phish-loving secular Jew in the New York suburb of White Plains. Since 2000, when he underwent a conversion to Hasidic Judaism -- a devout sect that follows the religion's strictest tenets -- he's created an unprecedented fusion of reggae-style toasting and Jewish prophecy. Some see it as a novelty, others hear a unique new musical voice. Either way, Matisyahu is the strangest thing to climb the Billboard charts this year. His breakthrough, Live at Stubb's -- recorded at an Austin, Texas, BBQ joint famous for, of all things, pulled pork -- peaked at Number Thirty-two on the strength of the bouncy single "King Without a Crown." On March 7th, he releases Youth, which many predict will debut in the Top Ten.

Matisyahu is learning to reconcile his religion and his growing celebrity. In January at the Sundance Film Festival, he said no when Eve wanted to jump up onstage -- Talmudic law restricts contact between the sexes and forbids women from singing in public. When Christian rockers P.O.D. invited him to sing on their new album, Testify, he had to vet the lyrics to make sure there was no mention of Jesus. Even at shows, he has to watch himself. "There's always one drunk girl who runs up to give me a hug," he says. "I have to pull away, and they just feel rejection."

Matisyahu's music mixes reggae beats with guitar-driven rock and spacey synths. In a Caribbean patois that occasionally slips into Hebrew or Yiddish, he sings and raps about his devotion to God, praising the Torah and dissing drugs. His live show draws jam-band fans, Jewish acolytes and a smattering of Rastas. He revels in the energy of performing and was disappointed when rabbis said he couldn't stage-dive anymore, lest he end up diving into a woman.

"When he's singing, he's singing for God," says Trey Anastasio, the former Phish frontman, who invited Matisyahu to perform with him at Bonnaroo 2005. "It's incredible to be next to him onstage."

Matisyahu says Judaism and reggae go together better than skeptics might think. "In any Bob Marley song, you hear lots of powerful quotes from the Torah," he says, adding that reggae's references to Zion and the Star of David first attracted him to the music.

A traditional Hasidic black hat and thick beard usually hide Matisyahu's youthful face. He lives with his wife and six-month-old son in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. The neighborhood has the nation's highest percentage of Hasidic Jews; nearly every window has a sign that reads MESSIAH IS COMING!

It's a world away from Bend, Oregon, where Miller got his start. After he struggled with drugs and dropped out of high school to follow Phish, his parents sent him to a hippie-ish drug-treatment center where teens go on "vision quests" in the woods. He started beatboxing and singing at coffeehouses as MC Truth, alongside a dreadlocked friend, MC Mystic, playing Rick James covers and reggae classics. "He was a cool guy, a total stoner," says Rob Ainsworth, who lived with Miller in Oregon. "He was a little burnt out, but music was incredibly important to him. You could tell he was talented."

Sitting down to sip soup at a kosher restaurant, Matisyahu recalls his shows as MC Truth. "It was wild," he says. "We would drink a big pitcher of mushroom tea, and I'd come out with a turban on my head and a huge Israeli flag, and we'd walk around throwing sage on people."

Eventually, Miller returned to New York, where he met a rabbi in Washington Square Park who led him into the Orthodox fold. Around the same time, Miller honed his flow, listening to Jamaican dancehall star Sizzla. Soon after he began growing his beard, Matisyahu started performing at a youth center in Crown Heights and working on his 2004 debut, Shake Off the Dust . . . Arise. "It was like the pieces of the puzzle coming together," he says of playing reggae while becoming religious.

At Bonnaroo 2005, Matisyahu talked Anastasio into letting him onstage, a performance that essentially launched the rookie's career. When Matisyahu returned to the festival stage the next day for a solo set, 10,000 fans were waiting for him. His profile grew last year until "King Without a Crown" became one of the most requested songs on top alternative station KROQ in L.A.

With Youth's debut in March, Matisyahu is already dreaming big -- maybe parlaying Madonna's Seder invitation into an opening spot on her summer tour. Maybe more. "I'm planning to do this for a long time," he says. "At least as long as I have more to say, I have more to give."


(taken from rollingstone.com)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Matisyahu one on one : FHM 4 - MATISYAHU 11

By Danny Spiegel
Not only is Matisyahu the world's foremost proponent of Hasidic dancehall reggae, but he is also a powerhouse on the basketball court. To celebrate the release of his latest album, Youth, FHM challenged the Brooklyn, NY, master of flow to a game of one-on-one. The result will surprise no one—but Matisyahu's ballin' skills will.

Click here to watch video of the mauling!


Why did you want to ball with us?
I love the game. My grandfather played professional basketball in the 1930s for a team called the Detroit Clowns. He taught me how to shoot.

Can I swear when you score?
I’d prefer if you didn’t.


The less-enlightened might call you a novelty act. What would you say to them?
Come to a show. Buy a CD. If the music doesn’t affect you in a penetrating way, you can call me whatever you want.

How do you keep kosher on the road?
Most cities have a Chabad house—Chabad is the Hasidic group I’m connected with—and I’ll eat there. We also have a fridge onboard the bus. There are usually deli meats, turkey, juices and some string cheese in there.


A well-deserved win. As a music star, how do you handle adoring female fans?
One reason I got married was because I knew I’d be around pretty women and I didn’t want to tempt myself. Being religious, there are no one-night stands. Women don’t invite me to their hotel rooms, but some will offer their hand to shake, which I can’t do.

Who do you count as fans?
Everyone from right-wing Christians to Rastas, frat boys to hippies and little kids to 80-year-old Jewish women.

That must lead to strange encounters.
I played a show in Minnesota on Halloween. A guy dressed in a nun’s outfit came up to me and tried to do the sign of the cross. He was drunk, and I warned him that, although it was funny, it wasn’t cool. A few weeks later, after a show in Seattle, the same kid came up to me and said, “Hey, it’s me—the nun from Minneapolis!”

Matisyahu’s new album, Youth, is out now.

(taken from fhm.com)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Matisyahu - Concert Review (January 2005)

30 January 2005: Gabe's Oasis — Iowa City
by Steve Horowitz

"Jews should get a dollar off their tickets," bellowed Iowa City jazz saxophonist Saul Lubaroff as he walked into club, ready to see Hasidic reggae artist Matisyahu (Lubaroff is Jewish as well.)

It was 8:15 pm on a Sunday night. The doors opened at 8:00 pm. Doug Robeson, the bartender, booker of the talent, and noted leader of the retro-rock band The Diplomats of Solid Sound, just smiled wryly and looked around the room. The early attendees all shared something in common: They were local Jews who rarely ventured into smoky nightclubs. They took up the cheap molded plastic chairs and sat, sipping cokes out of small plastic cups and waiting for the show to begin. It wouldn't start for another two hours. The reggae crowd, like the regulars, knew that.

The reggae aficionados entered approximately 90 minutes later and ordered bottles of Red Stripe and pitchers of cheap beer. Before the show started it was easy to distinguish the two sets of audience members. The Jews sat and drank soda. The reggae fans stood, quaffing suds.

Advertisements for the show billed Matisyahu as the world's leading Hasidic reggae musician, a left-handed compliment at best. (Quick, name another Hasidic reggae artist!) The billing suggested the inherent novelty of the act. Hasids dress and live conservatively by modern standards. Reggae people wear colorful clothes and profess liberal philosophies. Put the two opposing cultures together and what one quickly learns is how much the two traditions actually share. Both are dissident, spiritual subcultures in opposition to mainstream values and both share a common set of myths and stories. Reggae followers consider themselves Israelites and reggae music often makes reference to the Old Testament. The twist here is that Matisyahu is a Hasid doing reggae rather than a Rasta singing about the lord Moses.

