A few years ago, I was in Washington Square Park when a friend of mine ran up to me and said, “There’s a Jewish guy singing Reggae and he’s ridiculously good. And he’s not Jewish like you…he’s one of those serious Jews. You know — with the beard and the hat.”
“Lubavitch?” I asked.
He nodded and I followed him to the stage where I saw that he was right. The performer, Matisyahu, has since been signed to a major label, put out albums, and appeared on a variety of television shows. You can check out a recorded live performance, Live at Stubbs. Or since the Passover season is upon us, The So Called Seder: A Hip Hop Haggadah.
Matisyahu has seemingly kicked off a whole generation of edgy Jewish music. In fact, I think that I saw Yitzchak Moshe Jordan (Y-Love), performing that same day in Washington Square Park. And if you want something that sounds a bit more urban, check out JewDa.