Matisyahu: Former Brooklyn beardy dude now an LA blond!

The new Matisyahu, photo courtesy of Times of Israel.

So Mama Brokelyn has a little confession to make. Sometimes while cruising through Borough Park or Williamsburg, I’ll see a Hasidic guy and play a little game in my head. Subtract the peos and fur hat: hot or not? You know if a man looks good in white tights and pilgrim shoes…

So Matisyahu was always a bit of a Hasidic Hot-or-Not stumper, but now he’s taken away the guessing game. He buzzed his hair back in December and now here’s a photo of the no-longer-Lubavitcher, George-Michael-highlighted pop singer from yesterday’s Times of Israel. (He was on Kimmel last night, but he was wearing a hat.) What do you think?

Matisyahu as the other kind of Brooklyn beardy dude.

The former Crown Heights Hasidic reggae superstar told the paper that he scrapped the beard and got a haircut at an Upper West Side Supercuts (that’s in Manhattan, guys) then moved to LA, where he put out a new album yesterday. Still selectively observant, Matisyahu appears to have dropped the reggae thing and now does pop. Well, all that old-school beatboxing was pretty cool, and I dunno if the world needs another highlighted dude singing Jesus rock without the Jesus, but I also liked Eminem better before he cleaned up. You can see a clip of Matisyahu 2.0 in the video below.

Also of note, he’s starring in an upcoming horror movie with Kyra Sedgwick because “acting is a return to his second love — he reportedly always had a passion for acting and was in plays in college,” the Times writes about Matisyahu. Begging the question: did his old Lubavitcher top hat and tallis come from a prop closet somewhere?

8 Comment

  • Without the Hasidic gimmick, isn’t he just another crappy white reggae guy? What’s the difference between him and Snow?

    • @lordhawhaw – I think it’s pretty apparent that he dropped the reggae part too. So therein lies the difference…

  • Well it’s important to note that he grew up regular old reform Jew in suburban Pennsylvania. The Lubavitch thing was something he latched on to in college. He’s no Luzer Twersky (

  • Yeah, he’s no Yossi Piamenta / AKA the Hasidic Hendrix for that matter.

    I have to say, @lordhawhaw, I kind of agree. If the blond Matisyahu of today was an unknown singer peddling that Sunshine song, his future would be bright with barista shifts and part-time mannying.

  • I’m not totally surprised. I saw Matisyahu about a year ago at a benefit show. He was extremely dismissive and rude to the mostly Jewish audience, especially when they earnestly expressed their respect for his faith.

    Is this just the opposite of a drugged-out LA celebrity finding god?

  • That headline is full of win.

  • I can proudly say I never liked Matisyahu. One of the few things I can be proud of in my life.