L’Chaim OG is a Jewish rapper, with songs such as Shabbos Juice (my personal favorite!), Ani Po 2.0, and the many, many other songs he has produced. He is a very big inspiration to me, and to many others, with his drive and passion for what he does, and his journey through Judaism.
Currently, the rapper is living in New York where he has been recording his (57!) songs in the past year and is working on some new songs. He hasn’t always lived in New York, though.
Q: Tell me about your background and more about yourself.
A: “Born and raised in Minnesota, Minneapolis, grew up in a loving home that valued education.” He goes on to talk about his parents’ background. He grew up Christian, but he “...one day found his way into a synagogue, got a hold of a Chumash, read through that....and things just started moving after that.” He mentioned that “because of my sports background, I’m used to going for what I want and what I’m interested in and going towards it, unapologetically.”
He, then, talked more about his sports background. “I lost my eye from cancer at 16 months old, and the doctor said I should avoid things like football, and I ended up playing football.” He talks more about his football scholarship to college, and his chances to play professionally. After he played football, he got more serious about his music and his Judaism, later moving to Israel for some time before the pandemic. Along the way, L’Chaim OG has had some peers that helped him through his journey in Judaism. He studies with Amar'e Stoudenmire, a Jewish basketball player, who played for the Phoenix Suns, the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, the Miami Heat, and basketball teams in Israel. “He’s been a good friend on this journey of trying to live more righteously. I want to surround myself with people who are headed in the same direction of doing the same things. He’s definitely been that, an inspiration, and an encouragement. It’s good to have a friend to hold you accountable for being better.” Also, he says his favorite place in Israel is Crave, a very popular restaurant in Jerusalem. “The people that are like family to me own it...and they definitely took me in, I spent some of my first Shabbats in Israel by them.”
Q: How did you become a recording artist, and what was your inspiration for writing and recording so many albums during the pandemic?
A: “I came up around music, Prince is my mom’s first cousin. I grew up with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who are like family to me, so I was always around music and I went to the studio for the first time when I was fourteen. I’ve been rapping and writing most of my life, so once I got in the studio, I started recording and freestyling.” He continued on about how he has inspiration during the pandemic. “There was no different inspiration, I just finally had the time to go to the studio! I recorded 57 records and released them from Pesach until now.” He mentioned that he is always writing, and it’s just a matter of when he can get into the studio.
Q: What is your message for the Jewish teens who are reading this?
A: “Life is about choices. You can only complain about what you want to change, if you want to change something, make that choice and go after it!” Also, later in the interview, he talked about how he dealt with prejudice and hate. He said, “There have been certain times where people haven’t been the most pleasant or warm, and I choose not to focus on that because I believe I have the ability to overcome it, but I do choose to address it for the sake of others...we shouldn’t make others expect that they need to jump over hurdles, we should move the hurdles out of the way.”
Q: What is your favorite song that you have made and why?
A: “My favorite song that I have made is Parshat Balak, a) because that was the Parsha of the week I came out of the mikvah, and b) Bilam had one eye and I also have one eye. It talks about that although there may be this negativity or people that want bad for you, we are blessed and we will continue to count our blessings.”
L’chaim OG is an inspiration. He says that “Judaism is a nice, fancy word, but it’s really just about trying to be a better person, being more accountable, better Middot (character), better qualities.”
Madison Harr is a BBG from Ohavim BBG #418, and she has a dog named after Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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