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May 13, 2005

Rappers spin Naomi Shemer (in her grave?)

On Yom Ha'atzmaut, our shul had an erev shira. Sadly, many of the songwriters featured had died in the past year, including Ehud Manor and Naomi Shemer.

Now, browsing on Israel-Music.com, I discover a tribute,
Various Sing Naomi Shemer By Various. Only click through if you're willing to hear a hip-hop version of al kol eleh, or various other interpretations of Naomi's classics.

Posted by yudel at 6:58 PM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2005

Israeli Hip Hop Mix

Courtesy of -=JeW*SCHooL=-

Check out Sakhut Tari ("Freshly Squeezed"), the latest mixtape from Israel's leading hip hop DJs, Ori Schochat & DJ Alarm, which features Subliminal, Mookie, Sagol 59, Kela 6, The Tribe, Qwami, Roi, and other top Israeli MCs rhyming over the beats of Lil John, Ja Rule, 50 Cent and many of your favorite American MCs.
link to download

Posted by yudel at 6:50 PM | Comments (0)

May 4, 2005

Israeli Hip-Hop Debating Gaza

New Voices:
“Hip-hop everywhere gives a voice to some character of the society that would not be heard in the mainstream media,” says Khen Rotem, an artist who performs under the moniker Sagol 59. Rotem maintains that the Israeli hip-hop community has a rare tolerance for diverse opinions: “I hear many voices,” he says, “from the right and the left, from the Arab side and the Jewish side.”

Back in the circle, the flow is seamless as the mic passes from one bundled-up artist to the next. “In the circle, everyone one wants it to be fun. But I don’t know how to be fun–my lyrics are hard,” says Roi Assayag, adding that he uses his songs to voice his beliefs, no matter how they may differ from what his audience wants to hear. The 25-year-old Jerusalem native, who performs under the name Rocky B, is the most accomplished in the crowd, with two albums under his belt. A green army-style jacket, square-framed dark glasses, and a Jewish afro give him the look of a Semitic Mos Def. The beliefs Assayag expresses through his music are harsh ones: “This is a racist state, defined by blood,” he says. The concept of a Jewish-Israeli left is a fallacy, he feels, because it means accepting racial parameters for participation.

Posted by yudel at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

May 3, 2005

Why isn't there a Grammy for Best Jewish Album?

JVibe's Call for a Jewish Grammy
Currently, there are 107 different Grammy award categories. And of those 107 awards, at least six are handed out each year for Christian-themed music.

Posted by yudel at 6:13 PM | Comments (0)

Shabak Samekh goes for G-rating

Jerusalem Post profiles Nimrod Reshef

In sports terminology, Nimrod Reshef would probably be called an all-rounder. A little less than 10 years ago, he was a vocalist/guitarist with the hugely popular rap-funk band Shabak Samekh. Now, at the age of 32, he's a children's TV presenter and, more recently, an aspiring author of comics books.

Between April 25-28, youngsters and their parents will be able to gain some insight into what makes Reshef's cartoonist persona tick, when he displays some of his prized comics books - taken from his 7,000-plus collection - at the Childhood and Family Collections Festival at the Israeli Children's Museum in Holon.

Besides Reshef's exhibition, there will be contributions from other celebrities, including LPs from the vast collection of Channel 24 chief Yoav Kutner, and a selection of fairy figures from actress Helly Goldenberg. Interior Minister Ophir Paz-Pines's handball medals will also be on display.

Today, Reshef is better known as the presenter of Channel 6's Feedback children's show, but just five years ago he was still a member of the groundbreaking band Shabak Samekh, which put out songs with lyrics hardly fit for the ears of his current TV audience. One wonders, for instance, how parents would react today were Reshef to expose his young fans to lyrics from his former band's songs such as "Empire," taken from the band's debut release Shabak? Back then Reshef and his bandmates were heavily into eliciting a strong public reaction, with lines such as "They come to me on all fours, asking for it nicely" and "They've run out of virgins in Metulla." Not overly PC, to say the least.

Posted by yudel at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)