There was no opening act. Matisyahu's band, a three-piece combo that featured a drummer, an electric bass player, and an electric guitar player, hit the stage shortly after 10:00 pm. The individuals were clean-shaven, wore t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers and did not appear distinctively Jewish. The band jammed reggae style for more than 20 minutes with the instrumentalists taking turns soloing. The drummer beat the drums hard, often doing slow rolls across the snare and toms. The bassist enjoyed hitting notes on the lowest end of the scale to add a heavy dub bottom. The guitarist had at least nine pedals on the floor to add effects to his strumming, which ranged from short, scratchy staccato rhythms to long, loopy, spacey structures. The crowd remained subdued and indifferent until Matisyahu climbed onto stage. Then everyone began to pay attention.

Long, lanky, and bearded, Matisyahu looked like a young Abe Lincoln with eyeglasses. He was dressed in the conventional Hasidic style. He wore a black fedora, dark suit and a white shirt whose tail stuck out revealing his tzitzits (fringes of his prayer shawl) underneath.

Matisyahu's vocal style resembled chanting more than conventional singing. He began each song in Hebrew, and then repeated the words in English. He introduced many of the songs as "written as a song of praise by King David," but he rarely sang an entire psalm. Instead he would just sing the opening four or five lines, and frequently restate short phrases and sounds as if they were a holy mantra.

There was a great similarity between Matisyahu's utterances and typical reggae lyrics. For example, when the Hasid began singing "Chop 'em down, chop 'em down, chop 'em down" over and over again, one could not help but be reminded of Bob Marley's classic "Small Axe". Other songs repeated lines like "Raise me up from the ground / I've been down too long", and "I will fight with all of my soul / all of my heart / all of my might" both of which are reminiscent of common reggae tunes. This is not accidental, as reggae uses the same Old Testament sources as lyrical inspiration.

Perhaps the strangest resemblance, which seems somewhat coincidental, has to do with both the Jamaican and Yiddish patois' use of the exclamation "oy". Matisyahu would croon "oy, oy, oy" in three/four rhythm between the verses -- something reggae artists commonly do, but in a slightly different way, more like "oy, yo, oy, yo" (think of Marley's classic "Buffalo Soldiers").

Matisyahu also preached to the crowd. At one point he got down in a catcher's crouch and started to sermonize. "According to Hasidic philosophy, every person, every being, even every inanimate object has a soul, an inner rhythm, a life force," he said. "This is the part of Hashem (the Lord) that makes us all one, a unity, and brings us light. Our job is to illuminate the darkness with our light. It is our true mission." Matisyahu then began chant in Hebrew. He also recited the holiest Jewish prayer, the Sh'ma, before the night was through.

But not everything Matisyahu did was spiritual. At one point he showed off his Brooklyn chops ("this is something I learned in Crown Heights") and began sputtering, spitting, and making sounds like a human beat box. The crowd responded equally to his religious and secular utterances. Matisyahu certainly made converts of a few from the crowd, but whether it was to reggae or to Judaism is impossible to say.

(taken from popmatters.com)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Matisyahu Keeps the Faith - Rolling Stone article

Rising reggae star stays true to his Hasidic roots

Live at Stubb's, released today, sounds like the work of a Jamaican reggae star, so listeners may

be surprised to discover that its creator is from Brooklyn . . . and that he's a Hasidic Jew -- replete with the signature black coat and hat and beard.

Matisyahu (born Matthew Miller) became a fervent reggae fan as a rebellious teen. "I would meditate on the concepts that Bob Marley would sing about," he recalls. "He was a person who was going against the stream. I would listen to his lyrics and relate them to my own life, my own searching."

He was particularly inspired by Marley's "Rastaman Live Up," which features the couplet "Grow your dreadlocks/Don't be afraid of the wolf pack/Keep your culture/Don't be afraid of the vulture." "At first

I thought that meant that culture is dreadlocks, culture is black -- that's what's right and cool. But then I realized he was really saying, 'Figure out your roots, and be true to them.'"

When a friend taught him how to beatbox, Matisyahu was immediately hooked. "I was never focused enough to learn an instrument," the artist reveals, "but when I started beatboxing, it was the first time I was able to release all this music that was in me that up 'til then I had no outlet for . . . After that, my friends and I would skip school at lunch time and have hip-hop parties. I'd make the background music for everyone freestyling."

After a soul-searching process that lasted nearly a decade, Matisyahu found himself drawn deeply into the world of Hasidism. Founded by a group of Jewish mystics rebelling against orthodox Judaism in eighteenth-century Eastern Europe, this Jewish sect seemed a perfect match. "The concept of rules had never mixed with me -- I was always running away from discipline," he says. "At twenty-three or twenty-four, I was still struggling, not happy, stuck. As I started moving more into believing in God, the idea clicked with me that there have to be rules."

Within two years, Matisyahu was donning Hasidic regalia and studying Jewish texts ten hours a day in a yeshiva, where he had to give up dating women and taking drugs, among other pastimes. In most Jewish communities, the artist explains, he had at best found people "searching for spirituality that made them feel good, without making any sacrifices. They wouldn't go the extra step. The Hasidim were going the extra step. I met people who had come from hippie, free backgrounds, but who were wearing black suits and beards. They'd given everything, and that appealed to me . . . In the search for truth and God, Hasidim were the most serious and honest people I'd ever met."

Now twenty-five and married, Matisyahu keeps kosher, prays three times a day, and observes the traditional Jewish Sabbath from Friday night sunset through Saturday night sundown. During this time of the week, according to tradition, he will not perform, use electricity, answer the phone or otherwise participate in most daily routines.

"He sticks to his virtues," says D'niscio Brooks, an organizer of New York's massive summer Reggae Carifest, which Matisyahu will headline. "When I first heard Matisyahu, I was taken aback, just at the thought of a Hasidic Jew doing reggae . . . but he's so authentic."

"He can really rip," agrees hip-hop producer and bassist Yossi Fine (David Bowie, Me'Shell Ndege-Ocello), who is himself part Israeli and Afro-Jamaican Jew. "He's extremely fierce, jumping around the stage. The only difference between him and a Jamaican rapper is that he takes the lyrics from the Bible instead of from Rasta. He changes 'Jah' to 'Hashem' [Hebrew for God]."

Tracks such as "King Without a Crown" display Matisyahu's unique spiritual flow: "Hashem's rays fire blaze burn bright and I believe/Out of darkness comes light, twilight unto the heights/Crown Heights burnin' up all through 'til midnight/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."

"Normally, Hasidic and other ultra-Orthodox Jews create enclaves of their own, to escape the secular world," says Aaron Bisman, Matisyahu's manager and head of JDub records, which released Matisyahu's first album, Shake Off the Dust . . . Arise. "But he walks proudly in both, and brings a different take on Judaism out into the world -- one that has rhythm, a groove, and a message."

"If this is going to be a real thing, it has to be a lifestyle," Matisyahu says of his faith, "a constant thing, all the way, completely integrated into everyday life."


Posted Apr 19, 2005

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Matisyahu - Concert Review (plus photos)



PHOTOS: SEPTEMBER 22, 2005 - House of Blues, Los Angeles
BAND WEB SITE: http://www.hasidicreggae.com

Concert Review

Matisyahu is a Hasidic Jewish Reggae Superstar. Say that all in one breath. He’s been relentlessly touring the United States and selling out venues along the way. If at any point in your life you’ve ever coined the phrase “never judge a book by its cover,” it would be with him. On the outside he wears what some would call a typical Hasidic Jewish outfit. Complete with the long signature beard, black fedora and two piece suit. It’s when he opens his mouth and spits out the rhymes, that’s when you’re hooked.

