Ellen Grossman reviews new Jay-Z album


After befriending rapper Jay-Z on the R train to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Ellen Grossman is now reviewing his latest album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” for MTV News.

Grossman, a Brooklyn born visual artist, was contacted by MTV News after a clip of her subway encounter with Jay-Z was featured in the documentary “Jay-Z’s Life and Times: Where I’m From.”

The unlikely reviewer analyzes a few of the rapper’s rhymes and metaphors, honing in on the trials and tribulations of his rise to fame.

“It sounds like he’s really going deep into his heart and into fatherhood and even the meaning of fame,” Grossman said. “[He’s saying] that the money’s nice, but there’s life beyond that, that he’s exploring. I picked that up from the papers but I felt it in the man too, when I met him. That he had a depth to him.

On one of the album’s 16 tracks, Jay-Z shows love to his Jewish fans — and his lawyers in particular – with the song “Somewhereinamerica.” The first line of the first verse reads, “Shout out to old Jews and old rules.”

This isn’t the only time Jay-Z has mused on Jews in his lyrics. ‘This Can’t Be Life,” from his fifth album, “Roc La Familia: The Dynasty,” has the lyric: “flow tight like I was born Jewish.” Jay-Z has used “Jewish” as an adjective to describe those that are smart or conservative with money.

In “What More Can I say?” from “The Black Album,” he refers to himself as, ”The Martha Stewart that’s far from Jewish,” due to his money savvy mind.

Can’t knock the hustle.

What’s Up for 2007?


YeLAdim will be mixing it up next year with more movies, books, music and TV reviews than ever before. If you have a review you’ve written (or want to write) or have heard of something that you want us to know about, e-mail kids@jewishjournal.com. You’ll be famous, and your parents and grandparents will have something to hang on their fridge.

See ya in 2007!!!

On Oct. 30, students ages 4-12 from local schools including Hawthorne, Stephen S. Wise, Pressman, Maimonides and Hillel participated in the Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles’ third annual Lego Bible Scene Creation event.

Leading honors go to Daniel Pereg and Jacob Zeitzew for their interpretation of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, above, and Raphael Elspas for his menorah. All participants received certificates and prizes, including books and munchies gift cards.

Hope for the New Year

Fourth-graders Avi Berman and Jordan Stern, along with their classmates at Sinai Akiba, created these poems about Israel:

“Peace,” by Avi Berman

Children praying
Hand in hand.
Praying for peace
In all of Israel’s land.
As soldiers stand
In the night.
Keeping Israel
From a fight.

“My Prayer for Israel,” by Jordan Stern

I hope Israel will have peace.
No homeless people or robbers.
Lots of space for kids to play.
And praying for soldiers every day.
Peace for Israel is like flying in the sky.
It doesn’t matter how high, how high.
Peace for Israel is like riding a boat,
While you’re trying to stay afloat.

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