Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Jew Tunes!

I'm sure everyone on the planet knows who Matisyahu is by now. The man gave a voice to Hasidic rap/hip-hop/reggae and since then the tiny little niche area of the music world has blown up. You don't have to wander very far to bump into someone who knows, has heard, or who maybe is Y-Love. Heck, the ever-talented Y-Love and I are chums on Twitter and I follow his blog, and it's fun watching him globe-hop doing what he loves.

But there is a whole crop of these talents out there, including one who I saw just this evening at a UConn Chabad event -- Nosson Zand, formerly known as NIZ, a Ba'al Teshuvah who is taking on the Kosher Hip Hop biz by storm. This guy, really, seriously, is pretty outstanding. Even Matisyahu has given him some love. So check out the ever-so-brief clip below from the performance tonight.

Now, I'll admit that after discovering Matisyahu many years ago I didn't really break beyond that barrier of the Kosher hip hop scene. Y Love changed that, but even since then I've been stagnate. But I recently discovered ShemSpeed.com, run by Erez Safer. The site has a boatload of music, merchandise, some free downloads, AND -- best of all -- a radio that you can click open and it streams tunes till your soul is contented with the vibes of hip hop and urban tunes as well as klezmer and Sephardi mixes. There are a bajillion ShemSpeed picks of various artists, including Y-Love, but my favorite simply for name has to be Kosha Dillz -- with a name like that, how can you not want to explore the music?

Oh, and this definitely isn't as an after-thought, but if hip-hop isn't your thing, try Stereo Sinai -- "the Good Book like you've never heard it before" -- on for size. Alan and Miriam are absolutely amazing and are some of the kindest people I've met. "Dance" is a beautiful song, so give it a listen!

The thing is, folks, this is positive, Torah-loving, G-d loving, Israel-loving music that sounds beautiful, is performed magnificently, and darn't, it's just good. These people have some amazing talent and the music simply flows like milk and honey -- it's smooth going down! So take a listen, explore around, and show your love to our super talented Hasidic Jewish/Hip-Hop styling brethren!