Playing to a sold out crowd at the House of Blues (he does not play on the Sabbath, which is from Friday night sunset through Saturday night sundown), Matisyahu entered the stage opening up with “Sea to Sea,” with its laid back bass line set to the mood of a crowd that swayed back and forth in syncopation. The combination of chanting and reggae roots showed Matisyahu in perfect harmony with his faith and music. In between songs the band took time to break into jamming sessions as Matisyahu stood back and admired his backing band.

The highlight of the evening came when Matisyahu returned to the stage with the lights dim and the audience waiting. As the crowd stood in anticipation, he broke into “Beat Box Song,” which was the crowning moment of the entire night. Matisyahu let the music speak literally straight from his mouth as the crowd cheered and felt every beat. The fact that he followed it up with his new single “King Without a Crown” just added the cherry to double scoop of ice cream sundae. Little talking was done, except for a small sermon where he explained to the audience his beliefs and how he had flown out his wife and new born baby to Los Angeles. For Matisyahu, his dedication to his belief and his spirituality is reflected with his soulfulness in the music he so graciously exhibits. Keep in mind, this is no Harry Potter book kids. This is Matisyahu.

-Mike Takahashi

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Matisyahu in a iTunes logo ?

Is this Matisyahu ?

120x90 iTunes

what do u think .... :-)

He's a mystic, mon - The Times article about Matisyahu

He's a mystic, mon
Hasidic reggae? Matisyahu, inspired by Chabad-Lubavitch Judaism and Bob Marley, just may have invented the genre.nice hat Matis ...  :-)

By Chris Lee, Special to The Times
NOTHING in the Talmud specifically forbids Orthodox Jews from stage-diving at live gigs. And nowhere does Jewish scripture recommend precisely how one should behave in the mosh pit.

So Jewish reggae phenom Matisyahu had to learn through trial and error that it was a good idea to clip his yarmulke into his hair so it wouldn't fall off when he bobbed his head to a hip-hop beat. And that if he tucked his tzitzit into his trousers, the tassels of his prayer shawl were less likely to be yanked away in the pit's mass of writhing limbs.

Such are the travails of the world's foremost Hasidic reggae star, a guy who might've sprung fully formed from a United Colors of Benetton ad. He convincingly melds Jamaican roots rock with messages of spiritual uplift peppered with religious imagery, rapping and singing over reggae "riddims" intermixed with ancient Jewish melodies.

Dressed according to Orthodox custom in a starchy black suit and sporting the heavy beard of a yeshiva student, he launched into fans' outstretched hands at the end of nearly every show he performed last year. It became his signature move.

Late last fall, however, Matisyahu, 26, renounced stage-diving after he learned the cherished punk practice could run afoul of Talmudic rules dictating the separation of unmarried women and men. "There could be a girl in a crowd full of guys when you stage-dive," he explained from his home in Brooklyn's Crown Heights. "Women aren't supposed to touch me."

Not exactly the kind of tour worry shared by Mötley Crüe. But it's been no deterrent to stardom. Matisyahu has been on the road for nearly two years straight, a tour that will bring him to the Long Beach Arena Feb. 19. And his 2005 concert CD, "Live at Stubb's" (Sony), has claimed the top spot on the reggae chart for six straight weeks, selling more than 300,000 copies.

"We're moving 25,000 copies of the live album a week," points out Charlie Walk, president of Sony subsidiary Epic Records. "That's spectacular! It's a new movement."

In October, KROQ-FM (106.7) put Matisyahu's single "King Without a Crown" into rotation. The song has ranked among the station's three most requested ever since. "From the first time we played it, the phone reaction was immediate," says KROQ's music director, Lisa Worden. " 'Who was that? We love it!' We decided to jam it based on that response, and it's been huge."

Such buzz bodes well for his March release, "Youth," produced by studio veteran Bill Laswell along with Jimmy Douglass and Ill Factor. It's Matisyahu's first studio album since 2004's "Shake Off the Dust … Arise," and yet another milestone for the man who was once Matthew Miller, a dreadlocked hippie from White Plains, N.Y., with a taste for LSD and a vague religious yearning.

His transformation into an international star of devout faith is a story of two redemptions. One occurred through his embrace of the Chabad-Lubavitch branch of Hasidism, an Eastern European sect of mystical Judaism. The other came via his sonic inspiration, Bob Marley.

"These are the two things that are closest to me and who I am," Matisyahu says. "I've always wanted to make music. And in the last 10 years, I've had a very strong connection to Judaism. Once I became religious, all the parts of my life were united. Everything became holistic. And music is a big part of that."


Bringing secular, Orthodox Jews together

THE standing-room-only audience at Hamaabada, a Jerusalem venue whose name means "the lab" in Hebrew, was packed with blissed-out reggae aficionados, visiting American students, more than a few scantily clad young women and a contingent of Orthodox Jews, recalls Guil Bonstein, Israel's foremost reggae concert promoter. Not just any early December night at the club in Israel.

Hyped by weeks of newspaper editorials and a nationwide publicity blitz, the crowd erupted when Matisyahu hit the stage to perform.

"You never saw a Jewish Hasid performing in front of a mixed crowd — both men and women, secular people and Orthodox Jews," said Bonstein, the organizer of Matisyahu's 2005 Israeli tour. "This is hard to understand if you are in America: You just don't see Hasidic Jews in clubs."

Jerusalem is name checked frequently on "Youth," most notably in a paean to the city in which Matisyahu sings in mellifluous baritone, "Jerusalem, if I forget you, let my right hand forget what it's supposed to do."

The holy city exerts a powerful influence on the singer — he experienced his first religious epiphany atop Mt. Scopus after traveling there on a Hebrew school trip at 16.

"That is the place I had my first real connection to Judaism in a real way," he says. "It was a very powerful moment when I connected to that place — and to a certain place in myself as well."

That resonance wasn't lost on his fans at Hamaabada — or Sony executives. Matisyahu's four concerts in Israel were filmed for a planned DVD release.

Bonstein says the mixed audience was more raucous than any he had seen in 24 years of concert promotions. "The separation between the nonreligious and the religious is sometimes very deep," he says. "It's very special for us Israelis to mix like this."

After the performance, Matisyahu retreated to a balcony with nearly 100 male fans. Together, they prayed.

Turns out that one of the roads into this world of spirituality for young Miller was the musical path that led him to reggae. When he was 18 and looking for the kind of inspiration he'd gotten atop Mt. Scopus, he followed the hippie jam band Phish.

"I was having spiritual experiences at Phish concerts," he explains, "taking a lot of LSD and watching the walls melt. When I came back from Israel, where I had some genuine spiritual experiences, I didn't know how to relocate them or where to go. I was looking for a spiritual high."

He then found refuge in the soulful rebel music of Bob Marley and formed a reggae band, Soul for I. He grew passionate about the dancehall reggae "toaster" Sizzla, a performer who sang about spirituality and social consciousness in a melodic hip-hop style, over beat-heavy instrumentation.

After a chance meeting with an Orthodox rabbi in New York's Washington Square Park, Miller began taking classes in religion at the New School, a progressive university in Manhattan. And soon he was attending the Carlebach Synagogue on the Upper West Side.

Established by Shlomo Carlebach, a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi who proselytized through song, the house of worship was filled with ancient Jewish melodies. "His movement is a cross between religious Judaism and New Age hippiedom," Matisyahu says. "That totally appealed to me at that stage in my search."

He fully embraced Hasidism five years ago and never lost his love of music or the thirst to perform. Studying at yeshiva, he was encouraged by his rabbi to play a small show at an East Village venue. First, Miller traded his given name of Matthew for its Hebrew incarnation: Matisyahu.

