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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. Brian

    "I wasn't aware that Reggae and Rap were essential parts of Judaism. "..........

    Listen to Reggae. Most of the lyrics are straight out of Genesis and Exodus. In some ways Jamaica is a Jewish country. The banks, newspapers, etc were founded by Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain in the 15th century.

    February 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  2. Benji

    Matisyahu should do a rap battle with Shyne.

    How bout Drake-berg and Matisyahu go for a shabbos dinner, have a debate midrash, and then do a collab.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  3. Jesparza

    I wasn't aware that Reggae and Rap were essential parts of Judaism. In fact, Reggae and Rap have as much in common with Judaism, as Heavy Metal has in common with Christianity. Matisyahu, your music is cool, but it has nothing to do with anything jewish, except your clothes and your beard.

    February 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Captain A

      Uh, have you listened to his music? His lyrics are spiritually oriented.

      February 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  4. Wolffie

    Attention seeking commentary from this "musician".

    February 19, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  5. bindo

    I just want to know when we'll have a rapper named Ice-Berg....Hmmm

    February 19, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Jesparza

      And I assume their opening act will be Kosher Salt 'n' Peppa...

      February 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  6. Religion vs Greed

    I like Kosher. Has more flavor

    February 19, 2011 at 10:27 am |
  7. Dwight Guy

    This feud is supposed to be between two Jews. So, why the picture of the black dude?

    February 19, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Wawawhat

      Drake's mom would argue he's not black.

      February 19, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • lrltree

      Dwight, that hilarious. Really, in this the year 2011 you dont' think that a Jew can be African American? His mom is a white Jew and his dad is Black. He is MIXED.

      February 19, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • jaysunstar

      Sammy Davis Junior was Jewish too.

      February 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  8. paul

    drake loves HYPERVOCAL.COM

    February 19, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  9. Captain Jones

    Oh yeah religion, that'll make people want to listen to white guys rapping....

    February 19, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Dwight Guy

      But the picture is of a black guy.

      February 19, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  10. Wawawhat

    Aw, from the headline I thought this article was about something else.

    And Drake, isn't he Canadian? Everyone knows there are no Jews in Canada. Too many commoners and too much government control when it comes to rent.

    February 19, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Rabbi Greene

      Actually the first jewish missionary in the new world is in canada, built in the 1850's

      February 19, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Wawawhat

      More like the 1890s, not that it matters.

      February 19, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Wawawhat

      Now you've got me thinking, the first I can find was in New York in 1820.

      Setting that aside, this article is about as relevant as Christian artists fighting. Unless we know how one carries themselves in everyday life their faith or opinions on faith mean nothing. For example, I worked in the music business for many years, two metal bands that were around at the same time, King's X and Stryper, both made claims to be devout Christian's and following every word of The Lord. Meanwhile, one of the guys in Stryoer was snorting cocaine on my office desk prior to an in-store appearance and months later the lead singer of King's X picked up a special lady for an afternoon romp on the tour bus. I know because she was one of my store employees; nice girl, no values. Neither of those musicians were true to their roots either, like so many others. It's almost like it's a facade, or gimmick.

      Now if we could just hear what Amy Grant and Katy Perry have to say about each other.

      February 19, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  11. jordan

    Who is this guy 4get them.drake and nicki da best

    February 19, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  12. Mz. G Baby

    What's really going on? The rap game must be dying out if they assume we want to by records and listen to them address religious issues. Drake do you and keep it coming baby! DON'T GO FOR THE BAIT!

    February 19, 2011 at 8:32 am |
  13. MissMaddie

    who cares who is "more of a jew?"... obviously drake's music is not spiritual..... so why is it a big deal that he isn't preaching while he is spitting?

    February 19, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  14. steeve-o

    Matisyahu is not a rapper. Matisyahu is just capitalizing on the whole Zionist thing from Jamaican reggae while sounding something like Sublime. He gets under my skin. If I get the chance to go to one of his shows I'm wearing a shirt that says "GAZA" on it. Just cuz you're Jewish doesn't mean you have to be Flaming Jewish.

    February 19, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  15. Kevin

    Sounds to me like a classic case of media making something out of nothing in order to have a story. Seems like all Matis is saying is that Drake doesn't really work being a Jew into his music as much as he does. Thanks for the breaking news on that CNN. Oh, and just a thought, taking stories from TMZ probably isn't going to do much to earn you a credible journalism award either.

    February 19, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  16. Richard Allen

    New A&E series. Jew Wars.

    February 19, 2011 at 7:28 am |
  17. not-a-yes-mon

    Ferget this shytt and pass me another hot pastrami on rye!!! With plenty of dijon mustard on it!!!

    February 19, 2011 at 7:26 am |
  18. Jerry

    I have proof a higher being exists. Have you seen the bod on Playboy's Miriam Gonzalez.

    February 19, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • noybiz

      That only proved that I have a LOWER being...

      February 19, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  19. rs1201

    Someone should tell Matya... than in Judaism it is a sin to say to a fellow Jew that he's not a Jew. Certainly, from what I read Drake is a Jew by any definition and his mother I'm sure is very proud of him. It's too bad I have two sons, otherwise, I would try and make a match...:)

    February 19, 2011 at 7:20 am |
    • kake79

      If you watch the video on TMZ, you will see that Matisyahu is NOT saying Drake isn't a Jew. He also never disses Drake and there is NO FEUD. This is CNN trying to make something out of nothing.

      February 19, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  20. Mercia

    Ok here,s the long and short of it. WHO CARES! YOU DO WHAT THE – YOU DO! AND DRAKE DOES WHAT THE -HE DOES! MIND YO BIZNEZ!

    February 19, 2011 at 5:26 am |
    • dave

      religion isin't the only thing in life, this guy is a joke not only because no one knows who he is, but Drake is KNOWN for supporting his roots (with regards to his country/home town/supporters) its not his job to spread the word of his religion, maybe thats why no one know this matishaya

      February 19, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Mcaswell82

      @Dave Umm actually before you start generalizing and saying nobody knows who Matisyahu is I'd like to say something. I knew who Matisyahu was before I read this article the man has had videos on MTV that's about as mainstream as you can get!! As a matter of fact I didn't know who Drake was before I read this article so I'd watch the generalizing as you don't really know what you're talking about!!!

      February 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • matt

      @dave - i've been a fan of Matisyahu for years...so that's two of us.

      February 21, 2011 at 5:47 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.