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|Matisyahu Leaves Judaism After Maccabeats Video, YU Concert Snub|
|Written by Akiva Weisinger|
|Thursday, 15 December 2011|
YU students haven't been this outraged since last week.
In news that rattled the Jewish world, reggae singer Matisyahu announced that he has shaved his beard, presumably indicating he would longer associate with the Orthodox Jewish community. Hundreds of Yeshiva University students were left dazed and confused by this shocking news, dazed that such a prominent figure would desert his community, and confused as to whether the dozens of Matisyahu songs they had on their iPods were now considered secular, and thus had to be deleted. YU Roshei Yeshiva were hotly debating the issue at press-time.
In an exclusive interview granted to The Quipster, because, like everyone else in the Modern Orthodox world, we have a third cousin who totally hung out with him once, Matisyahu confirmed that he was indeed leaving the fold, and explained his reasons why.
“The Maccabeats,” the newly shaven singer responded almost immediately. “Definitely The Maccabeats. After 16 of my friends posted that video on facebook within a few minutes of each other, I was curious. So I clicked it. A minute in I was angry. A minute and half in, I was sick. Two minutes in, I just threw my yarmulke at the screen and went out to buy a shaver.”
Upon being asked what specifically caused such a strong reaction, Matisyahu could barely contain his frustration and anger at the Yeshiva University a cappella group. “First of all, they never asked me if they could use the song. I mean, I heard Taio Cruz sued them last year, and they still never learned their lesson! That's just stupid. Second of all, the video was just the same video as last year. Have some frickin' originality, you know? Third of all, what the hell is Mayim Bialik doing in the video? If you put a girl in a music video, make sure she's worth putting there, you know what I'm saying? You can watch my video for “Miracle” if you want to see what I mean. And one more thing, why the hell are a bunch of YU guys, who wouldn't know Bob Marley from their Hispanic landlord and think Peter Tosh is something IBC guys do in Rubin, singing my songs? I've had it with all this –censored expletive–. I've thrown off my yarmulke. Mayim Bialik can keep it now.”
Questioned further, Matisyahu revealed that frustration may have been simmering even before the offending video. “Yeah, well, obviously, there was the fact that I wasn't invited to do the YU Concert this year. I did it last year, and I thought I nailed it, and then this year, I'm sort of expecting to be acknowledged, but nothing comes. I don't know, maybe they just didn't want an international superstar performing two years in a row. Maybe they just don't want people to show up. Did they think I wouldn't find out? There's like, what, three Jewish singers? Me, Shwekey, and I don't know, The Yeshiva Boys Choir All Grown Up... I know what's flying, alright? I mean, don't get me wrong, Shwekey's good. But how many times has Shwekey been on MTV? But seriously, I mean, I understand, they’ve obviously had some budget difficulties recently. But they didn't even ask me! Maybe the price would have worked out, you don't know if you don't ask. I mean, I'm sorry for being successful and earning myself the right to demand a sizeable price. I've got a family to feed, right? If you want the students to turn out, you gotta be willing to pony up the dough. I mean, who did they get instead of me? Has anybody even heard of any of those guys?”
When asked how this new development will affect his fan base, Matisyahu did not seem bothered. “Well, the real fans are gonna stay real fans no matter what. But I honestly doubt that most of the Jewish kids who liked me were true fans anyway. I think sometimes that they just liked me because they thought they were allowed to listen to me. Let's face it, if I wasn't Chassidish and was just another white dude singing reggae, virtually nobody in YU would ever listen to me. And another thing: if you were a real fan, you listen to more than one song. I just want to make that clear. I poured my heart and soul into every single one of my songs. I slaved over every single lyric. And then these kids just play one song over and over and over. Seriously, I wrote other songs than ‘One Day.’ Hell, even I'm sick of it by now.” When he was told that The Maccabeats had performed “One Day” as well, he confirmed that, if he had known, he would have left the faith a long time ago.
Asked what his plans were now that he was no longer affiliated, Matisyahu responded that he was on his way to “eat a Big Mac, meet some non-Jewish girls, and enroll in Maryland.”