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Matthew Paul Miller, 30 June 1979, West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA. One of the more unusual musical talents to emerge in the early 00s, Matisyahu performs reggae toasts over dancehall beats while dressed in the full regalia of his strict Lubavitch Hasidic faith. Raised in California and White Plains, New York, Miller was brought up in a moderate Jewish household. In his early teens the lure of popular music bit deep, leading him to reject his faith and spend most of his time listening to modern jam band Phish. These early doubts were soon dispelled, however, and by his late teens Miller was both a practising Jew and a budding rapper, having been turned on to reggae and hip-hop during an enforced spell at a wilderness school for troubled children.
At the age of 19 Miller converted to the Lubavitch school of Hasidic Judaism and renamed himself Matisyahu. He began performing his dancehall-styled raps around New York, dressed in his...