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Photo by Schneur Manaker

Shalom, weirdlings! In honor of Yom Kippur (which started last night, for all you goyim out there), we thought we would finally give a long overdue Weird List shoutout to our favorite Hasidic Jewish rapper. No, not Matisyahu. When have we ever been that obvious? No, the only Hasidic rapper who really deserves Weird Band of the Week honors is Crown Heights, Brooklyn’s finest, DeScribe.

DeScribe was born Shneur Hasofer, into a Hasidic family in, of all places, Sydney, Australia. If you can keep the faith when everyone around you is throwing shrimp on the barbie, you gotta be pretty hardcore. Young Shneur got into music at an early age, but also into trouble, and his family packed him off to Israel to study in a yeshiva (basically, Bible Camp for Jews). He even enlisted in the Israeli army and became a  sharp shooter, which officially makes him more of a badass than your favorite gangsta rapper. You don’t spend three years in the Israeli Defense Forces without popping many caps into many asses.

After he left the army, young Shneur became the Jerusalem equivalent of a hood rat, hanging out in Zion Square with the drug dealers and homeless kids. Two things saved him from that life: religion and hip-hop. And he’s been combining them ever since.

It would be crazy enough if all DeScribe did was rap half in Hebrew, half in English, while wearing a tallit (the traditional Jewish prayer shawl) and a yarmulke. But he brings his own burly Brooklyn Hasid swag to the proceedings, as well, grooving to the beat, sporting some seriously fly head gear and even deploying some Auto-Tune. It’s like if T-Pain had a long-lost Australian Orthodox Jewish brother. Hey, that sounds like a great terrible idea for a sitcom!

So Happy Yom Kippur, y’all. Start planning that Wednesday night break-fast now.



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