How the Jews Re-did Christmas…..Happy X-Mas to the goyim!!!

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Growing up in Israel made Christmas time very different compared with living in the good ol’ U.S. of A. In Israel the imagery is more focused on the J – man. The mayhem is amazing as the many various Christian sects go through the Christian quarter in the Old City in Jerusalem. They all converge onto the sacred church of the Holy Sepulcher as they anoint a statue or life like Jesus figure. However, I remember seeing the melee as the various sects fought each other for the correct time slot. But, let us veer from the Holy Land and back to the good old land of freedom, cheeseburgers and semi-automatic weapons.

In the United States there has been a sounding board for people who feel as if the holiday is being pushed by the wayside. This so-called “war” on Christmas has been used by the pundits to keep the masses conditioned into believing a false premise. The premise that in the past all was great fun and Christian is not the entire reality. Since the turn of the 20th century Jews have been an integral part of the recording and publishing industry. Broadsheets of various famous musical tunes, some being performed through the racist guise of blackface, were churned out mostly by Jews. Some of the most popular tunes by the 1920’s were Christmas jingles and songs. Most of these songs, or at least the ones we all know as we hear them in every department store, were written by Jews. Tablet news released a list of the top ten Christmas songs written by Jews. It is very telling and very surprising to see the list and how many of these popular tunes were written by Jews.

Many iconic songs like “Silver Bells,” “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and of course the most vaunted being “White Christmas” were all written by Jews. So why would they do that? Interestingly enough after reading many accounts by these artists Irving Berlin made the most compelling case. His Jewish family grew up in Eastern Europe so they dealt with Christianity in a defensive way. In the United States Jews didn’t have to defend themselves from pogroms or turmoil the way they dealt with in the old country. In order to feel more at home in the United States Berlin felt compelled to write more sanitized Christmas songs. The overtly Christian imagery was pushed into the periphery and other images such as snow were brought into the forefront. This sanitizing, or as I would put it “blanching,” was the beginning of this so-called “war” on Christmas. Because Jews were such an important, and numerous, asset to popular culture these songs became popular in the public’s psyche. Just like other music styles, like the black music they would sample and re-tweak in parts, Jews did the same in the realm of popular holiday songs. By blanching the music they made Christmas far more accessible to non-Christians who felt left out. By Americanizing Christmas Berlin and his co-songwriters and performers became acceptable on their own terms. They would come to define the Christmas sound and in the present that’s taken for granted. In many cultural, especially in the realm of music and art, I remain fascinated at how Jews adapted. They adapted in such a way that they literally became American in their own right.

Fast forward to today and Jews remain the bane of Christmas in many ways. One example one of the best Christmas movies ever made, Bad Santa. The film, released ten years ago, follows the life of a down and out miserable, potty mouthed drunk who plays Santa at the local malls each year only to rob them with his elf friend and the elf’s insane Asian lady. What made me love the film is the main character’s nihilism towards everything and everybody. Played masterfully by Billy Bob Thornton, the drunk santa figure is the Jewish filmmakers and writers way of pissing on all that is sacred. This imagined sacredness, which in a way was created by Jews, is what is being critiqued so well. The Coen brothers and Terry Zwigoff did a great job in casting this dark humor set during the most wonderful time of the year. This is all connected to the past as with Berlin he twisted the concept of Christmas by switching the imagery of Christmas. Little baby Jesus, the Magi, and Mary and Joseph were pushed into the background by Santa, Rudolph and frosty the snowman. The Bad Santa film is in the same tradition of Jews in popular culture re-tweaking a Christian or foreign concept. Jews keep doing this and as I keep writing on Hip Hop and other music and Jewish matters I want to make this point. It goes like the old saying, if you can’t beat em’ join em.” Although in this case it’s more like “if you can’t beat them, beta them at their own game.”

I hope you all enjoy the holiday, sorry i’m not big on the merry part, and keep reading.

Here’s the top ten Christmas songs written by Jews:

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/music/22910/have-yourself-a-jewish-little-christmas?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=720920f0df-Wednesday_December_25_201312_25_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-720920f0df-207094965

And here is the great article in full about the Bad Santa and the Jewish plot to take over Christmas:

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/156296/bad-santa?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=d4f5192ed8-12_17_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-d4f5192ed8-207094965

Paullelujah!!!

