When Y-Love (Yitz Jordan) released his first mixtape in 2005, the world took note of the first African-American Orthodox Jewish hip-hop artist. Now, with his hotly anticipated forthcoming record This is Unity, Y-Love is leading a new era of "global hip-hop" -- where global social consciousness combines with pounding rhythms. The club-friendly tracks off the upcoming album, produced by Diwon, the world music mastermind behind Shemspeed Records, are influenced as much by rap vet Chuck D as by new artists like Major Lazer & Nicki Minaj. Y-Love explores a variety of new styles on the album, from dance to hip-hop to pop, channeling each one to express his underlying anti-prejudice message: “Unity builds the world, all divisions destroy the world.” Dubbed by URB Magazine as "the soundtrack to social consciousness," Y-Love keeps his songs ready for the mainstream while still pushing positive and constructive energy in his signature multi-lingual style -- "making hip-hop kosher," as XXL said. With the release of This is Unity, Y-Love is bringing the revolution to a world often content with blind misdirection.
Diwon is an Israeli musical mystic, multi-genre producer who travels the globe performing, producing and researching sounds. His styles range from Yemenite music blended with electro hip hop beats to cinematic psychadelia. Throughout Diwon's albums, remixes, singles, and mixtapes, one can hear the influence of his family that migrated from Yemen to Ethiopia finally settling in Israel. URB MAGAZINE listed Diwon amongst their NEXT 1000, Forward listed him as one of the Top 50 "most influential Jews of 2007;" and The Village Voice stated that his work "as producer and DJ is among the most adventurous and banging on the new Jewish music scene." CBS featured Diwon as part of their Faith, Music and Culture series and he has made appearances on NPR, PBS, and BBC World. Diwon is also the founder and director of The Sephardic Music Festival. His music, style, and presence get famous US clubs to resemble the craziest festivals abroad.
"Diwon is something else …in a profound kind of way. The New Yorker gets crafty when it comes to beats by extracting world music—mainly traditional Yemenite music-- and fusing it with electro hip hop; creating a titillating sound that’s juicy and for the ears."- URB Magazine.
A singer, songwriter and producer, DeScribe’s signature sound is a unique blend of hip-hop, reggae, and R&B. Born in Australia, DeScribe left home for Israel at the age of 14,then joined the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) where he was trained as a sharp shooter. He served 3 years with the IDF, before immersing himself in Israel’s music culture, organizing tours for artists and showcasing international talent in Israel including members of the Wu Tang Clan. With musical influences ranging from Cypress Hill to Drake and from K'naan to Damian Marley DeScribe produces and records his own unique style of Hip Hop, "Music with a Message," operating a studio in New York where he has been featured in the CBS documentary"Faith, Music, & Culture.” His music videos which include Harmony, Change, and Make It have garnered over a half a million views. Most recently, DeScribe collaborated with Rohan Marley after a chance encounter on the streets of New York City and wrote “Livin for the Grind” as the theme song for Marley Coffee.
Brody is a Moroccan singer and MC that grew up in NY listening to American rock and hip hop. As a kid he was a singer in the famous ultra-orthodox Miami Boys Choir which showcases the best voices in the young Jewish world. At 16, Brody moved to Israel, started writing music, teaching himself a variety of instruments, at 21 he moved back to NY and heard "Right Now" by Akon on the radio and having lived by the Hassidic concept of taking the mundane and everyday elements and raising them up to G-d, he sang "Lecha Dodi" to the instrumental track fitting in a perfect pop way much like a DJ blend on a mixtape. Brody's latest release "Ad Matai" is an EP full of life, blending club beats, hypnotic melodies and messages that pierce the soul both in Hebrew and English. This young artists has been captivating audiences around the world with his powerful voice and his ability to create a soulful melody that speaks to the soul while blasting in the clubs.
Eprhyme spits rhymes designed to refine the mind of the listener. Kabbalah, psychology, politics, and party rocking are intertwined with elements of jazz, funk, klezmer, and Middle Eastern music to create a powerful and poetic plea for peace, justice, joy, and unity.
Eprhyme’s debut solo album, WAYWORDWONDERWILL, is a kaleidoscopic counter-cultural exchange program for mystics, punks and b-boys. The album features two 7in. singles released by indie-pop icon K Records as part of its International Pop Underground series. Lyrically, Eprhyme is a well versed tour guide who owes as much to Rebbe Nachman and Robert Anton Wilson as he does to John Coltrane and KRS-ONE.