While reggae's predominating Rastafarian culture — with its laid-back embrace of marijuana, pacifism and hippie ideals — and Orthodox Judaism might seem to occupy different ends of the spiritual universe, the religions overlap in several crucial ways.

"The star of David, the lion of Judah, they share much of the same imagery, and both place great emphasis on the Old Testament," says reggae historian Roger Steffens, coauthor of "Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography." "They trace their histories back to King Solomon and are both monotheistic. Rastafarians consider themselves the lost tribe of Israel."

It was a comfortable fit for both the aspiring artist and his religious teachers. "My rabbi asked, 'Are there people you can have a positive influence over?' " Matisyahu recalls. " 'Can you go in there without getting sucked into the environment?' Maybe proselytizing was how he saw it."


Links with Rastafarianism

WHILE Matisyahu's most famous single, "King Without a Crown," bears all the hallmarks of a modern reggae classic, closer examination of the lyrics reveals several unmistakable Hasidic touchstones.

For one, Matisyahu mentions "Hashem" (the traditional Jewish honorific for God) in place of "Jah" (the traditional Rastafarian name for the creator) and exhorts "Moshiach now!" the Hasidic entreaty to the messiah to redeem mankind.

The song's spiritual content ultimately persuaded KROQ's Worden to put the song on the playlist. "One day I printed the lyrics out and read them," she remembers. "And I was like, 'Oh, my God!' I brought ['King'] to my program director and said, 'Dude, we gotta play this.' "

The song's lyrics urge positivity and self-reflection: Be thankful for what you've got, look inside yourself to find true happiness, praise God. Unlike many reggae anthems, however, "King" implicitly condemns sinsemilla — a strain of marijuana.

Asked what about the song appealed most to local listeners, Worden said: "It's got that California vibe. It's got a reggae-rap feel, but I think the lyrics inspire people. That's what led to it being one of the most requested songs at the station."

But despite Matisyahu's emerging mainstream allure, Steffens isn't yet persuaded that his talent extends beyond its gimmicky face value. "His music generally comes under a reggae rubric, but I think it's got a more hip-hop feel. It's got great novelty effect," he says. "It's an American doing an interpretation of Jamaican toasting."

The new studio album is a musically solid effort that includes touches of metal and acoustic hip-hop as well as straight-ahead roots rock reggae. Matisyahu still rhymes "shtetl" with "put the pedal to the metal," and Jewish imagery and references abound. But he has never been out to make converts. And "Youth's" conscious, omnispiritual messages are unlikely to alienate anyone who has ever enjoyed a Steel Pulse or Black Uhuru album — or, for that matter, listeners partial to Christian bands like P.O.D. or Creed.

Epic has been careful about exploiting Matisyahu's uniqueness, organizing what president Walk terms "an elegant introduction" to fans. Label executives have turned down invitations for the singer to appear on the HBO series "Entourage" and be interviewed for "60 Minutes" so as not to overexpose him.

For Matisyahu, religious, personal and musical growth have become inextricably intertwined.

"I made 'Shake Off the Dust' while I was still in the first couple of years of being religious," Matisyahu says. "I had a certain excitement for it all. Also, I would say my knowledge of ideas was somewhat shallow. I was taking Hebrew, putting it in the song, taking a word like 'Moshiach' and putting it in the song.

"This time around, I've grown in my understanding of religion, in understanding these concepts in a deeper way," he continues. "My feeling is, it's all coming from Jewishness in a big way. I'm trying to get to a deep and honest place."

(taken from calendarlive.com)
thanks to Chaim

Friday, February 17, 2006

Matisyahu - Youth Video Premiere

Check out this very cool music video "Youth", very good song, lyrics, music ...


You can see that this music video is very different from anything Matisyahu ever did.
My guess is that now Matisyahu is becomming more commercial. This music video realy says: "say goodbye to Matisyahu and say hello to Matisyahu and Sony Music (or who ever is pulling the strings)".

I saw this video a few times ... what can I say ... it's good, very nice .... but not sure that it is something a hasiddic jew would make.

I think it's the first time to can see soo many girls on a Matisyahu music video. not just seeing girls, they were dancing too .... well, at least they were all dressed up, lucky it's winter time...

maybe the next video will be in summer time... and then what ? Matisyahu on the beach? with half naked girls dacing around him ?? doesn't quite go with the whole hassidic image...

I hope it wouldn't come down to that.

Still very proud of Matisyahu and love the music ....

Watch the new video here (pc)
or here (mac)



It seems I can't stop watching and listening to this music video .....
I've seen it at least 15 times in the last few hours ...

coz "youth is the engine of the world ...."

Matisyahu Spaces Out - Rolling Stone article

Hasidic MC hooks up with Laswell, avoids the ladies
There's one thing Hasidic reggae man Matisyahu won't do on his new U.S. tour: stage dive.

"There's a law that no man and woman may touch unless they're married," says the twenty-six-year-old MC. "I was caught doing it. So I checked, and, no, can't do that anymore -- there's women touching you for sure. That, and I also I got dropped once. I took, like, six people down."

His religious beliefs also prohibit Matisyahu -- who dresses in the traditional bekishe (long black robe), gartel (prayer belt) and black hat -- from shaking a woman's hand, though he did look this interviewer in the eye.

Fresh off his acclaimed Live at Stubb's CD, the Brooklyn rapper is readying his second studio album, Youth, due January 31st, with help from famed world-music producer Bill Laswell (Mick Jagger, Motorhead, Herbie Hancock). Backed by his band -- guitarist Aaron Dugan, bassist Josh Werner and drummer Jonah David -- Matisyahu has been laying down tracks in Laswell's New Jersey recording studio.

"I think we go into uncharted territory on this album," says Matisyahu, who freestyles, toasts and sings. "Bill is genius with dub reggae, which is like techno but more spacey."

The album features two songs from Live at Stubb's -- "Warrior" and "King Without a Crown" -- but the remaining tracks are new, including the title track which also serves as the first single. "It's a song that has a stepper beat and a phat bass line -- kind of like the Police," Matisyahu explains. "The chorus goes into a hip-hop thing, and there's a hard-rock solo in it."

Matisyahu, who sometimes extracts or reinterprets lines from the Torah in his songs, looked to his own troubled youth for the single's lyrics: "Fire with the flame of the youth/Got the freedom to choose/You better make the right move." Born Matthew Miller, he skipped school and smoked pot while growing up in a reformed household in White Plains, New York, before becoming frum (devout) and moving to the nearby Hasidic community of Crown Heights.

"It's the idea of a teenager not just rebelling for the sake of acting out," Matisyahu, now married with children, says of the song, "but really becoming an adult and taking charge of the situation."

Speaking of youthful indiscretions, a Matisyahu stage dive is captured in the video for "Youth," but he says all isn't as reckless as it appears. "We made sure [the audience] was all men."

Posted Nov 08, 2005

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Matisyahu - Youth , backstage pass

Matisyahu - Youth
Last year Matisyahu exploded onto the music scene as one of the most stirring and original performers we've seen in a long time. Now, after the success of his Live at Stubbs release, the Hasidic reggae superstar returns with the studio album Youth. For the first video, Matis threw on a hoodie and hit the streets of his home, Brooklyn. Check out the premiere of 'Youth' now, on mtvU.com Über.

Not enough Matisyahu for you? Come back on Thursday to check out behind the scenes video from the making of 'Youth' at mtvU's Backstage Pass.

(taken from mtvu.com)

picture from hasidicreggae.com

Matisyahu Brings Kosher Vibration - Rolling Stone article

Hasidic reggae sensation goes Top Forty

At 3:41 p.m. on a recent Friday, dusk is fast approaching. In Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Matisyahu Miller is racing against the clock to finish his interview before sundown, the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath.

