The Jewish music scene in LA took a nice spin tonight into diversification. Taking to the stage with his trademark cap and hard rap, Y-Love, Jake Break, and DJ Handler, capped a night of original Jewish music and performances during the Shemspeed LA Launch party, co-sponsored by JConnect LA.

There were also appearances by Dov Rosenblatt of Blue Fringe, Exodus (aka Eddie Fox – who performed at Jewlicious 3.0), and the Shaul Faulkner Band.

The Joint is a hard place to listen to music. The stage is set up in the corner, quite high, with none of the conventions of a stage, and the speakers angled in strange Daliesque directions. Parallel huge flat screen TVs provide some kind of decoration. Luckily, each table was loaded with delicious cookies, cakes, and treats, all under kosher supervision. Thanks to JConnect, there was food a plenty, and a healthy crowd eager to be entertained. (And some nifty giftbags with Nascar brand Bubble Bath, magazine, pushka for Meir Panim and some other stuff.)

If you caught Exodus at last year’s Jewlicious Festival, you remember his brilliant slam poetry style, eloquent observations on Jewish life, and a poem all about old TV Shows. The crowd was glued to his every word. He’s just getting better and better.

Y-Love, in town for the Professional Leaders Project too, is an extremely serious rapper, with a message born from his observations and investigations of the many worlds he straddles. He is pre-occupied with justice and spirit, and hopes that we can replace the gods of Hollywood with connections to Torah. To unify the Jewish people is one of his major themes, in the hope that we can erase the sorrow of Tisha B’Av. His song about the state of American Jewry was really mesmerizing, and his duet with Dov was my favorite song of the night.

You have to hand it to Erez a.k.a. dj handler – who has created a virtual shuk covering the landscape of new Jewish music. The site is ripe with tasty treats of musical inspiration and music to suite nearly every neshama. L’CHaim to Shemspeed!

About the author

Rabbi Yonah