Kosher beef between two rappers
Is Drake in the midst of a kosher beef with Matisyahu?
February 18th, 2011
02:10 PM ET

Kosher beef between two rappers

By Mark Marino, Special to CNN

Forget the war of words between 50 Cent and Dr. Dre, and even Lil' Kim and Nicki Minaj — a new rap feud is about to begin between Jewish musicians Drake and Matisyahu.

In a new interview with TMZ, reggae rapper Matisyahu disses Drake as not being true to his roots.

"He's Jewish, but he's not representing Judaism," says the artist formerly known as Matthew Paul Miller.

"He happens to be Jewish, just like Bob Dylan happens to be Jewish, just like anyone happens to be Jewish. What I'm doing is really tapping into my roots and culture and trying to blend that with mainstream society and culture. So his being Jewish is just a byproduct, really. He's not representing that."

Matisyahu performs at a concert in 2009.

Drake, born Aubrey Drake Graham, might disagree. The son of an African American father and a Jewish mother, he was raised in the heavily Jewish Forest Hill section of Toronto, went to a Jewish day school, and even had a bar mitzvah.

Today, he wears a diamond-studded Chai, a symbol of the Jewish word for life, and has his mother pressuring him to marry "a nice Jewish girl," according to Heeb magazine.

While it appears Matisyahu may not be down with Drake's Jewishness, he does admit that he admires his talent.

"Drake is pretty good, man. He's got his thing but it's different than what I do. It's a different type of thing. As an MC, he's got me," he told TMZ. But he adds, "He doesn't have the reggae thing that I've got."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Celebrity • Culture & Science • Judaism • Kosher • Music

soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Dovit

    He's worried about what someone else is representing while representing black carribbean culture rather than his own. Wow. There's irony for you. If he wants to represent his own roots, he ought to start a klezmer band. Oh, but he doesn't want to be judged or pigeonholed. I see. well, then...

    February 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  2. Captain_Colossal

    Dr. Dreidel and MC Hannukah are the only true Jewppers.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Nice! Very original!

      February 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  3. kris

    Matisyahu is weak the dude used his religion to become relevant his music can't stand on its own. Most of fans are pink polo, kaki cargo short wearing guys that llike outdoor festival and proclaim to hate rap. Drake doesn't need a gimmick to sell records. Matisyahu is going to end up like Snow the other craptastic "and he is insert ironic race or religion" fake reggae accent one trick ponies. Of all the jewish rappers out there Shyne, Aesop, Non Phixion, Serch,Edan and the others he calls out the most famous cause his lame a$$ need press.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • KittyKatastrophik

      I like Matisyahu & I do not fit your erroneous description. So, good day to you, sir.

      February 19, 2011 at 4:17 am |
  4. tim

    matis, quit trying for publicity here. you're music is good but really? you don't like his jewishness? since when does everyone have to walk around and act the way you do in order for them to be faithful? you don't have to perpetuate judaism everywhere you go to be or even just because you're jewish.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  5. B.Woo

    Drake's dad isn't "African American" – he's Canadian. So if anything he's "African Canadian", but no one ever uses that term here. Instead he's just "black". Just like Justin Bieber is just "white".

    February 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • kim

      Actually, his father is African-American, from Memphis Tennessee.

      February 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  6. Bill D.

    Who gives a flying rats ass????
    Rap is simply crap with the C missing on the front end.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  7. CamBronx

    How is this a "beef" in any way? CNN has gotten so high-school-gossipy lately. There's nothing to indicate Drake is even trying to be religious in his music, so what Matisyahu said is an observation, not a slam. Big woo.

    February 18, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  8. Randoms

    This world would be much nicer without religion...too many arguements and when you die – IMO, you just rot and poof, you are done. don't be so afraid of not going to another place, be good where you are now and enjoy. Stop arguing over fairy tales...

    February 18, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Troy

      Wrong. All religious ideology is relative to the person. It's people who cause the world to be a not nice place. Religion is just an excuse. If we didn't have religion it would be something else. Skin color, region, education; bad people will always find some reason to be bad.
      You also can't prove there is no God anymore than someone could prove that there is one. I find it funny that Atheists and Believers act like there BELIEF is fact. It's not. No one knows, hence the word BELIEF. I do know that something, God or otherwise, had to create whatever came from or out of the big bang, We know as intelligent beings that matter cannot be created or destroyed, at least not by the powers and the laws of Physics as we know it, but we also know that all of the stuff in the universe had to be made into being because we are part of it. Is it God? I don't know, but I hope to God it is!

      February 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  9. Don Vito Corleone


    February 18, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  10. Big Man

    Another planted article (in CNN) to promote Matisyahu. I hope people realize this. Certainly there are better things to report on.

    February 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  11. powlenn@yahoo

    Di world is w8n on a drake katalys@jango n a matis combination! I sure am.

    February 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  12. taruth

    the "no true Scotsman" argument raises its ginger head once again....

    February 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  13. Reality

    Update on "jewishness":

    : http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    "New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument. "

    February 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Aaron83

      Thanks for the update, God.

      February 19, 2011 at 2:21 am |
  14. Rabbi Yonah

    The CNN article is misquoting Matisyahu – he never says in the video ""He's Jewish, but he's not representing Judaism," says the artist formerly known as Matthew Paul Miller." Follow the TMZ lnks for the video and see for yourself.

    He says that Drake is doing something else with his music.

    February 18, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Ted Williams

      No kidding. I don't know if Mark Marino should be reporting on hip-hop because he sure as hell doesn't understand what Matisyahu was saying. He wasn't dissing Drake at all, and using the word "beef" to describe it is wrong on several levels. This whole story should be re-written or pulled. It would be bad on an entertainment site, and it shouldn't be allowed within 50 miles of a serious news publication if it has any desire to retain credibility.

      February 19, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  15. pete

    Matisyahu is amazing. Drake, eh... he's a dime a dozen

    February 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  16. Steve the real one

    SOMEBODY has a new CD coming out! Free publicity, anyone??

    February 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  17. Anglican

    This is really boring.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  18. dwaghalter

    Sounds like CNN is trying to gin up a "feud." No one's dissing anyone here. Matisyahu is simply saying that Drake isn't addressing his religion in his art. I think that's probably true. In any case, I anxiously await a Matisyahu-Rihanna duet.

    February 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  19. Bob.

    Let me propose a way to settle this. Both men enter the ring and must keep their mouth open. The first one to throw a piece of bacon into the other man's mouth wins.

    The winner gets the name "Goldberg" the loswer is de-j3wed and is pelted with dredels by old women yelling in yiddish.

    Seems like the thing to do.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • derp

      Great, two dumb a s s rappers arguing over who is jewier. The world is coming to an end.

      February 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  20. Bob.

    Uh-Oh, be ready for the drive by corn-beefings.

    February 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • arjun

      "drive by corn-beefings" just worked its way into my vocabulary. thank you sir.

      February 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.