On this edition of Black vs Jews, a friendly competition between the groups, we'll examine two emcees. Talib Kweli is my favorite emcees and he's black. 50 Shekel is an emcee and a Jew.
Talib Kweli rhymes about righting injustices, hope in the heart of darkness, and he does it with an angry compassion. He describes himself as a "legendary lyricist, nice-guy persona. My songs celebrate life and you can play them for your mama." 50 Shekel is a Jewish paraody rapper, who isn't as good as Jew Live Crew or Jew Tang Clan. 50 Shekel doesn't describe himself in rhyme.
Kweli says things like, "Even when the condition is critical, when the living is miserable, your position is pivotal, I ain’t bullshitting you." - Get By
50 Shekel says things like, "You can find me in da shul, praying after school. Honey I got the Chevitz if you're jumping in my pool." - In Da Shul
Kweli: “Who needs the chains when you can enslave the mind.” - Time Zone
50 Shekel says, well, let's get some more Kweli lyrics: “In Africa, they’re starving. Over here, the food hurts you. Cows gone mad and the chickens caught the bird flu.” - Eat to Live
Kweli: “No question being a black man is demanding. The fire’s in my eyes and the flames need fanning.” K.O.S. [Determination]
50 Shekel: "The best part is, when I get all these kids who email me, all these adults who email me, I don't feel so much alone as a Jew. Oy." An interview about why he's not an embarrassing stereotype
Kweli: "At exactly which point do you start to realize that life without knowledge is death in disguise." K.O.S. [Determination]
50 Shekel rather awkwardly, somewhat arrogantly, and sort of insultingly states: "When I met an African-American teenage girl who heard my song, she kept on singing the chorus to "In Da Shul" all day. She wanted to know what the words meant, so I explained it to her and she totally got it. Who would ever imagine that an African-American girl from Harlem would get a chance to learn some Yiddish and sing a fun Jewish song with 50 Shekel? I feel that what I'm doing is bridging the gaps between Jews and non-Jews and uniting races."
Kweli: "My heart goes out to everyone at Ground Zero. Red, black, yellow, white, and brown heroes. It's more complicated than black or white. To give your own life is the greatest sacrifice." - The Proud
50 Shekel: "Wait 365 to light my menorah. Spin the dreidel as we read from the Torah." - Chanukah Jam
Kweli: "A flower that grow in the ghetto know more about survival than the one from fresh meadow." - Love Language
50 Shekel has said, "I'm always going to be me and part of being me is being a Jew. So instead of changing everything and hiding from being a Jew, I decided to completely do the opposite, embrace it and not just embrace it, but speak out for our culture. It's about celebrating the culture and celebrating the Jew life." He has since found Jesus and become a Jew for Jesus, who are usually called Christians.
Talib Kweli has something to say about that too, "Taught that if you don’t know Jesus, then you lead a hollow life. Never question that Jesus was Jewish, not a Christian, nor that Christianity was law according to politicians. Who is King James? And why did he think it was so vital to remove chapters and make his own version of the bible?" - Give 'em Hell
The winner is obviously:
Overall standings: Blacks 5 Jews 2