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Jewish MC’s have their ups and downs and there are many who tread the line between good and kitschy. Still, there are a few who keep the kitsch alive making my ears bleed with displeasure. As a Jew I both love and hate these MC’s, because we all have our inner conflicts with our Jewish identity. I saw many shows in my day and one of the most memorable was seeing Prince Paul and Kool Keith. Prince Paul DJ’d some great songs keeping the vibe just right as the weed smoke filled the air. Kool Keith killed it, bringing along some friends from his Analog Brothers album, and throwing his nonsensical and borderline insane rhyme style. One of the best parts of the night was when Kool Keith hurled baggies into the crowd filled with mouth watering fried chicken, some hawaiian punch and a wet nap to wash the grease off as he screams “Sex Style…….and dogs drink my piss.” Of course I love these guys, but I want to speak on the opening act of the shows, the first at Toad’s Place in New Haven and the second at SUNY Purchase College in Westchester, NY.

I really didn’t think much of him as he was performing this stream of words that usually didn’t rhyme nor make sense. This bespectacled Jewish fella rocking his lanky look a la DJ Stretch Armstrong, rocked his Jew fro with pride. MC Paul Barman had his kitsch as he doodled on a piece of paper trying  to connect this freestyle rhyme form. I wasn’t that impressed, but I thought he had an interesting delivery. He veered away from the norm in his rapping style, painting vivid pictures. Being Jewish, I feel he pushed the ideas of the spoken word art along with the humor and wit of the best MC’s in the game.

All this changed when I first heard his first proper release in 2002. After hearing his deliveries in the clubs and venues I heard the truth backed by some incredible beats. MC Paul Barman ain’t no joke and the album is a testament to that. The album starts with the ringing joy of Hallelujah (a nice Jewish rejoicing during the rapturous prayers) segueing into the first song using the same sample of the loud choir chanting the perpetual Hallelujah!!! He then struts out with the strong impact on the following track, “Cock Mobster.” He flaunts his sexual prowess by naming off some interesting ladies and the many fantasies that could be. However, it’s a mish mosh mixing in lines about….”wanting to disrobe Lisa Loeb” and then changes the spectrum by adding a line about the famous female Jewish writer Cynthia Ozick stating….””Cynthia Ozick takes her cloths off quick.” Far out to add the lust of a nice Jewish singer songwriter with an abstract story teller. But that’s his talents, and a fresh look at how Jewish MC’s have been rewriting the rules for themselves and unabashedly productive and Jewish in their rhymes.

Wether it’s an introspective track with a slow melodic beat such as “Old Paul,” or the amazing howls on “Excuse You” he still keeps the complex words churning out. He also has a sense of humor such as his love odes to various women on “Cock Mobster” or commenting on the absurdities of the protest movements on the track “N.O.W.” It should also be noted that he has songs chock full of these quips and jokes, just check out the great rack “Burping & Farting.” No matter the case the album is a testament to his skills and how different he is when compared to the average MC, Jewish or non. It also doesn’t hurt having the seasoned veteran beatsmith Prince Paul produce a track. He also got help from the ubber underground-indie sweetheart MF Doom, who produced the tracks “Anarchist Bookstore,” parts 1 and 2, respectively. This is an interesting critique of the local College bookstores and their ends thanks to the machines of Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

He makes some interesting points of comparison as well with regards to Jewish Americans and African Americans. This is all communicated loudly on his song “Bleeding Brain Grow.” In it he draws out the comparisons such as that both black women and Jewesses wear wigs, while shouting out the Jewish fantasy of landing a fine gorgeous black woman, as he says “I want a sista not a shiksa.” He would rather get down with a black woman as opposed to the typical plain WASP-y non-Jewish white woman. Interesting how he invokes the want for the exotic that many Jews presented in the past spanning from Woody Allen to the Zucker Brothers.

