Where else but in the heart of New York City could one find a Muslim, American, Irish-Iranian rapper?
I was hoping that title would get someone’s attention. More specifically: I was reading The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (And Queens, New York) and learned quite about the relationship between Bukharan Jews and Muslims in Transoxiana (modern day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan). In brief, Muslims started giving up aspects of their musical heritage and the Bukharan (here, basically meaning Central Asian) Jews took up the craft and helped preserve Islamicate music, especially the shash maqām. It’s a good read, and I highly recommend it. While it’s also a bit late for Diaspora Month, the last…
Unfortunately, I can’t embed the video, so you’ll just have to follow the link .
Yes Virginia, it’s true. Take a look at this site, just to read comments like this: “He can really rip,” agrees hip-hop producer and bassist Yossi Fine (David Bowie, Me’Shell Ndege-Ocello), who is himself part Israeli and Afro-Jamaican Jew. “He’s extremely fierce, jumping around the stage. The only difference between him and a Jamaican rapper is that he takes the lyrics from the Bible instead of from Rasta. He changes ‘Jah’ to ‘Hashem’ [Hebrew for God].” I intend to buy an album. Seems very cool. Also, here.