The Weekly Schmooze: Black and Jewish rap battles
A Jpost column wrapping up Jewish culture news worldwide: Hillel vs. the Earl of Sandwich; the mystery ‘Entourage’ rabbi.
It’s been a newsworthy week for Jews in hip-hop, with a new viral video and a rap battle heating up.
Rapper Drake has beef with Kanye West, who recently cut a new album called Watch the Throne with Jay-Z. After Drake’s verse was cut out of Kanye’s song “All of the Lights,” the Canadian-Jewish rapper accused Kanye of stealing his collaboration idea, which he said he had been planning with Lil’ Wayne.
Drake threw down the gauntlet in rhyme by dissing Kanye’s car (a $1.7 million Mercedes) and saying “I’m just feeling like the throne is for the taking, watch me take it” – a reference to the Kanye-Jay-Z collaboration.
In “Otis,” a single released last week, Kanye fought back, responding to Drake’s “never seen the car you claim to drive” with the following line: “They ain’t seen me cause I pulled up in my other Benz/Last week I was in my other other Benz.” The Schmooze agrees with Tablet Magazine’s assessment of the battle: As cool as Drake may be, Kanye has Jay-Z on his side, and Jay-Z is the undisputed king of rap these days.
On the lighter side of hip-hop, comedy site Funny or Die released a parody of Wiz Khalifa’s hit “Black and Yellow” called “Black and Jewish,” complete with shout-outs to Drake, Lenny Kravitz, Rashida Jones, Manischewitz and Birthright.
History magazine Lapham’s Quarterly’s food issue decided to solve some very old epicurean debates through infographics, determining the origins of certain foods. One of them is the sandwich, which members of the tribe already know predates the Earl of Sandwich. Of course, it was invented by Hillel in the first century BCE, who put bitter herbs between two pieces of matza.
If you think you know your Jewish food, or at least your Ashkenazi Jewish food, check out this fun Yiddish food quiz on Kveller. It’s pretty easy, but hey, doesn’t it feel good to get 100% on a quiz?
Is Facebook too immodest for you? In that case, you might be a fan of “FaceGlat,” a new, gender-segregated social network for those adhering to the strictest halachic standards. Even a husband and wife cannot “friend “each other on the new site. This haredi version of Facebook was invented by Kfar Chabad resident Yaakov Swisa, 25, and includes a feature that blocks men impersonating women and vice-versa.
While Facebook may be scandalous for some, there are apparently rabbis who think that HBO series Entourage is not that bad – despite being notorious for its portrayal of drug use and nudity, nudity and more nudity. The New York Times website featured a slideshow of photographs from the premier of the show’s final season last week. Three Jewish people named Ari appeared in the photos: Ari Gold, Jeremy Piven’s character on the show, Ari Emanuel, the Hollywood agent on whom Ari Gold is based and Rahm Emanuel’s brother, and Rabbi Ari Shapiro. Shapiro stood out in the pictures, with his dark beard and black yarmulke. Who is he? Apparently, a childhood friend of Entourage executive producer Mark Wahlberg.