This is only his first album, and he is still making music while trying to turn heads and ears. I just wanted to show how Jewish MC’s come in many shapes and sizes with regards to their presentation in Hip Hop culture. MC Paul Barman at times was seen as a gimmick, yet I think he deserves a lot more credit. He can contribute to the Jewish tome of works while doing what Jews do best, tearing it all down. He can rap all the comedic yarns and cosmic slippery slop, yet he still keeps close to his identity. There is a perfect example of this in his track “Old Paul” as he rants in the chorus that “Old Paul gave rap a cold call, The Caucasoid had the whole block annoyed, It took big, gilded gold balls to smile at terror, And trial and error.” the chorus shows his chutzpa as he brashly shouts out that he’s fucking shit up by trying to change the game in a new way. Yet by the end of the track he also paints a vivid Jewish portrait of the endgame by settling down. He ends the great track by saying that “I dropped out of this foolish world, and married a Jewish girl, and we had five kids, and we all loved each other, The End.”

Here he is with the wonder producer Prince Paul:

Here’s a link to the song “Old Paul” from his LP Paullelujah:

And here is a live version of his song “Bleeding Brain Grow” from the same album:

I’d rather be mouth fucked by Nazis unconscious

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Those are some bold, brash and angry words being spouted by Avant-garde and MC extraordinaire, El-P. He was shouting that he would “rather be mouth fucked by Nazis unconscious” as opposed to be singed to the indie Hip Hop label Rawkus records. By the time he rhymed this screed he put it on his first album of epic proportions titled Fantastic Damage. The title is apt as this is El-P’s modus operandi ever since he started in the 1990’s. To me it was the year 1997 that mainstream rap music became a cottage industry onto itself. In 1997 Biggie was killed, Tupac was shot a few months earlier, and Puff and his crew brought up rap music to the top of the international charts. Hip Hop grew exponentially in 1997, with the many releases reaching peaks that were unheard of in the earlier part of the decade. In the early part of the decade groups like N.W.A., Public Enemy, and the many other talented hip hop artists reached record level sales. However, by the release of Tupac’s last album, before his untimely death, and the release of Life After Death record sales for these albums, and other Hip Hop works reached an immense proportion. Of course like the rock and roll scene of the 1970’s Hip Hop became bloated with the excessive abundance. This meant that the formula was forged, which remains to this day. This means that in order to get a record deal you had to follow this formula which is demeaning, exploitative and racist. Rappers  mainly speak of their riches, and both sexual and violent conquests. This cocktail of nihilism and ultra capitalism has lead Hip Hop to where it is today. However, in 1997 Hip Hop also expanded in many directions as a reaction to this growing excess.

1997 marked the expansion of the many Hip Hop groups and methods of their deliveries and styles. One of the most dynamic of these groups was El-P’s Company Flow. I was among the throng of disenchanted fans and I too thought that Hip Hop was becoming soulless, and full of pretenders who are giving authentic Hip Hop a bad rap. When I first heard Company Flow’s early singles I was hooked on how different everything was. The group consisted of El-P (An Irish Jew), Bigg Jus (of Philippine background), and DJ Mr. Len (who is African American). What got me was the beats that harked back to the hard hitting breaks of the early Run-DMC hits. But, the production, mainly done by El-P, was bizarre with many soundscapes of downbeats cut sharp by their unique rhyme styles. They didn’t rap on any scheme of bars, but with their insane bludgeoning beats they made it work. Instead of rhyming about stacks of money, women at their feet and their violent conquests they took a different approach. Each had their delivery spliced with images from Italian horror movies, space travel, and the oppressive corporate state. El-P also used these ghastly images as a social critique with a dash of wit. They also used far out samples such as from the cult classic film The Holy Mountain on the song “Population Control.” They signed to “the” indie underground Hip Hop label at the time with its signature razor and hanging man on the vinyl. Rawkus records supported the indie Hip hop acts, but as we see the label also took many liberties when it came to fair pay. Co-Flow disbanded and eventually left the label, but El still had his parting shot on his amazingly hard hitting and fast paced single “Deep Space 9mm.” His first two albums are amazing in how different they are from anything most human ears have heard in the past. El-P’s production style is so unsettling, as he porfessed recently that he wants you to feel uncomfortable when listening to his music. His second album, I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, is more off the wall, more bizarre, more dysfunctional, and more excessive with the wrist cutting sounds and stagnant feelings heaped on the listener. His last album, arguably his best, and one of the best releases of 2012, is another testament to his rising pitch perfection. Titled Cancer for Cure he delves into the strange with the familiar sound of that El-P hit. He also produced Killer Mike’s entire last album, which is also considered one of the best albums of 2012 as well.

