Shyne: Just Your Average Rapping, Lamborghini-Driving Orthodox Jew


We direct your attention to an an entirely delightful profile of the rapper-cum–Orthodox Jew Shyne in today's New York Times. The Belize-born, Puffy protégé, who spent nine years in jail for opening fire in a nightclub while hanging with Diddy and Jennifer Lopez, now lives in Jerusalem, goes by the name Moses Levi, studies Torah, and is certain, “My entire life screams that I have a Jewish neshama [soul].” (Someone, please, make the T-shirt. Hanukkah is just around the corner!) According to Shyne, at the time of his arrest he was “already praying daily and engaged in his own study of Judaism … but only became a practicing Jew, celebrating the holidays, keeping kosher and observing the Sabbath under the tutelage of prison rabbis.” His conversion has not diminished his rapping: His albums Messiah and Gangland are set to be released shortly with Def Jam. Shyne is also adamant that rap and Judaism are not mutually exclusive, and provides super-excellent quote in support of this theory: “There’s nothing in the Chumash [Torah] that says I can’t drive a Lamborghini,” and “nothing in the Halacha [Jewish law] about driving the cars I like, about the lifestyle I live.” This line of thinking raises a whole other set of questions, first and foremost among them: Is Dom kosher?

Rapper Finds Order in Orthodox Judaism in Israel [NYT]