It's an occupational hazard for the twenty-six-year-old reggae up-and-comer, whose single "King Without a Crown" is an MTV hit -- and who also happens to be a Hasidic Jew. In accordance with Jewish law, the performer -- who began practicing Orthodox Judaism when he was twenty -- has had to stop stage-diving at shows so as to avoid the risk of physical contact with women who aren't in his family. By the Talmud's decree, he can't even shake hands with his female fans.

"It's hard to sign CDs and tell every other person that comes over to you some form of 'no,'" says Matisyahu. "And you don't have time to get into a discussion as to why you can't. It can come off as disrespectful."

Despite his restrictions, Matisyahu's Live at Stubb's, released in April, has become an unlikely hit -- climbing to Number Thirty-two on the album chart last week.

"With Matis, thirty seconds in, you're shocked," says VP of Sony A&R Michael Caplan, who signed Matisyahu to Epic. The label will release his Bill Laswell-produced studio album next month. "Ninety seconds in, you're like, 'Wow. This is really good.' He's not Snow."

Most of the recent hype is tied to "King Without a Crown," a Brooklyn-meets-Kingston jam with beatific lyrics that showcase Matisyahu's Luciano-like flow. "The song's got a Sublime-ish, Southern California vibe to it, which appeals to our listeners," says Lisa Worden, music director at L.A.'s tastemaking modern-rock station KROQ. "And lyrically, it's uplifting and positive."

Since the video went into rotation on MTV in January, sales of the album have averaged 20,000 per week. "Once Top Forty radio play took off, we really started moving units," says Carlos Adams, urban product manager for Virgin Megastores. "He's been the Number One reggae artist for twelve weeks."

Matisyahu has even got cred in the reggae community. "When I first heard him I was blown away," says D'Niscio Brooks, producer of New York's Carifest, where Matisyahu headlined alongside Buju Banton and Elephant Man last summer. "He sings truth and he sings it from his heart."

So what do his own people think? "One of the tenets of Hasidism is lowering oneself in order to raise oneself," says Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn of New York's West Side Institutional Synagogue. "If someone is accomplished artistically and can glorify God, it serves everybody."


Posted Feb 14, 2006

(thanks to Chaim)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Boston Herald article - Jewish rapper Matisyahu divinely unorthodox

Jewish rapper Matisyahu divinely unorthodox
By Chris Faraone
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - Updated: 09:49 AM EST

Matisyahu is no gimmick.
Even if most of his fans are drawn as much by his faith as his music, the orthodox Jewish reggae rapper compels with an almost supernatural stage presence and rhyme style.
Those who trudged through Sunday’s snowdrifts to see the bearded anomaly at Avalon were rewarded with more than just divine flows. They got the full-force reggae show including psychedelic backdrops and a chill mood to match.
It’s unusual to see a hot independent artist tour with accordion-toting, Yiddish-speaking Canadian rappers. But Matisyahu shows are anything but traditional, including the opening act, Montreal’s So Called.
A rap crew of one, So Called came off as a bit of an amateur. But his jester style and Larry-from-the-Three Stooges haircut garnered ample laughs from the mild-mannered crowd, a diverse bunch sporting a mix of yarmulkes, BoSox hats, hoodies and dreadlocks. They didn’t brave a blizzard out of mere curiosity.
From the minute Matisyahu hit the stage in his signature black getup, heads were singing along. The cheery ‘‘Raise Me Up” got people vibing, and the radio hit ‘‘King Without A Crown” triggered dance-floor hysterics.
Matisyahu was aided by a sharp three-piece band that provided flaming riffs for the frontman to spit fire over.
Although his ‘‘Live at Stubb’s” album recently passed the 100,000 sales mark, Matisyahu was already prepping for next month’s release of his second studio album, ‘‘Youth.” Judging by the nonstop dancing at Avalon, his new material will be as well-received as his breakout tracks.
The only disappointment was Matisyahu’s refusal to peel off his coat and hat and stage-dive, as he’s famously done at past shows. Though he flashed his exceptional beat-boxing skills and delivered the colorful roots ring that he’s become renowned for, he kept his jacket on through the encore.
There’s no doubt that Matisyahu is one of music’s shooting stars. In one year he’s graduated from opening act at small clubs to Avalon headliner. Whether people support him for his values or his vibe, one thing is certain: Matisyahu cooks up some serious reggae while making religion sound more fly than Amy Grant or D.C. Talk ever did.

(taken from bostonherald.com)

Thanks to Chaim for the article

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Jewschool Interview (July 2005)

The Jewschool Interview
Matisyahu: Rudeboy Rebbe
By Dan 'Mobius' Sieradski
July 29, 2005

Hasidic Judaism erupted in the ghettoes of medieval Europe as a backlash against the rigidity of Jewish belief and practice of the day. It was pure counterculture. In a radical shift from tradition, Hasidism focused on ecstatic song and dance, as opposed to intellectual studies, as a means to connect with God and holiness. And while it has, within the last century, become as rigid as that which it once reacted against, there is a growing Hasidic movement working towards a renaissance of Hasidism's revolutionary romance. It should therefore be no surprise to find a man such as Matisyahu, a Hasidic MC and beatboxer, who is dazzling Jewish and non-Jewish audiences alike with his unique fusion of hip-hop, reggae and jamband music. A khozer b'teshuva (or "born again Jew" as some deride it), Matisyahu, born Matthew Miller, is taking his mission of redemption to the masses. And while he may not be winning—or even necessarily seeking—converts to "the faith", he is winning converts first skeptical of the appeal of a Hasidic reggae singer.


The first time I saw Matisyahu perform was in June of 2003, at a benefit to send Jewish kids from NYC off to Utah for a Rainbow Gathering. The room at Opaline (an East Village nightspot known for its queer Friday night dance parties) was half-full with scraggly hippies and Orthodox Jews that night, and I suspect none of us knew what was in store. Soon after Matisyahu took the stage I became entangled in a fierce struggle to pry my jaw up from the floor. He had me at "Hashem."

Whether blending 18th century Hasidic melodies (known as niggunim) with Uptown beatbox technique, or singing ancient Hebrew psalms in a Caribbean lilt over dancehall "riddims", Matisyahu manages to take the cultural outgrowth of three disparate ghettoes—Poland, The Bronx, and Trenchtown—and merge them into one musical form, while retaining the distinct ambience and energy of each. What's more, his towering presence and traditional Hasidic garb (black suit, white shirt, black hat and long beard) present a striking image. He is both archetypal and irrespective of stereotypes. The draw is undeniable, even if as a mere cultural curiosity. And that's just the peshat (surface level), before you get to his lyrics, which give voice to Kabbalistic and Hasidic concepts without being either trite or contrived—a general shortcoming of most Jewish hip-hop. In his song "Refuge", he bellows "May the King answer you on the day that you call / Stand tall, battle y'all, the clouds crawl low, all stalled / heavens lay draped over New York like a prayer shawl."

As a native New Yorker, one generation removed from my own Hasidic heritage, and as a fan of reggae music since my early teens, Matisyahu then spoke and speaks now to me and countless others in a way that no musician before him (particularly no Jewish musician) could. Our parents' generation had Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, a folk singer who embodied the best (and some would allege also the worst) of the 1960s "free love" ethic, which Carlebach incorporated into his own brand of traditional Jewish music. Matisyahu is our generation's Reb Shlomo—the embodiment of our musical voice—but this time around, the flightiness of "free love" has been substituted with the more tangible "purity of motive."