What could be more swell and dandy than for them to team up and make one of the best records of this past year. I also saw them live so I can testify to their perfect performance skills and energy packed charisma they beam into their audiences. Their album, titled Run the Jewels, is short, sweet and directly to the point. From the lyrics you hear the rush coming through your pores as your inner coil can feel the energy of this album. All other rappers and their emotional bag of gimmicks are being pushed aside. All the idols are being smashed and your preconceived notions are being tossed on their heads. El-P has risen to the top and is being regarded more as a respected artist in the mainstream. Killer Mike announces El-P’s dominance when he raps on the song “Banana Clipper” that the “producer gave me a beat, said it’s the beat of the year, I said El-P didn’t do it, so get the fuck outta here.”

El-P always stays true and I’m not surprised that a Jew can change the landscape of Hip Hop the way he has. He remains defiant to the end on his never ending quest for honesty and authenticity. Although it is hard to find his roots, unlike other more Jewish rappers he still drops those subtle hints. As I wrote on the header saying that as opposed to being signed to Rawkus was a big thing. Jews and Nazis have their past so to conjure it up in this way is very caustic, and it invokes to true wrath and betrayal El-P felt at the time. There are other hints like when he shouts out “Oy Vey” on the song “The Full Retard” and other subtle lines coming from within. He deserves a lot of credit as he remains true and trudges along the hoopity blah of the mainstream Hip Hop world. It can all be summed up nicely with an except from Patrick Neate’s book, Where You’re At: Notes from the Frontline of a Hip-Hop Planet. In his book Neate looks at the various Hip Hop movements in many locations across the globe. First is the heart of the scene, or at least he thinks, which is New York City. Arriving in the city he is surprised at how small the output of rap music actually comes from New York City circa 2003. He visits the indie label Def Jux where he interviews the owner of the label. When he asks where Hip hop is in the city a dormant El-P shouts from the other end of the room that the real Hip Hop is only over here. For all the praise and blah of NYC rappers, he remains the cream of the crop. So go listen to his album and fuck Rolling Stone Magazine for not putting in their top 50 albums of the past year, bitches!!!

Here is a great Co-Flow video to their single “End to End Burners.”

A Video for his song “Deep Space 9mm” from his Album Fantastic Damage:

A video for his song “the Full Retard” from his latest album Cancer for Cure:

And, last but not least, a video for the song “36” Chain” from the magnum opus of the year!!!! Run the Jewels:

I See the Blood on the Leaves

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I don’t want to sound redundant, but let’s keep talking Kanyeezee, and what we saw fall upon us………YEEZUS!!! As I wrote in my last post I wanted to show my support for Kanye’s brashness in the face of conventional wisdom, or lack there of. This time around I want to show you all how the Jewish and African American connection remains strong, consciously, unconsciously or subconsciously. This is where we’ll veer to his album and the song titled “Blood on the Leaves.”

I came across an article on tablet about the many meanings of the song and its various incarnations. In this case we’re talking about the sample used on Kanye’s song, which is a version of the song “Strange Fruit” sung beautifully by Nina Simone. The most popular version we see through the old stock footage is of Billie Holiday. In the version most of us saw, the performing room area is ominously dark. The only brightness is shining on her weathered face as she projects the misery of the song. The pain and anguish is being sung, yet there are arguments maintaining that she didn’t fully understand the content. This doesn’t matter as much because her performance is powerful. We shouldn’t forget that in the era when she sang it, circa 1939, these types of songs were hard to perform in public in front of white audiences.

