Matisyahu Hater: Decoded!

matisyahu-haterBy Simcha Levenberg

One month ago Matisyahu released Light. The album is out there in the ether garnering praise and getting radio play. Personally, I love Matisyahu. I like him and his music. I think he’s the best thing that happened to Judaism since cholov yisroel Parmesan Cheese. But that feeling isn’t universal. In fact, there are quite a few people who hate him and his music. Here’s the short list:

  1. You could’ve been a contender – In the 1970’s you had a pretty good thing going. You were in this awesome band, playing shows and meeting all the right people. Your future was so bright you broke down and bought a pair of shades. Then you went and became frum. Your Rabbi told you it was assur to perform in clubs and bars. Even if technically speaking you could work around those halachic issues it wasn’t proper for a man of your personage, i.e. frum, to pursue such ridiculous dreams. So you dropped it all. Now, you’re juggling an upside down mortgage and yeshiva payments while working a dead end job and hating your life. And here cometh Matis, who ignores the prudent advice of his Rabbis and lives out your abandoned dream.
  2. Just missed the bus – The universe can only sustain one break out Chassidic recording artist. Had Matisyahu not recorded Shake off the Dust in 2004, JDUB definitely would have spotted your awesome demo and all his success would be yours. But, he killed your chance. The closest to Live at Stub’s that you’ll get is Baal Teshuva weddings and Hillel houses. You know your better than him, but no one else ever will. Oh and by the way, you’re still struggling to get your degree in social work from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
  3. The angry Lubavitcher – Hell hath no fury like a Lubavitcher scorned. Matis was your poster boy, proof positive that everything was right with the universe and that Moshiach was coming within the next seven minutes. It was all golden; right up until Matisyahu stabbed you through the heart when he “allegedly” dropped the Rebbe like a bad habit. Now you hate him. Were he to move into the tent next to the ohel, tattoo a picture of the Rebbe onto his face, and cut his payos off you would consider listen to his CD in your Odyssey.
  4. Matisyahu is a gateway drug. Matis is a painted harlot perched at the door of sin. This world is full of dangerous pitfalls and like a pink shirt or a college education, listening to Matisyahu will make you fry or gay, or both. It probably happened already, but you haven’t realized it yet.
  5. Jam-band audiophile. You know music, like, really well. Matis, being the iconic figure that he is, laps up all the press, burying more deserving fare, like the Disco Biscuits. When he sneezes the Associated Press writes an inspiring story about the color of his mucus, and you’re stuck writing angry comments on lame websites about chord structures.  Oh and by the way, you’re still struggling to get your degree in social work from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
Simcha Levenberg is a stand-up comedian searching for the meaning of life in Los Angeles.

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