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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. Locode

    duck duck duck....goose!

    February 19, 2011 at 5:12 am |
  2. robert b

    please give this crap a rest...there are no true hebrews left..these poeple in isreal are imposters true hebrew are black men

    February 19, 2011 at 4:55 am |
  3. Shani

    Dumb article. This isn't a "war of words." Rather, this represents one artist talking ish, and the other, more popular artist ignoring the former. Okay, after today, I'm done with CNN.

    February 19, 2011 at 3:28 am |
  4. calico

    Who cares... ? Why is this news? One religious person judging another religious person for not being good enough.

    February 19, 2011 at 2:31 am |
  5. Brian

    I have noticed a lot of Orthodox Jews like to listen to Reggae music. If you listen to the lyrics it's mostly from Exodus and Genesis. Excuse me while I light my spliff.

    February 19, 2011 at 2:02 am |
  6. Stephen

    There's no "beef" here...
    This is an excellent example of "journalists" trying create a story, start a fight, rile people up when there's nothing there. I guarantee you that they cornered Matisyahu, put him on the spot, and took his words out of context. I guarantee you that if he were to read this, he'd say it's a ridiculous twisting of his words. He wasn't insulting Drake's Judaism, he was pointing out that the two aren't really comparable musically and they're doing two entirely different things with their careers. His statements are clearly in response to a question that made little sense and the moron asking the questions was clearly trying to get him to say something he wasn't going to say.
    I'm ashamed of CNN for posting this, let alone putting it on the front page or in the "belief" section.
    TMZ on religion? Really?

    February 19, 2011 at 1:29 am |
    • Jolisa

      I agree. I saw the video. This story is taken out of context.

      February 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  7. meechi

    They both suck

    February 19, 2011 at 1:27 am |
  8. Pointless1

    I'm taking my dreidel and going home....

    February 19, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  9. sanych

    Both Drake and Matisyahu are Jews - ethnical Jews, although Drake can also claim to be of African ancestory.

    Matisyahu is definetely "more Jewish" - as a Jewish - according to Judaism, religious - way of life.

    February 19, 2011 at 1:22 am |
  10. RapFan

    I don't care about these guys. My favorite Hebrew rappers are Matzah Rhymes, Dre DL and DJ Lox; DJ JewyJew is also pretty good.

    February 19, 2011 at 1:20 am |
  11. Elite

    Who is this guy anyways?

    February 19, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  12. Melissa

    Who gives a Crap. He's doing what he loves and is good at it.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  13. WhoCares

    Whats wrong with them...Lunger. I hope they die

    February 19, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  14. ThemBones

    Another reason why I dislike rap music. Somebody always has "beef" with someon. Stupid. Just sing/rap and shut up.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  15. jason

    it is not the place of any jew to judge the soul, the earnestness of another man, especially in his faith, that is for G-d to decide and G-d alone. All we can do as Jews whether reggae artists or rappers is to try and make the world a better place. They both have their differences but hopefully both will continue to do good things with their fame. They shouldn't be held accountable for weather either of them live up the other's standards of being jewish enough. silly beef.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  16. Kaisee Fox

    I have heard both artists, and I think what he was trying to point out is that he sings about Judaism and faith as to where the other artist dose not. Im suprised that CNN even ran this story asTMZ "reporters" typically ask set up questions just to get a rise or create news. I mean have you seen these guys, they sound like Mc Donalds workers that have save their entier years pay for a decent camera. This is lame and I doubt there is any battle going on. CCN why? As for Mark Marino how can he even take credit for this being a stroy, he just texted what he read on TMZ. What a joke.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  17. 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 11:42 pm |
    • juniorgong

      So if that is not true and never happened. What is? Tell us genius. You seem to have figured it all out.

      February 19, 2011 at 1:08 am |
    • KungFuJew

      "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. "

      Those editors must not have heard of Reform Judaism.
      http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/reform_practices.html

      February 19, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • Jay Dudkr

      Apparently you are not involved in the academic world these ideas are healthily discussed in archaeology departments all over the world and there are dozens of conferences and presentations at universities open to the public every year. This isn't some secret knowledge. You are quoting almost verbatim from the works of Israel Finklstein, with whom many disagree. I happen to agree with him that King David was more like the Godfather than a King but these "discoveries" are hardley accepted by all archaeologist. Also EVERY city from Hattusa to Gaza was burned around the same period in which Jericho was supposedly conquered. Syro-Palestinian/Biblical archaeology is not about proving or disproving the bible.

      February 19, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: 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 docu-ment.

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedo-ph-iliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:

      Adu-lterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      4. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism.

      Current problems:

      The caste system and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      February 19, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  18. tim

    Drake also doesn't rep that he is Canadian and half white, the kid is a fake plain and simple. And i think he worships Lil Wayne.

    February 18, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Doc BZ

      Yet he still manages to make hit records and millions.

      February 19, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • jackindax

      90 percent of lil wayne songs are written by drake..either way he sounds boring.

      February 19, 2011 at 1:17 am |
    • Observatron

      Congratulations! You win the idiot poster of the night!! Enough said.

      February 19, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • Amber

      Tim, if you weren't told his mother was white, you'd deem him a regular Black man. I don't hear him running around claiming he's half black, either, so why should he have to keep announcing he's half white? In fact, I'm glad he doesn't make an issue of his racial make-up.

      Jack, Really? Lil"Wayne is notorious for recording free style with NO LYRICS whatsoever. Drake writing for Wayne? Puh-lease. Lil'Wayne has been recording since he was a teen... while "Drake" was still Aubrey, trying to be an actor in Canada. Silly guy... know facts before spouting ignorance.

      February 19, 2011 at 4:06 am |
    • Amber

      P.S. It may appear that he worships Lil'Wayne because he is signed to Wayne's record label, Young Money. Wayne is the one who cuts his checks.... I'm sure he's just keeping the boss happy.

      February 19, 2011 at 4:09 am |
  19. annie

    So when does religion play any part in society anymore?

    February 18, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • idiot

      wow, religion is just as important as science. I don't believe in any major religions but you have to be ignorant to think it doesnt play a part in society. But I bet you think the ipod has done more for society than religion. typical american

      February 19, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • ALEX-N-ARKANSAS

      When religion is used to subjugate women, allow discrimination against other religions like Islam, and when religion is allowed to determine political outcomes like marriage equality and abortion, then it is VERY MUCH a part of society. Unfortunately.

      February 19, 2011 at 2:45 am |
  20. Eugene Frank MD

    Which one is more Jewish, and true to his roots? The Torah is quite explicit, you are as good a Jew as you believe you are: Judaism is not a religion, but a way of life, Torah as a guide. The ideals Torah teaches are the ways to be with another, Jew or non-Jew: Martin Buber's "I and Thou", in an attempt to explain, as the philosopher for Israel, that if G-d exists, He exists in the quality of the relational experience between self-and-other. That being born of a Jewish mother (how else could one tell your Jewish lineage?) identifies anyone Jewish, it is Bar Mitzvah, when the young man accepts the responsibilities of your faith, and acts accordingly, he can call himself a Jew. In the Camps to Madoff, each finds his own path. I find it quite gratifying that two rappers can, tongue in cheek, argue over the achievement of purity in their personal beliefs as a Jew. Bravae

    February 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Jake

      How dare someone attack Drake on Black Thanksgiving weekend

      February 19, 2011 at 2:34 am |
    • d

      don't forget the mutilation of baby boy's penises!

      February 19, 2011 at 4:09 am |
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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.