The song itself was written as a poem by a Jewish schoolteacher who taught in the Bronx. Abel Meeropol’s background and socialist leanings gave him the idea to write this poem. The poem speaks of the blood trickling down the leaves due to the horrid lynchings happening across the country. Lynchings were commonplace by the turn of the century lasting until the later part of the decade of the 1940’s. Lynchings occurred all over the country, although most took place in the American south. However, they also lynched African Americans in many midwestern cities and towns. These horrible spectacles spanned from Illinois to Indiana. There were also the many race riots, which took place in northern urban areas. Also, lynchings were a public event in most of these places where they even produced postcards. These postcards depicted the smiling white faces with the horrid backdrop of hanging black men, and women in certain cases, hanging lifeless and torn in the background. The hanging was the least of the pain as the lynch mob would usually torture and castrate the supposed guilty parties. Most black men were lynched because the locals felt that they dishonored or disrespected a white woman. Note how this is all cyclical as I mentioned in the last post. That is why to this day it’s hard for certain white folk to see a black man and a white woman together. Their DNA is screaming bloody murder, but now they can go vent on fox news with the rest of the morons. And now back to the scheduled program.

Abel Meeropol’s socialist leanings brought about the idea to produce this scathing social commentary. The earliest recordings were made by his wife, yet it reached Billie Holiday and would become immortalized. Nina Simone’s delivery is different, as her voice and cadence is a bit more caustic, while beautiful in a very different way. This is all the background for the song that will become “Blood on the Leaves” by Kanye West. Nina Simone performed the song a few decades after Billie Holiday, but the pain and suffering remained as seen through the Civil Rights and Black Power struggle. He uses the updated version to show that the entire timeline of African Americans is mired in Blood on the leaves. Whether it was an African slave being whipped and tortured, to a sharecropper being beaten by the local white thugs, to the lynchings and violence perpetrated by whites – men, women, and children. If you watch some of the documentaries on the role of integration you see that these African American students were taunted by women and children just as much as men. It is like the monstrous quality which brings a civilization to its decline, like Sodom and Gomorrah.

Kanye’s track begins with Nina’s piano playing and voice as the beat freezes her at the word “breeze.” Then Kanye yelps that he needs to clear his mind, as the track proceeds the heavy tracks of anger and anguish with a rise and fall from the mountain top. The earlier part of the album is loud and energy driven with its many twists and turns of filler and political screeds. It should be noted that in his earlier song “New Slaves” he yells out that he sees the Blood on the Leaves. He is preparing us for the later song, which will address the issue further. Although the song depicts a sexual conquest it’s interesting how he mentions sex as Nina sings of the bodies hanging from the trees. Maybe they are both speaking of the politicization and abuse of the African American body. There is a direct connection from the objectification of black bodies first through slavery and then through lynchings. White men who are low on the class totem pole are still able to unify with other whites and assert their power over black bodies. This connection continued as Civil Rights advocates and the many black boys and girls being beaten down, fired upon with powerful water hoses, fighting the terrible dogs remained objectified by whites.

The thing that pissed the good ol’ white boys during the Black Power movement was due to regaining and retaining the definitions of a black body. The pathology continued and remains to this day thanks to Hip Hop culture. This idea of perpetuating the myth of the menace of the black man and the degradation of black women continues to this very day. Kanye is speaking of these ills, and even though he’s a bit bigheaded to say the least he still proves a point. By using the sample he’s folding time over itself and showing his fans, and the critics and scholars alike, that the blood is still flowing down the trees. This sample based on Abel Meeropol’s poem connects this suffering and search for social justice which Jewish Americans and African Americans fought. With the rise of socialism, the idea of a class struggle and redistribution of wealth for all to partake was practiced by both groups. They both saw the dirt, grime, and blood wiped across their faces as the onlookers snapped photos and laughed. Lynchings and pogroms are natural to human nature, and remain in their perverted evolution today. We all have to take action in order to cleanse the blood, and continue to make powerful music. We need to open our minds, heads, eyes, and ears or we’ll lose all sense of history and be doomed to repeat it. Let’s remove the shackles of blindness and break the bonds of this new slavery.

Abel Meeropol

Billie Holiday’s version of “Strange Fruit”

Nina Simone’s version of “Strange Fruit:

And, Kanye West’s “Blood on the Leaves”

Bound to be a New Slave

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We’ve reached the cold and early darkness which is the month of December. At this point all news and media outlets across the globe are making their top lists of the past year. The top news stories, the tops music, top movies, top mother’s recipes, top blowouts, top meltdowns, top deaths, and many more tops for you to remember this time next year.

