Arts & Culture

Seattle’s Rapper-Rabbi Duo

Nissim and Rabbi Simon Benzaquen are making a name for themselves in the Emerald City Read More

By / September 11, 2013

Seattle is responsible for some of the latest successful rappers like Macklemore, Sol, and, of course, Emeritus Rabbi Simon Benzaquen who performs alongside Nissim, a rapper formerly known as D. Black.

Nissim, who converted to Judaism, first heard Benzaquen’s “powerful voice” during a Kiddush service. Benzaquen was long the rabbi at Seattle’s Sephardic Bikur Holim congregation, but now he sings alongside Nissim, and they’re doing pretty well, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Fast forward to Memorial Day 2013, and the newly retired rabbi and newly observant 26-year-old rapper were appearing together on stage at the popular Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre in eastern Washington, alongside stars like Elvis Costello and Mumford and Sons.

Benzaquen used to dismiss rap music, but now he understands what it’s all about. Both he and Nissim want to make music that elevates and inspires listeners. Let’s hope to see them at the VMA’s in 2014.

(Photo from Facebook)