-"Eprhyme brings a fresh perspective to the urban class clash and...finds universal values that transcend religious labels." SOUNDROOTS
Darshan is the new sound of street smart spirituality. Harmonizing Hebrew chant with hiphop, folk rock with electro-pop, love poetry with kabbalistic psychology, Darshan is a unique and organic weave of world wisdom traditions and modern musical styles. Shir Yaakov is a Master of Melody who has given birth to hauntingly beautiful liturgical chants, used in havurot and synagogues around the world. Eprhyme is a Radical Jewish Rennaissance Rapper. Together, as Darshan, these two combine and connect to create something that is all together new, and at the same time ancient. Deep and probing rhymes blend with evocative and uplifting melodies in "an uncompromising blend of urban forms and neo-Hasidic spirituality." — The Forward. The title of Darshan's first EP — Lishmah — comes from a profound Judaic concept. Commonly understood as meaning "for it's own sake", the term lishmah is usually applied to the proper state of mind for Torah study. Not for fame, money, or power — but merely for the simple joy of doing. It is in this spirit that Darshan's first album was created Lishmah, purely for the simple of joy and fulfillment of Being what we are Doing.
Electro Morocco, a New York-based band of Israeli expatriates, including Assaf Spector and Roy Gurel, together with Yula Beeri, Ilil Paz-el and Brian Wolf mix everything from retro-rock and Middle Eastern folk, to warped electro, in a fierce, high energy performance. Their music draws from different parts of the world, but share an aesthetic, both technical and emotional, with artists such as M.I.A. Both include Eastern belly-shaking samples—Indian in M.I.A.’s work, and Middle Eastern in Electro Morocco’s. But Electro Morocco seamlessly have established their own fresh sound, layered with organic guitars and synthetic beats, that is clearly their own. The off-beat rhythm, the interplay of tweaked, Oriental-sounding guitars, and the frenzied climaxes call to mind bellydancing music and hard rock. Their performances combine live music with synced video clips that creates an unforgettable visual and musical experience. "Ever since electronic music took over, poor old guitars have been short of work. Electro Morocco is dusting off those axes and yanking them out of the unemployment line and giving them enough amplitude to compete with their buzzing synths. … So it looks like you'll just have to peep these kids on a dance floor near you." -URB Magazine
At 20 years old, Dov started a Jewish Rock band called Blue Fringe with his best friends in college and though they started by accident, the band ended up putting out 3 albums to date, selling over 30,000 copies worldwide. Blue Fringe has been flown all over the world to play concerts for schools, summer camps, colleges, and organizations in Israel, Australia, South Africa, and the UK. Dov's other band, Fools For April, has had music placed on MTV's "The Real World:Sydney" and as a full-time songwriter, Dov collaborates with NYC's best professional songwriters. He is also in the midst of recording his first solo Hebrew album.
Jewish Israeli recording artist and producer, SHI 360 relentlessly continues to create timeless, genre- defining music shedding light on relevant social and political topics. Setting the stage early-on in North America before his return back to Israel, SHI 360 became one of Israel’s first Israeli emcee’s.
After overcoming four intense heart operations and struggling to make a life during his return to his homeland, SHI 360 went on to sell platinum records in his collaboration with rapper Subliminal and TACT, and his music has gone international- significantly influencing the modern Israeli hip hop scene.
SHI 360 hit singles include “Home” “Kabel,” “Break the Silence,” “United” and “Tribal Dance.” His collaboration with the TACT All-Stars album was a ground-breaking, commercial triumph that captivated Israel’s music world, selling gold in its first day of release something unheard of in Israel history. Hit singles featured on this album include “Peace in the Middle East” and “Rak Benadan.”
SHI 360’s passion for the Middle East and world Jewry is resolute in his lyrics that project his multi-lingual culture of English, French and Hebrew.
While the worldwide ignorance of ongoing conflicts in the Middle Eastern grows, SHI 360 confronts these topics and cultivates a positive message- drawing appeal and global respect from diverse hip hop fans. His message is one of “unity” and conscious global hip hop.
Along with his music, SHI 360 advocates giving back to the community and is a mentor for children who come from disadvantaged and broken homes. He also prides himself on his culinary skills, enjoys reading and playing street ball.