One of my favorites is the top music released, spanning all the genres and beyond, this past year. In the realm of Hip Hop I feel that the best was the Run the Jewels LP. The collaboration between Brooklyn indie avant-garde MC and producer El-P and the hard hitting AT-alien Killer Mike. However, certain lists I’ve seen have placed Kanye West at the tippy top with his post-Hip Hop minimalist tirade. Yeezus is topping the list, and to a certain extent I agree. Like the great album by El-P and Killer Mike, Yeezus is clear and straight to the point. He takes many swipes and jabs at the American dream while relishing in the fact that he made it and you didn’t. The beats are biting with heft, yet the stripped down production makes these beats even more menacing to the ear. In songs like “New Slaves” and “Black Skinheads” his seething comments on race are poignant and strongly articulated. It is true, as we’ve seen in the most recent cases of young African Americans being stopped at big name departments stores like Macy’s and Barney’s. It is very true that as an unknown black man you’ll be followed and scoped out at any upper tear store, not to mention the same treatment of Latino youth as well. However, if you’re a well known celebrity the clerks up to the top manager will be kissing your ass all through the store. This inconsistent, irrational and ridiculousness is as home grown as American pie. This is a reason why the media often times portray Kanyeeze as arrogant. Because he is an outspoken successful African American male he is targeted, like past rebel rousers from Jack Johnson to Muhammed Ali. Why aren’t the many white celebrities knocked for their arrogance? Because history didn’t shape it around them and their cultural perceptions the way they were shaped around African American men and women. Africans, and later African Americans were usually portrayed in the many cultural mediums as a menace and sexual threat. This remains the case as the population is fed that this specific race is more prone to vices such as drug addiction, sexual lasciviousness, and idleness amidst poverty stricken situations.

As much as Kanye can have those annoyances, and rubbing it in the world’s face it’s still his right. What is more interesting is that he, out of all the mainstream African American rappers, has shook the rafters with many statements that at first seem loaded and bizarre. However, like all kernels there is truth to what he says. When he pronounced loud and clear on national television that President George W. Bush “hates black people” he sent shockwaves. President Bush isn’t racist. However, his Republican party, and other conservatives not affiliated with the party, have displayed some racist shit. The fact that tea baggers carried signs depicting President Obama as an African caricature   and they were mum is a sign that racism still lives, and is allowed. Kanye also recently released a music video for the magnum closer to his album “Bound 2” in which his main squeeze is top less. I bet most critics are pissed at his supposed flaunting, because deep down inside they’re still pissed at seeing a popular black dude with a white girl. As he rapped on the song “New Slaves” he bellows out that “They see a black man with a white woman, at the top floor they gone come to kill King Kong.” The contradictions know no bounds in this country, and all across the universe for that matter. It should be noted that there have been other MC’s who have spoken on these truths like Mos Def, Immortal Technique, Dead Prez, and Mr. Lif to name a few. However, they haven’t reached critical mass therefore not as much exposure as Kanye.

This unspoken issue of racism needs to be opened and as candid as possible. Kanye might be full of himself, but he’s also full of ideas that with the right dialogue could yield concrete results. If we continue in this culture of silence amidst these injustices we’ll keep seeing things get worse. Prisons will keep growing while enslaving their prisoners, conditions to help inner city poverty stricken communities will drop, and these new shootings for defense are literally becoming the new form of lynchings. Although instead of the blatant hanging on the blood soaked trees, there will be shootings and blood soaked lawns. I don’t care of the technicalities because if a person shoots another, they should be held accountable. Even in the Torah if a person innocently kills another human being, and that has a huge Talmudic debate I won’t try to explain here, they have to flee or be held accountable. We are all accountable for our actions and if you shoot and kill, you should be held or at least pay for the loss of life. In the Torah it reads “an eye for an eye,” but most of us look at it all wrong. It is not literal, as most Christians and zealots understand it. What it really means is if you are responsible for someone losing an eye you have to compensate them monetarily. Money or none, there should be some soul searching because without that we are lost and soulless. Thank you Kanye for that.

Here’s Kanye’s “Black Skinhead” video:

Here’s Kanye’s video for “Bound 2” with his lady Kim Kardashian

The Sabbath is upon us!!!!