Matisyahu's come a long way since that Opaline gig, and while he has yet to make an indelible mark upon the Jewish world as Shlomo Carlebach has, he is already bigger than Reb Shlomo ever was, reaching far beyond the provinces of the "Jewish music" scene. He recently completed a sold out 51-city tour and had audiences across North America writhing ecstatically to his Yiddish-laden dancehall.

The latest performance of his I caught was to a private audience of record executives at the Mercury Lounge, who swayed blindly as he sang sweet critiques of their "plastic" lifestyles. The same week, his second album, Live At Stubb's (Or Music), took the third spot atop the Billboard reggae charts. The week following, he was off to Tennessee to perform at Bonnaroo with the likes of Dave Matthews, The Allman Brothers, Modest Mouse, De La Soul and former members of the Grateful Dead. Soon after, he headlined Carifest, New York City's biggest Carribean Island music festival, where he joined a pantheon of dancehall dons, including Buju Banton, Bounty Killer, Luciano, and Capleton. Matisyahu is also currently working on his next studio album with renowned producer Bill Laswell, who is responsible for releasing some of the finest dub heard in decades past. He is also set to tour with Phish's Trey Anastasio this August.

Carifest's organizer Junior Burton seems enthusiastic. "His music is real. It's great. It's true reggae music. There's nothing fake about what he's doing. It doesn't make no difference what his nationality is."

It seems that Matisyahu is only on the up and up, but he won't take much credit for that. Despite the obvious bombast and bravado necessary to any MC that he exudes on stage, Matisyahu remains incredibly humble and grounded. This is because he attributes his success solely to God.

"No doubt the Hasidic thing has helped, in two senses," offers Matisyahu. "In one sense it's the gimmick thing—it helps with publicity. But the truth behind the Hasidic thing, I believe, is that I gave myself to God. I told God, if you want, I won't do music. I'll do whatever you want me to do. And then the music thing happened. I don't think I'd be successful without God."


Your average American youth bred on hippies and hip-hop, Miller struggled with his Jewish heritage throughout high school and college before finding the niche he was looking for in the world of Lubavitch Hasidism. After being turned away from a Reconstructionist synagogue during the High Holidays one year, Miller was welcomed into the nearby Lubavitch synagogue without hesitation.

"My whole life, I had seen falseness in Judaism," he says, almost apologetically. "Getting shut out of shul on Rosh Hashana was a perfect example of what turned me off to Judaism. What happened in that Chabad shul was the opposite. It was like truth."

The moment defined his impressions of so-called progressive and inclusive Jewish denominations (such as Reform and Reconstructionist), and pushed him towards the controversial, ultra-Orthodox sect. From there he began learning with different Lubavitch rabbis, before taking on the yoke of Orthodoxy himself.


The Lubavitch are well-known for their outreach programs, having "Chabad" centers everywhere from Nashville to Goa, where people can attend free classes, Shabbat & holiday services, and meals. (Reb Shlomo began his career doing outreach for Lubavitch, as well.) But they are also known in the Jewish world for their messianic beliefs—particularly one held by many of their adherents, that their late leader, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was himself the Messiah—a baggage Matisyahu dances around cautiously. "He was definitely one of the candidates, if there are any candidates. I believe and I see how it could be."

But the "final redemption", Matisyahu believes, is incumbent on more than the arrival of any one person. "Moshiach will be both a person and a consciousness. It's not just that a person's going to come and ‘it's gonna happen'. It's gonna happen when people already start changing their reality. It's going to happen as a result of the people."

Matisyahu is working to bring that message to the people. Whether they're heeding the call or not, the people are still "feelin'" him.

Visit his website at HasidicReggae.com. For Jewschool's exclusive download of the Matisyahu vs. Rolling Stones mashup-remix of "Chop 'Em Down," click here.

This article appeared in an abridged format in the July 2005 edition of Paper magazine. Photos courtesy of JDub Records.
(taken from JewSchool)

Monday, February 13, 2006

what do you think of that ? (an old pic of Matisyahu)

JDub Records forum: Babylon Bomber writes:
I'm happy that you're doing so well but disappointed that you haven't mentioned any of us who got you involved in performing. I'll be posting sound files and video of Matisyahu when he played with my band Soulfori as I have rights to all the material. He was doing the same thing then just not as religious. Also have plenty of stories from travelling with him. Again, I'm proud of you Matt but don't forget where your style came from.

I think he does look like Matisyahu, I couldn't find more pictures ....

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Boston Globe article about Matisyahu

This article is old and not soo accurate but still :

A reggae rapper who hangs with Hasidim

Forgive Matisyahu if he doesn't make eye contact onstage. The 24-year-old beatboxer and MC doesn't wear his glasses when he performs because odds are good that a number of women won't be dressed modestly, and Matisyahu - a Hasidic Jew who has spent the last two years living and studying in a Crown Heights, N.Y., yeshiva - is determined to deliver his rugged dancehall reggae without straying from the strict requirements of his Lubavitch community.

It's not overstating the case to say that Matisyahu is an original. The visual package is startling: Picture a young man in traditional payos (side curls), black hat and long beard grabbing the mike and going off in front of a crowd at New York's hip Mercury Lounge, or the Knitting Factory, or Southpaw - all rooms that Matisyahu has sold out. The music is a fairly mind-boggling fusion as well: strains of Bob Marley and Shlomo Carlebach combine into a fluid, flawless flow of Torah-inspired rhymes.

But it's the cultural fusion Matisyahu is courting - a musical bridge uniting the historically cloistered Orthodox Jewish community with the world of nightclubs, secular fans and marketing plans - that really sets him apart.

"The rabbi would like me to be in Crown Heights, sitting in yeshiva and learning more," Matisyahu confesses. "But right now my energy is in music. I have a way to affect people and uplift them. To give that up is to go against what God wants."

Matisyahu's debut album, "Shake off the Dust ... Arise!," was released in October. Produced by Daniel Seliger, former vice president of Rawkus Records, and recorded at a home studio in Brooklyn, the album's title is taken from "L'cha Dodi," a song sung at the Friday night Sabbath service.

"The week has gone by and Shabbos is coming and, spiritually, everything goes up," says Matisyahu. "It's a transition, a time to shake off the problems and the fatigue and elevate. This unification happens. In general, in my life, that's what this whole time period has been for me."

Matisyahu grew up Matthew Miller in a Reconstructionist Jewish family in White Plains, N.Y. He was repeatedly threatened with expulsion from Hebrew School, had his bar mitzvah party at an Italian restaurant and at 14 became a card-carrying Deadhead. Two years later, he traveled to Israel, where he began to feel a deep connection to his Jewish roots. The next year, after nearly burning down his chemistry classroom, he dropped out of school and followed Phish on a national tour. His parents sent him to a therapeutic wilderness program in Bend, Ore., where he finished high school, fell in love with reggae and started playing music.

"There was a coffee shop in town where I met a guy with dreadlocks who played guitar, and every Thursday we played there," he recalls. "I would wear an Israeli flag like a turban and we'd do crazy hip-hop chanting and people started coming in for that. Young kids started bringing turntables. We ended up putting a band together."

Matisyahu returned to New York two years later to attend college at the New School. He began frequenting the Carlebach Shul on the Upper West Side and forged a close bond with Dov Yona Korn, a Lubavitch rabbi he met in Washington Square Park. Matisyahu also bought a PA system and started collecting instrumental reggae tapes.

"I would turn it up loud on the speakers and write lyrics and rap," he says. "I didn't think I was practicing anything. There were no shows or audiences. It was how I expressed myself. I just felt that music. Lots of the reggae artists are called conscious and the words are about Jah, but they're talking about God. So many lyrics were taken from the Old Testament. I was able to find my culture and identity in Judaism and hold onto the truth in this music."

