The Jewish Rapper Etan G Responds To Rabbi Rabbs

Rabbi Rabbs goes off on rap here and here (the first three videos) in response to my interview of Etan G.

Etan responds:

He is misguided. I don’t like much rap either. It’s not he doesn’t like rap and I do but rather he has NEVER heard any of my stuff except “making the motzee” on the Chabad Telethon of all places. That song was written for Shlock Rock, has educated Jews about the mitzvah of making motzee and, like it or not, the fans love the song because it can be done in so many musical styles and they learn something. He keeps talking about “shmaltzy” jewish rap – the dreidels, the bagels and lox rap that I told you I couldn’t stand either (he even said he didn’t even watch the interview to hear my views on that) so his points are completely off topic and misguided and not related to what I do – i don’t try to be black, I’m not black but in any culture or society you absorb some of the styles, jargon and accents that that society has – if you live in NY long enough you’ll start to have a NY accent. If you live in London long enough you will have that accent, drive on the other side of the road etc. So it would go say that in America, and my growing up in here, and coming up with hip hop that some of the jargon would seep in as well – even he says the word “like” just like a teenage girl with broken sentences unable to complete a whole sentence quite often.

Furthermore, it is HE who plays the Jewish stereotype – his stand up comedy “americas favorite Rabbi Comic” is playing the stereotype – he’s got the beard, peyos tzitizis etc – leave the comedy to the irreligious and the goyim is the same as leaving the rap to the blacks – I agree with him about playing the stereotypical bullshit but i don’t agree with him that a style of music should stay with the culture that gets much of the credit for it – white people got rock and roll from the blacks – is he saying get rid of all the white rock and roll, no white people can play blues anymore? should we leave comedy to non religious jews and the goyim – I mean how many orthodox comedians are there, and how many that are funny? 2, 3 at best. He isn’t funny. I didn’t laugh. People that have seen it didn’t laugh. I didn’t rip him a new asshole. His argument is misguided and my debate with him was less of a debate and more of an education of whats out there and particularly to have him listen to even a couple of my original songs – maybe the ones that utilize Carlebach, or with lyrics and messages of joy and spirituality straight from the Torah, written to inspire. This ain’t the dreidel bulls— he speaks of. Additionally, its clear he hasn’t listened to enough rap to even be familiar with all the different styles and genres of rap that are out there – which is fine – but then don’t talk like you know everything.

And finally, the Beastie Boys never went to YU – it’s a myth. I was never a big fan of theirs either. Oh and i talk about partying in some of my songs as well if thats what he’s into. BTW it was Howard Stern that gave me the moniker “The Jewish Rapper” not me – it just stuck.

All love Luke! g

Rabbi Rabbs responds:

Etan, thank you for your input. I find it amusing that you consider my opinions so important that you spent the time to compose such a lengthy response, but yet, you consider me misguided and not funny. I would think if I were truly misguided and not funny as you claim, then my opinions would be insignificant to you, and you would not care what I said.

I will address some of your points in order:

First, you cannot claim that you are not part of what you term “schmaltzy” rap when the only thing people know about you is when you sung “Makin’ a Motzei” on national TV. It doesn’t get more schmaltzy than that !!

If you truly aren’t a schmaltzy rapper, then you shouldn’t have performed schmaltzy rap that night, and instead, declined the invitation. No one forced you to perform it that night, so you have no one but yourself to blame when that is how people now think of you.

Second, the debate about the quality of that “song” was decided when you were booted from the stage. It was like the Gong Show, and “Motzei” quickly received the gong. Debate over.

Third, you wrote: “I’m not black but in any culture or society you absorb some of the styles, jargon and accents that that society”. Really? I’ve lived here a lot longer than you have, and you don’t see me rapping.

Fourth, your attempted comparison of you doing rap to my performing comedy fails miserably, because I do not act Black on stage. I do not feel compelled as you do to hide behind something that isn’t Jewish, such as rap.

Fifth, you asked whether white people should not play rock or blues, and my answer is that rap cannot be compared to rock or blues, because rap sucks and is not even music, and should never have been accepted by mainstream America. So, by adopting rap, Jews look stupid, because they are borrowing someone else’s garbage, which would not be the case when white people borrow the blues.

Finally, the Beastie Boys absolutely attended YU, at least for high school. According to this link:

“the Beastie Boys went to school when they were younger, Yeshiva University High School for boys (a/k/a MTA), a private Jewish school in Washington Heights.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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