August 26, 2003


YOU CAN FIND ME IN DA SHUL: Are you ready for 50 Shekel? The latest "Jewish rapper," who I'd imagine has neither been shot nor stabbed nearly as many times as 50 Cent, has been getting quite a bit of press lately, as the Brooklyn native is completing his first full-length album, as well as searching for a female sidekick, to be called (ha ha) "Lil' Spender."
50 Shekel's rise coincides with a new Jewish hipsterism, as celebrated previously in such places as Heeb Magazine, the performance organization Jewcy, the blond Jewish female rapper Princess Superstar, and the rising career of the young, Isroed, trucker hat-sporting actor Shia LeBouf, from "Project Greenlight."
This trend has generally combined traditional Jewish iconography with '70s black culture (lots of Isros), though in some cases (such as 50 Shekel's) it's more a borrowing of current African-American imagery. As of now, while most of what i've seen of this trend has been mere racial piggy-backing- and the trend doesn't appear to have much traction yet, outside of New York- it does show a bit of potential for birthing some legitimate culture.
One more thing: I'm having trouble enjoying Heeb, the "hipster Jew bible" for one big reason- in an age in which world events have united American Jews like at no time ever before, how in the world can Heeb take the wrong side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as it has, and still call itself "hip'? Elitist is more like it...

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 26, 2003 01:31 AM
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