NEW YORK (JTA) — Jewish reggae star Matisyahu shaved his signature beard and issued a statement saying “No more Chassidic reggae superstar.”
The artist posted two photos of his beardless face on Twitter and a statement about his decision on his website.
“When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process,” he wrote. “I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules — lots of them — or else I would somehow fall apart. I am reclaiming myself.”
He signed off, “Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don’t worry … you haven’t seen the last of my facial hair.”
Born Matthew Miller, Matisyahu has been the most visibly Jewish artist in the hip-hop world since his debut album “Shake Off the Dust… Arise” was produced by JDub Records in 2004. While he first affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, Matisyahu later distanced himself from the movement and moved on from JDub, which shut down this year.