An exciting new voice emerging from the NYC world music scene, Smadar is an Israeli-Moroccan singer whose craft is best described as pan-Mediterranean music peppered with a gypsy sound. Smadar sings original and creative renditions of traditional tunes in Hebrew, Arabic, and Ladino. The Epoch Times International recently dubbed Smadar"a euphonious and haunting voice" for peace and unity, while the internationally-renowned nonprofit organization Seeds of Peace honored her with an award for "uniting cultures to achieve peace through music." Smadar's current project consists of an all-star international band
whose aesthetically arresting sound reflects the rich cultural mosaic of the Mediterranean world.
"Moshiach Oi! is the driving beat to the new manifestation of Jewish music today." - Isaac Gealer
Moshiach Oi! is a New York Hardcore band with a full-throated passion for both Torah and Punk Rock. Educated in Jewish day schools, band founder Yishai Romanoff as a teenager gravitated to the Punk Rock scene, where he found an outlet for his manic energy and passionate beliefs. In 2008, after rediscovering his Jewish roots, Yishai began writing hardcore-punk songs with subject matter like learning Torah, bringing Moshiach and praising Hashem. Originally, Yishai was the only member of Moshiach Oi!
"The name of the group can be traced to the roots of punk, which began in the late ’70s when bands like the Sex Pistols and the Ramones began playing loud and fast lo-fi garage rock. Soon, a new genre of punk called Oi! emerged to represent the British working class. Thirty years later, lead singer Yishai Romanoff, who was originally the only member of Moshiach, used Oi! as a double entendre (Oy, from the Yiddish phrase Oy Vey, is described by the band as the eternal sound of the Jewish working class) " - The Forward
Levi Mordechai came together as Dugans, the innovative and multifaceted guitarist/composer from Austin, Texas met Mordechai Friedman, his neighbor from down the street in Crown Heights. Friedman, South African classic rock performer and songwriter, who worked the Israeli club and disco circuit in the 70's, had never actually recorded an album in his life, and decided that at 55, it was finally time. Along came Diwon, the brainchild behind the birth of Jewish hip hop, who also happened to live down the street. He got wind of the tracks, that at the time were just guitar and vocals. Diwon, always sensitive to, and looking out for new waves, heard something unique and beautiful in the demos and immediately wanted to take them on as a project and take the sound to the next level. After he laid down synths and drums, the project started to sound exactly how Dugans had pictured it from the start. Levi Mordechai bridges poetry, World music, electronics, and rock in a way that has not been heard before.
Yuri Lane is a Beatbox actor with 2 smash hit solo beatbox plays, "From Tel Aviv to Ramallah", and "Soundtrack City''. Mr Lane has been acting professionally for 20 years. He has appeared in numerous commercials, TV shows and film. Yuri is excited to release his full length beatbox album this summer, filled with his world famous beatbox/harmonica tracks. He continues to tour the Country bringing Beatbox theatre to the masses!
Appearing live with everyone from Nas and Lady Sovereign to Asher Roth and The Handsome Furs, hard work has earned him a rite of passage like no other, being the only Israeli New Jerseyan artist who began battling with the likes of Immortal Technique to performing at BET's 106th and Park and the 2009 Sundance Film Festival .In the last few months, Dillz has been in the press for a triumphant summer victory at the Hot 97 Summer Jam Battle at Giants Stadium that won him a illustrious promotional deal with legendary NYC mainstay, Duck Down Records. Since that time ,he was handpicked off his solo tour by Rza of the Wu Tang Clan to join him on the world reknown Rock The Bells west coast dates, and wil be accompanying rising Billboard artist Matisyahu on the European "Light" Tour this October.
"Kosha Dillz is not only a clever play on words, but also presents a rarely seen culture clash in music. He voices his political opinions on foreign affairs and oppression with fresh rhymes. This makes him a universal voice..." URB MAGAZINE
The music draws from pop, rock, funk, jazz, blues, and everything in between. The messages are spiritual and contemporary with Jewish themes. This is not your traditional Jewish music. The songs are usually a mix of English and Hebrew; and this mix allows us to put our original spin on some very classic concepts. Blue Fringe has been around since Fall of 2001, playing venues all over the U.S. and the world, including South Africa, Australia, England, and Israel. Our first independant release, My Awakening (2002), sold close to 15,000 albums. Our second effort, 70 Faces, was just released in the Summer of 2005. We're just trying to make music about things that matter to us in the musical styles that matter to us. It's that simple. Hope you dig...
