Rapper Shyne Comes Home

Months out of jail, an established Jewish New York hip-hop artist credits God for his new record contract and plans a permanent move to Israel.

Published: January 17th 2011
in Culture » Music

The ritual fringes under Shyne’s Hasidic dress are also evident in his latest music videos, but he does not aim to be a Jewish performer.
Pic: Lone Star Communications

"When I perform a concert and make money, that's money I can give to charity," he said, "not just to Ethiopians but also to Russian kids and all the disenfranchised in Israel who need more help than they're getting. I want to use my art as a platform to be the champion for all people who are suffering."


More than that, he continued, "I want to be a role model for all good men. But Jewish men have to be the best that we can be so the rest of the world can follow us, you dig?"


Doing more than is required


Left with unresolved "issues" from his checkered past, Shyne said he still sings from a place of pain, but strives "to find the light within my darkness."


This is why he chose to embrace a Hasidic approach to Judaism and spends hours in prayer and study every day.


He related that Talmudic sages refer to his "ultimate role model," King David, as a Hasid, "and that means doing more than is required. I've done so much damage to the universe, hurt so many people, that I have to do a billion times more to even the score, to build my credit line in shamayim [heaven]."


His ambitions are sky-high as well.


"I want to be one of the most successful entertainers that ever walked the face of the earth so I can be one of the greatest contributors to humankind, and it won't be easy. So that's why I gotta be a Hasid: I gotta do more because I want more. I've got big dreams, man, and being a Hasid is the only way for my dreams to come true."


This article originally appeared in Israel21c and is reprinted with permission.

Related articles: (Shyne, Rap, Hip-Hop, Def Jam, Jewish)

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