When Hip-Hop Gets Personal

One Jew’s search for truth and self-discovery captured in Jewish rap.


When Moshe Friedman released his first rap album as a student at the University of Pennsylvania, he wrote about what he knew: college parties, fraternity life, and copying other people's notes from class. It didn't take long before he ran out of things to write about. Three years went by without a single new song. But after graduation he travelled to Israel, and after a year of study there he began to write again. "The Process" was the first of what became an entire album of material with a group called The Living Wells. In this song Moshe describes his own search for truth and self-discovery. The video was directed by Itai Joseph.

Look out for the Living Wells' fall tour to select cities on the East Coast, this September and October.

The Living Wells website: www.thelivingwells.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LivingWellsMusic?fref=ts
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsZEX6cmR5dPa8LlqpoGM9A.
Website for Itai Joseph: www.itaijoseph.com

Lyrics for "The Process":

In the not-too-distant history I lived ignorant blissfully,
A citizen indifferent to the mystery, so typically,
College and career, cash, friends, and beer,
And enough New Age to satisfy me mystically.
At least superficially, I thought I had my purpose,
Until a tiny itch made me scratch the surface,
That exposed a black hole, showed my path was worthless,
Man, I was trapped inside a blackened furnace.
The questions burned in me like a fever,
Why do we escape reality at the movie theater?
Is there more to life than buying out the clothes rack?
Why’s the wealthiest country got everyone on Prozac?
What’s the answer? Started digging for roots,
Realized the real roots don’t begin at my boots,
Traveled up to my mind’s eye, rose to the sky,
Let it settle in my brain and I was never the same.

Just begin, throw caution to the wind,
Before you’ve got the answers gotta start with a question.
Life’s a test, you won’t pass if you guess,
Everybody’s got a destination and a process.

After I had seen enough went back to readjust,
“The truth is easy stuff, my life I’ll clean it up,”
But I couldn’t keep it up, I couldn’t heal the cut,
It couldn’t get worse, chest hurt like I was breathing dust.
When I’d try to grow there’d be something to tempt me,
Shared my thoughts with friends, their stares were empty.
I forgot my new career, things had gotten nuclear,
The world got lonely, reality was too clear.
I asked a wise man, what should I do here?
He said truth can change you, but there’s nothing to fear,
Out with the old, kick it in to new gear,
Cuz you just heard the call that only few hear
And even fewer follow, then he peered into my soul,
And spoke these nineteen words that made me whole:
The path is not all good, but I’d rather
Be a slave to truth than a king over falsehood.

I tried to fake it, I couldn’t take it,
I could fool my own mom but inside was naked.
I ran to escape it with no direction,
Tripped by a pond, saw myself in the reflection.
I begged him to leave and he laughed in my face, he said,
you’d rather be a rat in the race? Start acting your age!
You just saw the blast of the rays,
You can’t close your eyes and step back in the cave.
The last puzzle piece snapped into place,
Truth is not an option, it’s a matter of fate,
Ignorant bliss isn’t freedom, it’s nonsense,
You’re either ruled by society or subconscious.
That’s when I hit the point of no return,
The clarity so bright that my shoulders burned,
The only option now is to go and learn,
My body had a chance, now I’ll give my soul a turn.


Comments (2)

(2) Anonymous, August 18, 2015 4:27 PM

B"H

One for the home team!

(1) Hillel, August 17, 2015 6:30 AM

Profound

Very deep and profound. Thank you

 

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