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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. NICOLE JOHNSON

    I JUST LOST LIKE WHY R U WORRYING ABOUT DRAKE BEEN RELIGIOUS OR NOT .NOT TO BE FUNNY BUT WE AREN'T GOING BE HOLDING HANDS TOGETHER WHEN GO BEFORE GOD , WE LL HAVE TO BE OUESTIONS FOR OUR OWN ACTIONS. ARE U TRYING TO GET SOME EXTRA MONEY FOR WHAT U STATED ABOUT DRAKE ! LEAVE HIM THE F@@k ALONE REAL TALK. BY THE STATMENT U R STATING ISN'T JEWISH LIKE BY THE WAY N THAT'S NOT PART OF UR CULT TO BRING SOMEONE DOWN!

    February 23, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  2. chris

    Can't we all just get along, its just like how a lot of blacks don't like the mixed blacks. Now it your not jew enough. Or is it a way to get more free publicity for the both of them. Think about that....

    February 23, 2011 at 4:27 am |
  3. Name*jonathan

    This is all so dumb, I'm not Jewish for one, but I believe its stupid to call these guys out on it. There are many more Christian wrappers and I don't see how they're not mentioned about how in-Christian they act. Most shouldn't call themselves Christians as much as most Christians can call themselves Christians. Drake is a GREAT rapper (my favorite) and I honestly have a dream to be a rapper only because of him. I'm inspired lol. Mastiyahi is a Jew that dresses the part and combines his it onto his reggae (he is also one of my favorites). I'm 16 and I hope one day I could even amount to anything they've done. So instead of saying how in-Jewish Drake might seem, see how much of a hypocrite you are because in this world...a true Christian is rare.

    February 23, 2011 at 1:44 am |
  4. kenya

    Ok. Dude just hop off of Drake like for real..he doin what he gota do and you doin what u gotta do.. soo just get over it.. y'all rappers wanna beef just to get attention.. just record yo music and get on wit yo life.. pose to be grown actin like a 2 yr old.. come on now..

    February 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  5. ike

    Matis and Drake are the same much Jewish.....HWVR Matis is Religious while Drake isn't......and if he marries Nicki then he has left the fold....note: Matis was unreligious but came back into the Jewish Fold !!!
    American in African-American is refering to the Continent not the Country which means Obama isn't an African-American he is just a mix breed!!!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  6. Name*Deesr

    Stop haten let drake do drake and you do you

    February 22, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  7. Name*Deesr

    Stop haten let drake do drake and you do yo

    February 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  8. jay

    Hes just trying to start things because drake actually makes money. i never even heard of this guy. so what if drake doesnt infuse his religion into rapping. sounds like someone has a stick up where the sun dont shine. and mainstream music? come on people...if someone makes money off of the music they are making then good for them. "mainstream music" was created by jealous nobodies.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  9. Mickster

    So now Jewish people can't be rappers?!

    February 22, 2011 at 6:15 am |
  10. carol

    Canada is part of America as is Ecuador and Colombia etc. There is a thing as south america and north america. So his dad wouldn't be african canadian. That doesn't even make sense.

    February 21, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
    • star

      his dad is from the states. so that might be why he is identified as African American.

      February 22, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  11. Remedy

    Man.... the world dont stay true. Just stay in your lane and don't sorry about the next man. Doesn't make him less of an artist.

    February 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  12. eric

    Dont die

    February 21, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  13. entice

    Matthew Miller. Obviously looking 4 publicity.

    February 21, 2011 at 6:34 am |
  14. tony

    When will we finally do our own research and become knowledgeable about what is a religion and what an ethic group is? Jewish is a religion and not an ethic group. There are Jewish people of several ethic groups as well as for Christians. Saying that his mother is Jewish and his father is African American makes no sense. His father can be both African American and practice Judaism. Saying his mother is Jewish does not tell us her race or ethic background.

    February 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Bliss

      When are you going to do your research...Jewish is a ethnicity/nationality, Judaism is the religion...so hop off your high horse and Google it so you don't sound so ignorant...

      February 22, 2011 at 2:59 am |
  15. Ronnie Green

    Leave Drake alone. If you don't like him than go about your business. He is not here for you. He is here to make his music and to take care of hisself. Drake continue to do your thing and keep making great music for your fans. I love you and your music & don't worry about what anyone else have to say

    February 20, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  16. MichaelEdits

    Oy!

    February 20, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  17. try to tell the truth

    Hold up a minute. Jewish rappers that's a new one. As for the other one claiming to sing reggae. That crap he sings is not reggae nothing he sings rolls around Rastafari. For those that have no idea what reggae is listen to 70's an 80's reggae music. Most of these clowns have no idea what roots are. An what the heck is a african american?

    February 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Name*S

      The beastie boys. Jewish

      February 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  18. jasmine

    drake is a great rapper and he can do what ever he whants to do its his life

    February 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  19. Maty

    I'm not terribly familiar with Drake's music, but I'd rather poke my eyes out with a limp pickle than listen to Matisyahu.

    February 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Los

      I concur, Matisyahu is more excruciating than my last root canal.

      February 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  20. anna

    Olay this is really stupid becuse they both have millions of fans just get over it i honestly love them both... but if there gonna be wussies and fight then i thinkthey lost a fan, i may only be 1 fan but just think im not the only person thats feels this way.

    February 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
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About this blog

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.