During his first year living in the Chabad-Lubavitch community in Crown Heights, Matisyahu neither played nor listened to music. Everything outside of his studies and connection with God was considered a distraction. The Torah, he says, was his art, and praying was his music. But his own songs never ceased to percolate in the back of Matisyahu's mind, and last year he returned to performance.

Matisyahu knows that his chosen paths - one religious, one musical - will involve a delicate balancing act. It's easy to let things slip, he says, to forget what your real purpose is. But he is a man on a mission. And a man with a message. Asked to explain the essence of that message, Matisyahu begins to recite the words to his song "Warrior."

"Elevating my soul, purifying my sound, like the son of a sun ray, burning up through a cloud, Torah food for my brain, let it rain 'til I drown, thunder let the blessing come down."
(take from shmais.com)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Matisyahu - live in Paris

Check out this live show in Paris. It's very good ...

and here is another video from that show

Friday, February 10, 2006

Matisyahu at MTV Event

Hillel Students Rock with Matisyahu at MTV Event

September 12, 2005 Matisyahu (left) greets students from Queens College Hillel after a performance at MTV's studios in New York.Fifty students from Hillels around the greater New York metro area took a break from the studies last week to attend a special performance by Matisyahu, a Chasidic reggae singer, at the MTV studios in New York. The event was presented by MTV's diversity team and mtvU, the campus division of MTV.

Students came from Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Queens College, Touro College, Baruch College and Sarah Lawrence College to enjoy Matisyahu's short set of reggae-influenced, faith-inspired songs. mtvU VJ Gardner Loulan, host of the mtvU program "Dean's List," then hosted a question-and-answer session with the students in the audience, in which Matisyahu spoke about everything from his musical influences to becoming a Chasidic Jew.

"It was amazing to see that such a sincerely religious man like Matisyahu is able to communicate to a general audience through his music. He is a talented musician, by any standards, and is particularly brilliant at beat-boxing," said Queens College student Sarah Lipman.

"I also thought that someone like him who is very passionate about both music and his religion represented the Jewish people well in the question-and-answer session," added Judah Guber, also from Queens College.

Matisyahu, who has performed at many Hillel conferences and campuses throughout the past year, will be touring throughout the United States this fall. Visit his Web site at www.hasidicreggae.com to view his upcoming schedule.

(taken from hillel.org)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Matisyahu's february live shows

Tickets are available at StubHub.com

Saturday, February 11, 2006

8:00pm Matisyahu in Waterville, ME
Colby College
Cotter Union
Doors 8:00/Show 9:00
No Presale Available
Free Show for Students Only

Sunday, February 12, 2006
6:00pm Matisyahu in Boston, MA
Avalon Ballroom
Doors 6:00/Show 7:00
Tickets are $22.

Monday, February 13, 2006
7:00pm Matisyahu in Sayerville, NJ
WHTG Presents
Matisyahu in Sayerville
Starland Ballroom
Doors 7:00/Show 8:15
Tickets $20 Advance/$22 DOS
All Ages

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
7:00pm Matisyahu in Carrboro, NC
Cat's Cradle
Doors 7:00/Show 8:00
Tickets: $15 Advance/$18 DOS
All Ages

Thursday, February 16, 2006
7:00pm Matisyahu in Atlanta, GA
99X Presents
Matisyahu in Atlanta
The Tabernacle
Doors 7:00/Show 8:00
Tickets: $23 Advance/$25 DOS
All Ages

Sunday, February 19, 2006
12:00pm Matisyahu in Long Beach, CA
The Raggamuffins Festival - a Tribute To Bob Marley:

MCs: Amlak Tafari & Richie B
The Wailers
Freddie McGregor
Misty In Roots
I Wayne
The Itals
Ras Michael

The Long Beach Arena
300 E. Ocean Blvd.
Doors at 12:00pm
Show at 1:00pm
$55 for GA Floor and $37 for GA Seating
Day of Show Prices: $44 GA Seating
Children 12 and under Free with Paid Adult

Monday, February 20, 2006
12:00pm Matisyahu in San Diego, CA
The Raggamuffins Festival - a Tribute To Bob Marley:

MC: Makeda Dread
The Wailers
Gregory Isaacs
Freddie McGregor
Barrington Levy
Misty In Roots
Cultura Profetica
The Itals
Sister Carol
Tribal Seeds

ipayOne Center
3500 Sports Arena Blvd.
Advance Ticket Prices: $55 for GA Floor & $32 for GA Seating
Day Of Show Prices: $60 GA Floor & $39 GA Seating
Children 12 and under Free with Paid Adult

Wednesday, February 22, 2006
7:30pm Matisyahu in Reno, NV
KRZQ Presents
Matisyahu in Reno
Reno Hilton Amphitheatre
Doors 7:30/Show 8:30
Tickets: $22
All Ages

Thursday, February 23, 2006
6:30pm Matisyahu in Santa Cruz, CA
Santa Cruz Dayz '06
A Celebration of Rober Nesta Marley
The Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
307 Church Street
Santa Cruz, CA
Doors: 6:30pm
Show: 7:15pm

Gregory Isaacs
Misty In Roots
Soul Majestic
Prince Rastan

Advance Ticket Price: $40
Day Of Show Price: $45

Saturday, February 25, 2006
2:00pm Matisyahu in San Francisco, CA
The Raggamuffins Festival - a Tribute To Bob Marley:

Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Wailers
Gregory Isaacs
Misty In Roots

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
Doors: 2:00pm
Show: 3:00pm
Advance Ticket Prices: $39.50
Day Of Show Ticket Prices: $45.00

Sunday, February 26, 2006
8:00pm Matisyahu in Portland, OR
KNRQ Presents
Matisyahu in Portland
Crystal Ballroom
Doors 8:00/Show 9:00
Tickets: $20 Advance/$20 DOS
All Ages

Tuesday, February 28, 2006
7:00pm Matisyahu in Denver, CO
Paramount Theatre
Doors 7:00/Show 8:00
Tickets: $25
All Ages

Have fun, "don't drink and drive", and, "say No to drugs" :-)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Amazon.com stealing from Sony? or please download only legal music

I added this article because I want to ask you to support Matisyahu.

If you like Matisyahu and his music please make sure you get his music in a legal way and that Matisyahu will get the credit he deserves.
please don't download his music in an illegal way or even in other unfair ways.

you can still get Matisyahu's music for free from this link, it's free and LEGAL! this way you get your free music and Matisyahu still gets the credit.

Thank you

Amazon.com stealing from Sony?

by: Shmuly Tennenhaus

Imagine being a musician. You work hard to record a CD. The CD is complete and it will hit the stores in six-weeks. However, amazon.com is now giving the world unfettered access to your intellectual property before you intended date of reaching the masses. Want to see how they are doing it? Read the entire story below.

The following story involves an internet company called amazon.com. If you have not heard of them, I recommend you clean up the moss that has been gathering on your body after so many years of living under a rock.

There is an up and coming reggae artist called Matisyahu. Like me, he is a hot Hasid in his twenties. Unlike me, he possesses good looks, tremendous talent, a wife, a life PLUS a freshly inked contract with Sony. He is currently on a national tour and much has been written him. He made for a very entertaining guest on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

small matis.jpg

Last week, a friend of mine tells me that his friend gave him all the music tracks for Matisyahu's unreleased CD called Youth. The CD is scheduled to be released in March of 2006. Naturally, I asked my friend how this person obtained these not yet released songs? And so he told me. It was actually quite simple. You see, amazon.com has a new brilliant feature called digital locker. The DL (my clever abbreviation for digital locker) was created by amazon to provide users with enhanced shopping experience. The DL gives you access to an additional digital format of your purchase, be it a book excerpt in PDF or in our case, digital music.