In between maintaining full time jobs, performances, and working on another album, dJOoKRoO has put together a new project: their first mixtape “Taim LaOzen” (Tasty to the ear). The mixtape consists of original songs and remixes that have been recorded over the years, combined with humorous skits in between songs to keep listeners entertained. The group aims to create a fun listening vibe for the listeners by remaking some of their favorite songs, along with classic songs by many different artists (such as Zohar Argov, 2pac, Dr Dre, Kanye West, and Sexta). The mixtape reflects on some of dJOoKRoO’s musical influences, and is spiced with special guest appearances.
Chana Rothman is a songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, and freestyler. From Himalayan rooftop shacks to subway hip hop sessions, her songs are Hebrew-inflected takes on Jewish teachings. Chana has shared a stage with Lou Reed and DJ Shadow and plays with her band at The Knitting Factory, Makor, and Mercury Lounge. Stay tuned for her debut album, set to hit the streets in September.
Rinat Gutman is an Orthodox Jew with an eclectic musical style that fuses hip hop, reggae and modern Israeli dance music. No other performer today can better answer the question of what it means to be Israeli, female, and religious in today's world-- on a microphone with messages of unity and peace. When her cousin was killed in a terrorist incident, she started writing songs with the hopes of inspiring love and tolerance in the world. Currently living in Jerusalem, she has been refining her skills as a lyricist for the last 8 years, both internationally as well as at innumerable gigs across Israel. As she brings her voice and story to the global stage, Rinat draws thematic inspiration from a wide variety of sources, ranging from the struggles of preserving Jewish identity within Western culture to the timeless wisdom of classic Chassidic tales. Stylistically, Rinat is inspired by artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin, Lauren Hill, Ycleffe Jean and Bob Marley and rappers like Snoop Dog, Public Enemy and DMX. Now a rising indie star in Israel, she has in the past joined forces on the stage and in the studio with renown artists such as Shlomi Shabbat, Y-Love, Roi Levi (of Shotei HaNevuah acclaim), Roots Maneuver, Sagol 59 and more.
Blending a psychedelic sensibility and a pan-Mediterranean sensuality, Basya Schechter leads her band, Pharaoh's Daughter, through swirling Hasidic chants, Mizrachi and Sephardi folk-rock, and spiritual stylings filtered through percussion, flute, strings and electronica.Her sound has been cultivated by her Hasidic music background and a series of trips to the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan and Greece.
VoKCaL are strength through song, light through music and change through action. A soul rapper and soul singer whose sole purpose is to share light with the world by arousing awareness of the situation in Israel. Our nation is in a critical state of violence and corruption. VoKCaL believes that if each of us combine our voice with our knowledge, as one, we will make a profound difference. If we want change, we cannot expect it to come from anywhere but within.
Riddim'tion continues where "Shake Off The Dust...Arise" left off. Groundbreaking veteran producer, Alon Cohen returns to his career defining sound: a unique and soulful blend of classic reggae and esoteric jewish melodies. Alon digs deep into the treasure chest of Hasidic music, turning mystical murmurs into captivating riddims. The album features several special vocal performances including a stand-out performance by talented newcomers aaron & moshe sobol of Shem’s Disciples. fans of the real roots sound will cherish this record for its reggae authenticity, and those familiar with the inspiring jewish sources will find it irresistible.
| SHEM'S DISCIPLES | roots reggae
Shem's Disciples is the brainchild of percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger Marlon Sobol. Accompanied by his brother, Aaron, who is a clarinetist and hip-hop lyricist, the Sobol brothers have assembled a sizzling band and created a fusion of sound and culture that is something very special. They comfortably blend Jewish spiritualism with roots reggae, flavored with raw live hip-hop. The music is layered with vocal harmonies; slamming instrumental sections and tight rhyming that make for an electrifying live experience. Come and check it.
Chavlaz is a celebration of Israel and all the amazing culture that has come from the land, particularly in the past 60 years. Diwon, who has been dubbed "the ambassador of Israeli hip hop to the US," spins Israeli, Sephardic, Balkan, Mizrachi and revolutionary Jewish hip hop music, transforming any US setting resemble the most lively festivals abroad.
* BALAGAN BOOGALOO
The Bhangra, Baile Funk, New Mediterranio & Afro Beat Party VJs + DJs in their pjs, Belly Dancers, Live Drummers A party unlike any other in the city. Village Voice dubbed the Balagan party, “Stereotype-defying music.” and the NY Time Out made it their critic's pick. Come see what all the fuss is about.
"It was a great show. Y-Love rocked the house and our students loved him." - David Hollander, Columbia