Years after his first live album planted him in the mainstream, reggae-inspired Hasidic rapper Matisyahu still loves to be up on the stage.
Austin is a city which often jump starts a recording artist’s career.
Many a singer-songwriter has moved to the capital of Texas to kick off a musical journey by playing the laidback Texas town’s many clubs.
And then there is South By Southwest, which is arguably the most significant music conference/festival in the world. SXSW, which is held in Austin every March has helped establish a myriad of bands every year.
Matisyahu owes the city of Austin some thanks.
However, the vocalist-beat-boxer hasn’t moved to Austin. SXSW did not launch his storied career, but Austin certainly helped launch one of Brooklyn’s most adventurous souls and it has also given him a recent boost.
Six years ago, Matisyahu aka Matthew Miller, jumped on the fast track after releasing, Live at Stubb’s. The disc, which was recorded at one of Austin’s finest venues, which also markets a killer barbecue sauce around the country, was just what Matis needed to roll.
His live show is exhilarating and unpredictable, so it makes sense that he connected with fans courtesy of a live document showcasing what he does best.
“Things went well with that live album,” Matisyahu tells Atlantic City Weekly. “It did something a studio album couldn’t do.”
Stubb’s was Miller’s Frampton Comes Alive. No, it didn’t make Matis a superstar like Frampton’s live release did many moons ago, however, it did make him a successful artist, which is notable in its own right.
Miller is a devout Hasidic Jewish musician.
Such an artist isn’t easy to market. He isn’t one to make concessions. He doesn’t perform on Friday evenings to observe the Jewish Sabbath.
Matisyahu, 32, sports a black suit, with a black brimmed hat with a full, lengthy beard.
“I’m not exactly like many of my peers,” Miller says. “That’s the reality and that’s fine. It’s who I am. I don’t do what everyone else does to get ahead. I never stray from my beliefs. But the bottom line between me and anybody else that does this is that I love music.”
“It’ll be fun since it’s in New Jersey. It’s just down from where I’m from. The shore is a very important place for me. I guess that’s just the way it is wherever you’re from. There is no place like the Jersey shore. It’s a comforting place for me. I go back whenever I get the chance to visit my mom and dad.”
"It’s cool to get up with Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, you know, Doug E. Fresh, who leads the pack with the most shows each year, and everybody’s catching up. So it’s more than just a show, it’s kind of like checking who weathered the storm, who has stood the test of time, and it’s about a second coming coming back around because [hip-hop] music of today is not what it was yesterday."
The music world lost a great talent on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Born Dwight Myers, the rapper known as Heavy D., like his contemporaries Will Smith and Dana “Queen Latifah” Owens, used the art form of hip-hop videos as screen tests for future acting roles. Heavy went on to small-screen acting roles on the shows Roc and Boston Public, and to big-screen roles that include the new Tower Heist.
Many hip-hop purists say that today’s hip-hop all sounds alike, and that rappers are just out there copying each other. While that is for the most part true, I have to admit that one of my favorite hip-hop acts, Salt-n-Pepa, first popped on the scene on the strength of someone else’s hit record....
Matisyahu is morphing. The West Chester, Pa., native who grew up in White Plains, N.Y., still sports a black suit with a broad brimmed hat and wire-rimmed spectacles. However, Matisyahu is evolving musically.
Along with hip-hop icons Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Boogie Down Productions, Newcleus, Run DMC and Afrika Bambaataa, only a few other artists are considered legitimate legends in this Amer...
The once "dangerous animal" known as (commercial) hip-hop in Atlantic City has been de-toothed, de-clawed, spayed and neutered. Since the late '90s, I've had issues with mainstream hip-hop and most ...
Most hip-hop experts acknowledge that 1973 was the year (in the Bronx, N.Y.) that hip-hop started. Unlike most popular music forms, hip-hop was almost exclusively a neighborhood phenomenon that becam...
Best Albums of 2012