Monday, June 05, 2006

Lipa 24/7

This morning when I tumbled into Starbucks, half asleep, for my daily caffeine fix, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Staring at me from the counter, right next to Diana Ross and the Supremes, was a picture of Matisyahu with his hands raised like a bird of prey.
I thought either Mr. Schultz, the owner of Starbucks, has become a B”T (a baal teshuva, a repentant Jew) or the Messiah is coming, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe is his name. What possessed Starbucks to peddle this no-talent Lubav B”T? Do they really think America is in need of white Jewish reggaeniks? Does being a Jew with a black hat and suit turn him into a black for white kids?

This Matisyahu guy is something else. His kid is called Miniyahu ( Is his wife, a friend of mine quipped, a Native American called Minihaha?) The Iowa-raised zaftig girl behind the counter seeing that I was giggling, cooed “Ohhhh!!!! He’s soooo cool.” Not by me. He’s Al Jolsen in drag.

If I had my druthers, I would sell Lipa Schmeltzer at Starbucks. True he only sings in Yiddish, but he’s a GENUINE, ORIGINAL artist. Lipa is a Skverer chasid dressed in full chassidic attire, and immensely popular in the new world of Jewish music. Lipa began as a badchan. There’s a dance at the end of chassidic weddings where a select group of men have the honor to dance with the bride.They are introduced by a badchan, who creates on the spot witty and sometimes vicious ditties. Lipa pushed and pushed this badchan thing until he ended up to be something of a rapper, a Yiddish rapper. He is similar in a way to reggaeton, the Puerto-Rican version of hip-hop. Latinos do hip-hop, but not the way blacks do hip-hop. They have their own melodic take, in this case the dance tune reggaeton. Reggaeton artists rap a little, sing a little, and in general take the gangster edge off hip-hop. The same for Lipa. And he’s funny, joyous, and frequently deeply moving.

In fact, I tend to agree with the Satmar newspaper, (the other one, not DerYid), that said Lipa is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The paper moralized saying “Anyone who brings Lipa into their home is introducing hip-hop to their children, and only dire consequences will follow.”

So I sat down, had my coffee, and quieted down.


At 9:48 AM, Blogger ליפא שנילצער said...

"I would sell Lipa Schmeltzer at Starbucks"

the coffee song would be perfect for starbucks

"(the other one, not DerYid)"
its called "der blatt"

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This site is one of the best I have ever seen, wish I had one like this.


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