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The birds are hiding from the cool breeze and the rain falling outside. But don’t tell the Jews of Brooklyn in the neighborhoods of Borough Park, Williamsburg, the Flatbush collective, as well as all the other Orthodox, and not so orthodox, all across the globe. It’s amazing how the feeling of urgency spreads through your inner core hours before the sunset on Friday night. My favorite is that mystical moment between the end of the sun and beginning of the moon. Twilight, like the zone, unearths all the freaky and unexplainable phenomena breeding uncertainty. However, this time is also the golden gate ready to bring your Shabbat soul down to the core.

I know this is more culture and Jewish Hip Hop, but this is what got me when I first joined the cult and drank the kool aid, which is really Kedem wine. For those of you who are not well versed in the weekly readings, every Shabbat we read a Parsha from the Torah, or the Five Books of Moses. We are about to finish the cycle of the first book, Genesis, which is cosmic and heady all unto itself. The Patriarchs came trudging through connecting with Hashem or G-d or whatever you like to call that entity. The third and last was Jacob who was also called Israel. He was called Israel when the male ego receded and true divinity spoke and shone through him. Jacob had twelve sons and a daughter. These sons had quite a tumultuous relationship, and being twelve from four different mothers probably shaped them differently when it came to alliances. Regardless, three weeks ago it was written that Joseph the second to the youngest was the favorite. However, this was all part of the divine plan to get the Hebrews to Egypt in order to fulfill their destiny. In this week’s parsha Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers as they were not aware that he was alive, let alone the viceroy of Egypt. This idea of revelation and invisibility is interesting when reflected in the Parsha when Joseph was thrown into the pit and later sold at the suggestion of Judah to the Ishmaelites.

What is most interesting is that the commentators asked where was the Almighty when all this wrong doing was in progress? The supposed answer to this is that G-d was busy creating the concept of the Mashiach, or the Messiah. This makes sense as in the Torah right after the sale Judah separates from his brothers and goes down. This “down” is both physical and spiritual as he veered towards the caananites. He then had children who sinned , due to them literally pulling out before ejaculating. His youngest is too young to marry the oldest son’s wife so he holds her in check. She then disguises herself as a prostitute and he sleeps with her, not knowing it was his ex-daughter in law. She become pregnant, everyone’s in an uproar and Judah is pissed. He then gives her a chance to defend herself before they burn her and she points right to the man. He knows he was the man who slept with her and fully comes clean. This quality is very hard for men due to their pride and ego as well as constant bombardment of control and dominance over women.

This leads her to have twins, and one will be the forbearer of the Messiah. It’s amazing that all these things happen for the grand scheme of things where the outcome is never really in sight. Rather it is a game that plays out for many years, or centuries for that matter. Jews have been on this planet for some time and passing these ideas and stories only intensifies both the devotion and the doubt. Still, believe or not I think we can all agree that it’s great to shut everything out for a day.

Shabbat Shalom all and much love

This is Joseph and his brothers embracing after he tells them that he is their brother. This is from this week’s Parsha, Vayigash.

And, for all you Hip Hop Jew heads, this is a great show that Edan the Humble Magnificent DJ’d with great songs and material, enjoy!

http://www.egotripland.com/edan-radio-show-3-download/

Some last minute Channukah bits, and Turkey morsels

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It’s the last night of Chanukah and I have to admit that a part of me is a bit sad. It’s very interesting and mysterious how the darkness outside engulfs us right now. Daylight savings has its benefits, but it takes away the sun way too early. That is why I enjoy the extra few moments of light and illumination with the help of some Chanukah candles and the joy beaming from it.

I’ll make this a little short just because I’m fatigued so I’ll leave you with some stuff. First is one of my favorite mock grindhouse trailers from the showing of Death Proof and Planet Terror, by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez respectively. I’m a sucker for those corny seedy horror movies from the past decades. I think the new stuff just takes you over the edge where I lose both my interest and my lunch:

And, this is an interesting mock movie trailer by the people at Funny or Die. I love their stuff and I hope you check out their website, as well as shows aired in days past on HBO. This is great because it shows that this whole insane search for family comedies can become rather farcical. Enjoy the movie:

Enjoy and Happy Chanukah!!