Cross-culturalism can be cool. White dudes playing the blues, Rastafarians kicking out the punk-rock jams, Japanese chicks singing Beatles songs, Muslims rapping in French...
Now, a musical question: What’s cooler – a black guy from Newark who sings in Hebrew? Or a Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn spitting reggae-style?
Ay gevalt, you want I should tell you how to boil an egg too? Bring that black Jew over here and give him a microphone!
Joshua Nelson, the so-called “Prince of Kosher Gospel,” is an interesting fellow. Click here to hear him sing “Hineh Ma Tov.” He does so in the traditional Jewish fashion... and then he injects some black church into it.
The track can be found on his 2005 CD, “Mi Chamocha?”
If you want to know more about Joshua Nelson, there’s a 4-minute audio piece streaming at the Public Radio Exchange. To hear it, follow this link. (I’m streaming a 2-minute slice of it on my Vox blog; click here to listen.)
As for the Hasidic reggae chaser, you know that’s gotta be Matisyahu. Here’s his video for “Jerusalem”: