Israeli music never really got me, compared to the many styles of music I heard coming into my infant ears. Growing up in Israel in the 1980’s was a trip and Tel Aviv was not the crazy bohemian wannabe European city it is now. The music scene was always very interesting, but I was always into the American, and British, music which made me quite biased.
The many singers I enjoyed in my youth were the iconoclasts trumpeting the sounds of peace, love, and change in the turmoil of the Lebanon war and other fun things going on in that decade. One group called Ethnix is one I always enjoyed with their mixture of western music with the Middle Eastern flavor with a sprinkle of Jewish guilt. One of the most prominent of these old school Israeli singers was Arik Einstein who passed away very recently. I am not an expert on the man’s career, but I was introduced to his music through one of my favorite MC’s who sampled a song of his. Edan the Humble Magnificent used a sample of a song from his insanely profound and ahead of its time 2nd LP, titled Beauty & the Beat. The last song on that LP is titled “Promised Land” and as you can see by the title he hooked it up with a perfect match with regards to the beat. As the trumpet and clarinet blasts in the background and the guitar strums slow you hear the darkness and beauty of the original song. Edan kills the track by dropping two lines of rap verses and then stops for a moment and then thunders with the return using the same word of the last verse to start the new string of verses.
So what does this all mean? well, it helps me show how both Jews in Hip Hop and Jewish MC’s identify in their own ways. This is far more covert because he doesn’t blatantly sound out his allegiance to the faith. But, by using this song he is bridging this gap from the old school to the new and back again. He makes the connection of the new Jewish and Israeli sounds sampling the old school garage rockish and folkish sounds. It should also be mentioned that Edan is the son of Israelis so its very fitting to have this extremely talented MC be the next generation of Jewish MC’s.
Rest in Peace, or as we say Zichrono L’Bracha.
Here’s the Edan track that samples the Arik Einstein song:
And here’s the original song titled “Dark, Dark” by Aril Einstein: