ZIONIST rapper Antithesis is just that: the antithesis of the rapper stereotype.
Antithesis AKA Samuel Green read Oriental studies at Trinity College, Cambridge. He currently works for an acclaimed marketing company in Switzerland by day and has, on occasion, led services at Kingston, Surbiton & District Synagogue.
So in recent years he has grown accustomed to surprised reactions when he tells people about his musical endeavours.
“Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t come across as a typical rapper but that is where my name comes from,” explained Samuel, who has just released his first music video.
The 27-year-old added: “People tend to be shocked, particularly with the genre of music that I am involved in.
“But I enjoy having two very different aspects to my life – it makes it more interesting.”
Samuel, whose grandfather is from Broughton Park, Salford, released his debut music video which features the title track from his third EP, Proud to be a Zionist.
And the MC explained that he wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of his loyal fans.
He said: “I’ve always wanted to shoot a video, but it was only ever a dream. But when I participated in the ROI Global Summit for Young Jewish Innovators in Tel Aviv last summer, I met someone who was involved in the film industry in Israel who said they would help me make one.”
Samuel then decided to email all his followers, asking them to pledge five or 10 pounds each to help fund the video.
The ‘Zionist rapper’ said that the video was only made possible through these donations.
“It was touch and go, but we made it and I’d love to make more in the future,” he added.
The video’s release has been timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Theodor Herzl – the founder of modern Zionism – and the single was released on Yom Haatzmaut itself.
Samuel revealed that the ideas for his lyrics evolve over a period of time and that there is a particular message in his latest song.
“Broadly speaking, I want people to feel that being Zionist and having a strong connection to Israel is something we can celebrate,” he said.
“From my experiences in the UK I think that we’re afraid to say in a public forum that we’re Zionists or Jewish and that’s unfortunate.”
The video for Proud to be a Zionist was shot in Jerusalem utilising venues as symbols.
Ancient Israel is represented by the Old City, the beginnings of Zionist immigration is symbolised by Yemin Moshe – which was built during the first aliya – and the modern state can be seen through the Knesset.
Samuel has had interest for upcoming tours in Canada, South Africa and Australia and spoke of the enjoyment he gets from gigging.
“I performed in front of 40,000 people in 2008 at the Salute to Israel concert in Trafalgar Square,” he said.
“That was amazing – when I got on to stage I felt on top of the world.”
But Samuel, who was an active member of the youth organisation FZY, is still extremely proud of his humble roots.
“My friend commented on the video this week and said they loved it. But they also said I would always be a Cambridge geek – they’re probably right,” he joked.
All profits from Antithesis’s CD sales go to the Antithesis Charitable Fund. You can order Proud to be a Zionist from www.antithesismc.com and also watch the video there.