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שהחינו‎, Sheheḥianu, is Hebrew for “Who has given us life,” and is a blessing of Talmudic origin recited as thanksgiving on special occasions. Specifically, it’s a thanks for new experiences, and that’s why Matis calls “Reservoir” “my Sheheḥianu.”

https://twitter.com/matisyahu/statuses/447013229923823616

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We’ll save you a Google as to when that day is! (And, apparently, when some other reggae guys' birthdays are.)

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It’s been a rough few years for Matthew Miller, mostly because of controversy surrounding his shift to Modern Orthodox Judaism. But he knew he needed to be true to himself, and here, after a glass of wine, he gets up, shakes himself off, and claims what’s his, his place in reggae in hip-hop.

Oh, and wine makes you sleepy.

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A cypher is when a group of rappers stand in a circle and show off their skills: not exactly as competitive as a rap battle, but still with an undercurrent of showing off your stuff. Brooklyn-raised Matisyahu calls other rappers to the circle but he then lyrically chops them down “like a lawn mower” chops grass.

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“Trees” is slang for marijuana. Forest fires burn a lot of (actual) trees; for example, the 2013 Quebec forest fires burned 30,000 hectares… so to smoke as many “trees” as a forest fire means that Matis used to be pretty heavy into pot. He let that “ish” (that shit) retire, though, as it got boring for him.

Me no want no sinsemilla
That would only bring me down
— “King Without A Crown”

In 2005, Matis commented on pot in the Denver Westword, which questioned his “lack of interest in reggae’s sacrament.”

I’m just putting out my ideas… But when I smell people smoking weed at my concerts, I’m a hundred percent non-judgmental. I realize that everyone has their path, and if it wasn’t for me getting high and zoning into reggae music when I was seventeen, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today.

But just because he doesn’t smoke anymore didn’t stop him from taking a selfie with Wiz Khalifa!

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Matisyahu also describes himself as a “Chassidic reggae superstar” on “Confidence”, also from Akeda. One gets the sense that it’s tongue-in-cheek, almost as if to say, “That’s what they call me in the press, so that must be what I am!” But it also assures the listener that he will always be Chassidic, despite his change in appearance.

“The box” is a reference to the regalia of Chassidism, like the kippah, piyyutim, suit, and beard that Matis shaved off in 2011. He saw these things as distracting from his relationship with God. Once leaving “the box,” however, he was heavily criticized by many fans, hence this allusion to being tarred and feathered, a common public humiliation in colonial America.

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Matisyahu’s real name is Matthew Miller, so his initials are M.M. “Matisyahu” is his Hebrew name. The English name “Matthew” is actually derived from the earlier Hebrew name.

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No matter what happens or where he goes, Matisyahu will not let the words of fake friends and detractors bring him down. This was a serious problem following the events of 2011, wherein he shaved off his beard, kippah, and earlocks, and began to dress in the more liberal Modern Orthodox style. Many fans jumped ship and many of his fellow Jews accused him of abandoning the faith.

Here, he says that he will keep “bringing the melody” until he “finishes this thing,” and he makes it clear that his “stage offering” (his career) is devoted to God. He’s “the glory of the King,” i.e. God; he’s “the blood of Jacob,” i.e. Jewish; and you cannot “bring him to his knees” or make him “give up and give in,” even with “teeth and venom” or pits or dungeons (all bad things).

מצרים, Mitzrahim, is the Biblical name for Egypt; in modern Hebrew, it’s simply the name for Egypt, the country, but here, it has strong connotations of both enslavement (i.e. building the pyramids) and of spiritual hollowness. Even in this place, Matis’s triumphant spirit will not be broken.

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Matisyahu falls victim to fake friends.

This is a reference to the Aesop’s fable, “The Farmer and the Viper” and the earlier “The Turtle and the Scorpion,” on which it is based. In both, an innocent (the farmer, the turtle) takes in a potentially dangerous acquaintance who has come upon rough times (the viper, the scorpion) whom he believes will change. Afterward, the farmer is bitten; the turtle is stung; and the viper and the scorpion both reply, “You knew what I was from the beginning.”

Read the text of “The Farmer and the Snake” here on Poetry Genius.

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Despite the fact that Daryl is a would-be iconoclast (in the mould of the Second Commandment, “Thou shalt not make for yourself a graven image”), he knows in his heart that he’s guilty of the same shit he calls out in the song—idol “worship,” consumerism, and personal vanity.

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"Chance the Rapper" (Coachella – Lineup 2014) | pending

@Jalf

Relative newcomer when compared to Neutral Milk Hotel and Mötörhead… but extremely hard to believe he’s down below Duck Sauce. Like fucking DUCK SAUCE

"When we first met, you made us feel special. We’d tell yo..." (Eat24 – A Breakup Letter to Facebook from Eat24) | pending

So fucking lame.

"You know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go acc..." (Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight Hospital Scene) | pending

Dis screenplay doe

"See I'm not a monster, I'm just ahead of the curve." (Christopher Nolan – Dark Knight Interrogation Scene) | pending

One of the strongest lines in modern cinema.

What @Heisenferg said

No more Wikipedia copypastas please/thanks

"It’s worse off-shore, except of course there’s none of us..." (Rex Murphy – On with the seal hunt!) | pending

But that ecosystem was fine for millions of years…? When Cabot arrived in the 1500s there were fish so thick you could catch them by dipping a bucket over the side of the ship. And there were also more seals than ever, too. Something indicates that it was man who fucked up?

"The commercial quota for non-native people is 450,000 a y..." (Captain Paul Watson – Inuit Allow Themselves to Be Manipulated and Exploited for Canadian Government Pro-Sealing Propaganda) | accepted

I totally see your point! But there are 850,000–950,000 black bears in North America? A relatively common species?

@Anon @Macmillerstan

Actually, there are two versions: the film version and the “pop” version. Elton John does sing the latter.

"Steal a sound and imitate," (Nirvana – Aero Zeppelin) | pending

I dunno, they did copy other bands. “Teen Spirit” is a pretty clear lift from Boston’s “More Than A Feeling” and Blue Öyster Cult’s “Godzilla.” And he wrote “About A Girl” after listening to The Beatles' Meet The Beatles a few times.

Define “prematurely published”