Until this point, everything sounds comely and rosy. However, things are just starting to stir. Here's why; because the music files that amazon gives you can be easily downloaded and saved onto your PC. How do I know this? Well, that's exactly what this person did. He took these music files and burned them. And the end result is that they are now comfortably lounging in my sexy MP3 player.

Sound too good (or bad) to be true? I thought so too. So, as a budding online blogger, I decided to personally investigate the situation. (My first choice was to hand this case over to Inspector Gadget. But he still has not returned from the Consumer and Electronic show in Vegas.) So, I go to amazon.com and buy the CD. After checkout the screen said "digital files available in cart" (see screen shot below). I was excited and thismuch closer to winning a Nobel (disturbing the) Peace Prize. But, when I logged into my account to check the contents of my DL, it was empty.

click image to see bigger

Undeterred, I emailed amazon customer service. One thing I must credit amazon for; they may be screwing music artists, but their customer service is terrific. After several email exchanges, they understood my request and replied as follows: Thanks for writing to us with your questions. I apologize that this item was not in your digital library. Below, I have included the correct URL for this streaming album.

The URL did in fact follow and I will NOT post it here EVEN if you beg. Needless to say, the link worked fine. And my friends version of the story was looking legit. To save the files onto my windows media player, all I did was go to File, selected add to file and then selected add currently playing item. And poof! They are now safe and sound on my laptop. Now, I can just burn the music onto a CD.

At this point in time, I wondered if the artist's production company was aware of this gaping gaffe. So, I emailed them. They emailed me back stating :
Thank you very much for this. We are already aware of this. Amazon mistakenly believes their digital locker files are not copy-able. The digital locker program for YOUTH has been suspended. If you do receive the
stream of YOUTH in your amazon account, though, please let us know.

Just so you know, even after amazon customer service emailed me the music stream, the files did NOT appear in my DL. Once again I emailed customer service asking them when this would occur. And this was their reply: Thanks for writing to us with your question. Unfortunately, due to a technical error on our part, the digital content will not appear in your Digital Library.

Aha! So now amazon.com was conceding they had indeed committed a technical blunder. But the irony to all of this is that the streaming URL, which they so kindly emailed me, was still working and can still be easily copied. Hence, they attempted to solve the matter by not supplying the files into my DL, but the problem did not go away. The production was right. My friend's story was legit. And music labels are getting the murdered on the high CD's because music files that amazon sends you can still be conveniently copied.

Of course, the story has one more interesting part. The CD only releases in March. Therefore, my order does not ship for another month and a half. With that in mind, I went back to amazon and canceled my order. And thereafter was my streaming URL disabled? Absolutely not!

In case you fell asleep during the longest blog post ever known to mankind, I will recap the crucial ramifications. Imagine being a musician. You work hard to record a CD. The CD is complete and it will hit the stores in six-weeks. However, amazon.com is now giving the world unfettered access to your intellectual property before you intended date of reaching the masses. Better yet, the music can be copied, burned, raped, pillaged and then returned for a full refund!

At least with Kazaa and other free music software applications, the consumer has a choice when it comes to listening to music. He can either pay or get it for free. In this case however, since the music has not yet been released, music fans only have one option...and that cannot be good for the music industry.

Here's the scariest part. Matisyahu is just one musician. As a natural born skeptic, I am confidant that this amazon issue is more prevalent that you think. Me thinks that Amazon.com , in an effort to introduce a novelty feature to their marketplace, ended up releasing a faulty product. And this means that when the word spreads to music industry execs, that amazon.com is unknowingly guilty of proliferating their intellectual property, then the lyrics will hit the fan!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Article about Matisyahu : Hasidic Jewish reggae rapper kicks it Old Testament-style

Hasidic Jewish reggae rapper kicks it Old Testament-style

By Jack Silverman


Performing 12:30 p.m.

June 12 at Bonnaroo

Our next guest is the most popular Jewish rapper since MC Hammer," Jimmy Kimmel quips, as he introduces Matisyahu to his first national TV audience. It's August 2004. The singer grabs the mic and starts an unaccompanied minor-key chant (sounding as much like a Hebrew prayer as a reggae melody), then throws in some human beatbox. After about half a minute, a live band kicks up a reggae groove, and the MC rattles off "Close My Eyes," a half-rapped, half-sung call to praise that drives the audience wild.

Straight Outta White Plains: Matisyahu blends an esoteric mystic tradition with accessible modern music.

Straight Outta White Plains: Matisyahu blends an esoteric mystic tradition with accessible modern music.

Granted, it's not hard to drive a TV audience wild. Still, Matisyahu displays some undeniable gifts at the mic, both melodically and beat-wise. And though the Beastie Boys broke the Jewish rap barrier almost two decades ago, Matisyahu is not your standard-issue secular, suburban Jewish kid (though he grew up that way). After a religious awakening four years ago, he adopted Hasidism, a mystic movement within Orthodox Judaism that emphasizes the presence of God in all of one's surroundings at all times.

It would be easy to dismiss Matisyahu's act as shtick or novelty. You don't typically see a Hasidic Jew, complete with long beard and traditional black suit and hat, firing staccato bursts of dancehall toasting like Eek-a-Mouse or Yellowman. Watching him perform, your first impulse is to laugh—not in a mean-spirited way, just at the incongruity of it all.

Yet it's no gimmick. The transformation of typical-Jewish-kid Matthew Miller into a Hasidic reggae-rap phenomenon followed a natural, if somewhat unusual, progression. Like a lot of kids growing up in the comfortable suburb of White Plains, N.Y., Miller fell in with the hippie crowd, wore Birkenstocks and grew dreadlocks. He got more interested in music, playing bongos and learning to beat-box. After a series of revelatory experiences, including a trip to Israel, he had an awakening. (Interestingly, the last straw that would send him in search of deeper meaning was a few months of following Phish on tour.)

Like his personal evolution, Matisyahu's melding of dancehall reggae and Jewish theology has an intrinsic logic. Hasidic Judaism and Rastafarianism have more in common than meets the eye. Ethiopian emperor and Rastafarianism founder Haile Selassie was often referred to as the "Lion of Judah" and claimed to be a direct descendant of King David; the Star of David is a prominent symbol in both cultures. Both faiths encourage around-the-clock devotion, share common dietary laws and study the Hebrew bible. Rastafarians typically wear dreadlocks; many Orthodox Jewish men wear payos, long curls of hair grown above the sideburns. Also, there's a long history of Judaism in Ethiopia—in fact, during the droughts and famines of the 1970s and '80s, tens of thousands of Ethiopian "Falasha" Jews emigrated to Israel.

Furthermore, reggae music and Hasidism share a common spirit, in that both traditions seek to enlighten their participants through direct experience of God. When Kimmel asked him if Hasidic leaders frowned on his music career, Matisyahu explained, "The Lubavitch rebbe was saying that you should go out in the world and turn the world over; you should try and help people to connect to godliness." The means may be different—Talmudic scholars are rarely heard extolling the virtues of ganja—but the desired effect is the same.

Matisyahu doesn't really break new ground musically, and there's the matter of his Jamaican patois, which I'm guessing he didn't learn at the Yeshiva. Regardless, he's noteworthy on several levels. First, he's a good singer, gifted speed rapper and formidable beatboxer. More importantly, he's found a way to blend his passion for an esoteric mystic tradition with accessible modern music. And even better—particularly in light of Middle East affairs, where the most religious people are often the least tolerant—he preaches a message of unity. In fact, he often performs with Muslim beat-boxer Kenny Mohammed. As Matisyahu sings on "Close My Eyes," "Bob Nesta said it best, everything will be all right / Introspect, connect the sects and let this music make you fly."

(taken from nashvillescene.com)

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