Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Cohen, Judah M. "Hip-Hop Judaica: The Politics of Representin' Heebster Heritage." Popular Music 28 (Winter 2009): 1-18.

Musical artists within the Jewish American "hipster" scene (ca. 1986-2006) drew on conventions from rap and hip-hop as a means of negotiating a new Jewish identity. Of the many strategies to draw on the conventions of rap, one common tactic was parody. For instance, parody artist Shlock Rock parodied Aerosmith and Run DMC's Walk This Way (1986) and created Wash This Way, now a song about the Jewish hand-washing ritual. Despite the different lyrics, Shlock Rock's parody borrows vocal inflection, instrumentation, and even attitude. Although humor and parody were common reasons to incorporate rap and hip-hop into Jewish music, the Yeshiva-educated duo Black Hattitude used rap to promote a political and controversial program. Drawing on the stylings of rap, the duo included spoken tracks, took polemical points of view, and sampled artists such as Led Zeppelin. Such music provided a site in which young Jews could simultaneously negotiate a new Jewish identity and preserve and transmit their culture through such change.

Works: Lenny Solomon and Etan Goldman (songwriters), Shlock Rock (performers): Bless On It/Boogie in the Shul [Synagogue] (5), Wash This Way (5); Black Hattitude, R.E.L.I.G.I.O.N (7); Etan G (Etan Goldman): South Side of the Synagogue (8).

Sources: Newcleus: Jam On It/Boogie in the Club (5); Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (songwriters), Aerosmith (performers): Walk This Way (5); Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (songwriters), Run DMC (performers): Walk This Way (5); Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones) and Willie Dixon: Whole Lotta Love (7, endnote 11); Peter Gabriel: Sledgehammer (7, endnote 11); Lenny Solomon (songwriter), Shlock Rock (performers): Yo Yo Yo Yarmulke (8), Recognize the Miracles (8).

Index Classifications: 1900s, 2000s, Popular

Contributed by: Kerry O'Brien

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