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There Really Is No Place Quite Like America


Stories like this are why it doesn’t seem to me so unexpected that a black man would be elected president:

It seems odd at first to hear a Hasidic Jewish rapper from New York saying his honorary second home is a non-kosher barbecue joint in the heart of Texas.

But then you consider the artist — Matisyahu — and the restaurant — Austin’s live music stronghold Stubb’s — and the incongruity fades. Stubb’s was the site for the 2005 live album that pretty much launched the career of the man born Matthew Miller.

“We didn’t want to do it in an expected place like a temple in Midtown Manhattan, so it was like, why not a non-kosher barbecue joint in Texas, which is about the most non-Jewish place you can imagine,” Miller said recently by phone. “Because of how things turned out with that record, Stubb’s and Austin is kind of a home away from home for us. There’s always going to be a strong connection because of the people and how great of a city you have there in the middle of the South.”

This is America – of course we have Hasidic rappers performing at Texas barbecue joints.


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