News: Matisyahu Snips Trademark Beard, "No More Chassidic Reggae Superstar"

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011 4:30PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Jewish reggae rapper Matisyahu has gotten a head start on making changes for the new year by shaving away his iconic, thick beard this week.

Matisyahu posted a message explaining his unexpected transformation to his fans.

"This morning I posted a photo of myself on Twitter. No more Chassidic reggae superstar. Sorry folks, all you get is me...no alias. When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process. It was my choice. My journey to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality--not through books but through real life. At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity...to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth. I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules--lots of them--or else I would somehow fall apart. I am reclaiming myself. Trusting my goodness and my divine mission. Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don't worry...you haven't seen the last of my facial hair." [sic] (Matisyahu World)

The veteran reggae artist's new look hit the Internet Tuesday (December 13) morning.

Orthodox Jew rapper Matisyahu took a razor blade to the face this week ... and shaved off his trademark beard ... or so it seems. Matisyahu just posted the shorn pics of himself on his Twitter page ... along with the message, "At the break of day I look for you at sunrise ... When the tide comes in I lose my disguise." (TMZ)

This fall, West Coast rapper Murs reached out to SOHH and discussed cutting off his trademark dreadlocks.

"Maybe it was the time," Murs told SOHH, referring to the popular trend of artists cutting off their long hair. "Lil Wayne still has it and he's the king. Or he's the king of the young people I should say. It definitely had a lot to do with me, learning about myself. To me, it puts more pressure to stand out more from the action of my words rather than just the hairstyle. A lot of people think I smoke weed [because of the stigma associated with long locks]." (SOHH)

Outside of fashion statements, Matis spoke to SOHH earlier this year about former Bad Boy Records rapper Shyne studying Judaism.

"I read the article and right away reached out to him," Matis said referring to learning about Shyne's newfound faith in Judaism. "I had a conversation with him and he was real cool. My feeling is that he's [serious about his conversion]. Somehow, he really connected to this. He seems real about it and inspired when you're talking to him -- But he's still the same guy. When you listen to him talk, when you hear him talk, you hear where he's from. He didn't change who he is. I'm sure he changed his lifestyle and a lot of things but I went through a very similar process, so I respect that a lot. I think it could be really good for Jewish people for him to do something like that. I think he can be an inspiration. He'll be in New York soon...Definitely [expect a collaboration from us], we've already been back and forth on the e-mails. We talked about doing some shows together." (SOHH)

Check out a recent Matisyahu interview below:

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