Shalom Life | October 31, 2014

Jewish Top 10s: Rappers

From the Beastie Boys to Drake, Jews continue to have a strong influence on hip hop culture. As such, Shalom Life is proud to present our list of the best Jewish rappers around.

By: Daniel Koren

Published: July 19th, 2013 in Culture » Music » News

Jewish Top 10s: Rappers

Welcome to Jewish Top 10s, where we compile lists that highlight the best and the brightest of everything yehudi, from delicious recipes to funniest actors, to most obnoxious Jewish wedding songs.

As we all know, Jews are known to excel in certain stereotypical industries - ahem, doctor, lawyer, accountant - but we've also succeeded in the vast outer reaches of the entertainment industry, including acting, directing, writing, and also, yes, rapping.

When the Beasties first emerged on the scene, it provided a blueprint for Jewish rappers across the globe, allowing them to express themselves in whatever fashion they pleased, and taking the game to a whole new level.

This week, we take a look at the best Jewish rappers that have graced the mic over the years, from 2pac to Jay-Z.........

But seriously, here's our list of the top Hebrew M.C.'s:


HONORARY MENTIONS


RAPPER: REMEDY

JEWISH NAME: ROSS FILLER

HOMETOWN: STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK


RAPPER: KOSHA DILLZ

JEWISH NAME: RAMI MATAN EVEN-ESH

HOMETOWN: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA


RAPPER: MC SERCH

JEWISH NAME: MICHAEL BERRIN

HOMETOWN: QUEENS, NEW YORK


RAPPER: HOODIE ALLEN

JEWISH NAME: STEVEN H. MARKOWITZ

HOMETOWN: PLAINVIEW, LONG ISLAND


RAPPER: MICKEY AVALON

JEWISH NAME: YESHE PERL

HOMETOWN: HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA


RAPPER: LIL DICKY

JEWISH NAME: DAVID BURD

HOMETOWN: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA


TOP TEN


10.


RAPPER(S): THE LONELY ISLAND

JEWISH NAMES: AKIVA SCHAFFER, JORMA TACCONE, ANDY SAMBERG

HOMETOWN: NEW YORK CITY VIA BEREKLY, CALIFORNIA

KNOWN FOR: "I'M ON A BOAT," LIKE A BOSS," "YOLO

WORD: They call you weasel, say your methods are medieval, you can play the Jews, I can be your Jim Caviezel

While The Lonely Island are not your traditional rappers, the trio of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, who for our purposes we will call an honorary Jew, have actually been able to establish a legitimate following, despite being a comedy-rap troupe consisting of actors, not rappers. Sure, you can accredit their success to Saturday Night Live, and Andy Samberg's prominent rise to fame, but it's more than that. The Lonely Island, three guys who obviously don't take themselves or their 'music' seriously, have been able to run with the best of the music industry; throughout their three albums they have worked with Akon, T-Pain, Justin Timberlake, Robyn, Adam Levine, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and more. With their most recent The Wack Album, The Lonely Island have implemented themselves as this generation's Adam Sandler. Now all they need is to bust out their own rendition of "The Chanukah Song."

9.


RAPPER: SHYNE

JEWISH NAME: MOSES MICHAEL LEVI

HOMETOWN: JERUSALEM VIA BELIZE CITY

KNOWN FOR: "BAD BOYZ," "THAT'S GANGSTA"

WORD: Smoking the cuban, twisting on my sidelocks

Moses Michael Levi aka Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, better known by his stage name Shyne, is a self-identified “Israelite”, a practicing Jew and a Belizean rapper. Shyne was fortuitously overheard rhyming in a barbershop by producer DJ Clark Kent, who, noting the young rapper’s vocal similarity to the late Notorious B.I.G., steered him towards Sean 'Puff Daddy' Combs and Bad Boy. In 1999, Shyne was involved in a shooting at a Manhattan club, and was later convicted of attempted murder. During his time in prison, he deepened his Jewish faith, embracing a Hasidic approach to Judaism and spending hours in prayer and study every day. He had his name legally changed, in early March 2006, from his birthname of Jamal Michael Barrow to Moses Michael Levi to reflect his grandmother's Jewish heritage. Shyne says that he is not trying to promote a Jewish image, “I’m being me.”

8.


RAPPER(S): CHIDDY BANG

JEWISH NAMES: CHIDERA ANAMEGE AND NOAH BERESIN

HOMETOWN: PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

KNOWN FOR: "OPPOSITE OF ADULTS," "RAY CHARLES," "ALL THINGS GO"

WORD: I make music with the soul of a blind man

Chiddy Bang may only be half Jewish, thanks to producer Noah 'Xaphoon Jones' Beresin, but it's the production that has garnered them hundreds of thousands of fans as one of Philadelphia's breakthrough rap duos. Chiddy Bang first rose to the scene in 2010 after revolutionizing a brand of rap that samples indie music, a blueprint which has since been practiced by rappers on this list, no less. Altering hits like MGMT's "Kids," Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago," Hot Chip's "One Life Stand," and many more, Chiddy Bang have succeeded in furthering the relationship between rap and pop, hip hop and rock, and creating a fusion of sounds that have ushered in a new era of hip hop music.

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