Matisyahu is the best rapper to come onto the music scene in a long time. He writes his own music from his unique understanding of life and from his spiritual experience as a Jewish man. His combination of Hebrew and Yiddish mixed in with English is a unique sound like no other that is produced by rappers or reggae singers. Matisyahu is also known for his alternative rock music, and it is the combination of rap, reggae, and alternative sounds that has made him famous. The website Matisyahu.net has information about his life, the albums that he has made, and his scheduled tours.
Matisyahu was born in the U.S. in West Chester, Pennsylvania and lived in New York for much of his childhood. His teenage years were difficult as he dropped out of high school and began using hallucinogens. When he was sent to Israel to the Alexander Muss High School, he completed a program that changed his life. He became an Orthodox Jew and changed his birth name of Matthew Paul Miller to Matisyahu, the Hebrew form of Matthew. He joined a Jewish band called Pey Dalid at the age of 19, and his music career bloomed from that point on.
The singer is much more than a performer because his genuine search for the true meaning of his Jewish heritage is a real part of his performer persona. He also considers himself an activist, and questions many of the traditions of his faith. In 2011, he shaved his full beard and head after wearing the traditional long beard of Orthodox Jewish men. Alternative fans relate to his search for the meaning in religious tradition, and since they are questioning their own faith, they relate to Matisyahu whether they are Jewish or not. Fans see him as a genuine human soul searching for the truth. In fact, Matisyahu has also been called Matisyahu, MC Truth. It is possible to find much more about the singer’s search for truth and the meaning of life on Matisyahu.net.
Many fans love the fact that the singer uses so many original sounds to produce his popular music. He combines beatboxing, rap, hip-hop, and scat with Judaism’s hazzan, a form of prayer in song. He was a fan of Phish since he was a young teen, and sounds of this band can also be heard in Matisyahu’s music. Most of his lyrics are English with some Hebrew and Yiddish thrown in for a different sound or to make a point. Fans do not need to be Jewish to relate to his music though, and many fans love him just for the sound of his music rather than the meaning of the words.
Matisyahu has said in the past that he wants his music to have meaning and “to be able to touch people and make them think.” The singer has performed with many other groups, even with a Muslim beatboxer named Kenny Muhammad. There is much more information available about his performances at Matisyahu.net. The singer has been featured as the opening act for other bands in Israel and in the United States and also has his own performances on tour. The world has definitely taken notice of Matisyahu. He received an award for his reggae music from Billboard, a music magazine and another award was given to him in 2006 by Esquire, calling him “the Most Lovable Oddball.” He is definitely recognized as being a different type of performer who takes his work seriously. There are very few, if any other artists, with a sound like Matisyahu’s. Many popular singers specialize in one of the musical genres that he sings, but only Matisyahu combines many styles into one unique musical message.