The Shmooze

Matisyahu vs. Drake: Battle of the Rhyming Jews

By Katherine Clarke

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Hasidic reggae musician Matisyahu has challenged rapper Drake’s status as “the best Jew to ever do it,” in a recent video posted on gossip site TMZ.

Responding to the question of who of the two rappers is more kosher, Matisyahu responds: “Drake is a pretty good man. He’s got his thing, but it’s different than what I do.”

Continuing, he says of Drake: “He’s Jewish, but he’s not representing Judaism. He happens to be Jewish just like Bob Dylan happened to be Jewish, but what I’m doing is really tapping into my roots and culture, and trying to blend that with the mainstream…[Drake’s] being Jewish is just a by-product.”

Matisyahu, born Matthew Miller, was brought up as a Reconstructionist Jew and attended Hebrew school. His music often addresses traditional Jewish themes, and occasionally contains Yiddish and Hebrew lyrics.


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