Lipa, the Orthodox Rapper on Dmagazine

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Elaza Lipa Schmeltzer, aka Lipa, is pretty much the top pop artist among the Chassidic/Haredi communities from Monsey to New Square, to Williamsburg, to Borough Park to Crown Heights. He is the Matisyahu of the ultra-orthodox world even if he is indeed less musically trained, and more of a stylish entertainer/song writer. He was born and raised in New Square, Rockland County, NY one of the most religious communities in the Western world. A place where female and male walk on separate side of the street. He was brought-up speaking Yiddish only and not being allowed to study anything, but the sacred Jewish scriptures. He found confort and freedom of expression in singing.

Lipa is quite the show-man for an Haredi Jew who still wears peiots and a kippa. He does not care he was banned from his New Square community and had to change city, build a new synagogue to pray in and follow the “non-Jewish way” to get into college without any community help and short cuts. He is proud of what he does and how he lives. His music speaks to a lot of boys who have been yearning for more modern views and alternatives within the closed-off Chassidic communities.

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