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Nissim – “Sores”


12 September 2013 No Comment

Today AllHipHop premiered the latest track from Seattle rapper Nissim, formerly known as D.Black, entitled “Sores.” The gripping and powerful song is perhaps the first of its kind, combining hip-hop and classical Jewish Cantorial (Hazinut) music, as it tells the story of first an African-American slave during the 1700s and later a German Jew in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. Nissim’s Orthodox faith continually informs his work, but perhaps never so explicitly as in this new track, where he draws on the parallels of two seemingly disparate peoples’ struggles, ultimately affirming the common humanity underlying both.

“My wife brought this idea to me almost 4 years ago,” says Nissim, “I was reluctant to touch it because I knew if I were to do it, it had to be right. Slowly [it] became a record I had to do.” To help him create this ambitious and potentially controversial song, he once again turned to his faith, incorporating elements of Hazinut music into the beat, with Eli Cohen composing an original piano piece, Reuben Antolin on guitar, Sam Anderson on the cello and violin, and finally Rabbi Simon Benzaquen‘s gorgeous and affecting vocal. “I love the chorus sang by the Rabbi,” say Nissim, “Its words in translation are ‘The L-rd is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The L-rd is the source of my life’s strength, whom should i dread? Hear L-rd, my voice when I call, favor me and answer me.’ ”

While the track speaks very specifically of two particular historical struggles, Nissim hopes the message will be heard universally. “I think it’s relatable to all people,” Nissim continues,”[The] reason being that we all have personal slaveries and spiritual genocides to the soul and self, and we need the proper focus and strength to be able to move on and say ‘never let it happen again.’ ” He also hopes that the track will encourage more African-Americans and Jews to think critically about the similar persecutions both peoples’ have endured throughout history and allow them to find more common ground and unification. “I think the fact that I as an individual embody the struggle of both groups is very unique,” he says, “And it could be a platform for discussion in a world that seems to sometimes purposely forget about our past.”

Check out the song here: https://soundcloud.com/nissim-music/sores-feat-simon-benzaquen/s-ztV2u

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