Taciturn Records has signed Israeli Jewish rapper Yoni Ben-Yehuda, a.k.a. Sneakas for his U.S. debut album, In It For the Change, to be released by Sony Red on Tuesday, March 4, 2008. The album will be available in retail locations nationwide, including Virgin Records for $11.99, and on iTunes for $9.99.
Sneakas came to the attention of U.S. labels after appearing on the double-Platinum album, The Light and the Shadow, from Israeli Hip-Hop sensations Subliminal and the Shadow. The young Israeli MC has performed for crowds upwards of 10,000 and has opened in the U.S. for artists such as, Wu Tangs’ Remedy, Miri Ben-Ari and Lupe Fiasco.
Rachel Zuckerman of the Jewish Forward wrote, “The smooth pacing of his delivery as an MC illuminates his subject matter, without sounding preachy or pedantic.”
In It For the Change features 15 tracks inspired by Sneakas’ personal experiences as an Israeli Jew—and boasts a series of Hip Hop heavyweights. Tracks with radio ready hooks include "My Music," “No Time for Games” (feat Kool G Rap, Bless and GTO), “5 Mics” (feat. four Israeli rappers: Booskills, Shi 360, Sky and Subliminal), “Two Stories” (feat. Wordsworth), “Wit Us” (feat. Ras Kass) and “In It For the Change” (feat. Maya and Momy Levi).
The LP is also packed with social and political messaging in tracks like “The Virus,” “Middle Eastern Jumpoff,” “Learn to Fall” and “Uni Worship.”
Sneakas’ next album is already in the works—a collaboration with Muslim rapper Mazzi. The album will focus on their view on the Middle East and American politics. Although the two rappers have differing opinions about the Middle East, the album is proof that forums of non-violent expression between Jews and Muslims do exist. Collaborators for this project include MC Search and Noose.
When asked about Sneakas, Bassy Bob Brockmann, Grammy®-winning producer and co-president of Nu Media said, “Sneakas’ music reflects a keen intelligence and energetic wit, as well as a strong awareness of global politics. He raps about peace without sounding didactic, and projects none of the false bravado so prevalent among his peers.”
Sneakas’ EP Rap, Kicks and Politics is also available on iTunes. For more information or to hear tracks, please visit www.myspace.com/mcsneakas.
The 26-year old MC known as Sneakas, was born Yoni Ben-Yehuda in Tel-Aviv, Israel. After moving to Manhattan at age 11, he quickly became fascinated by Hip-Hop culture. Using his extensive musical background, which includes classical training in both bass guitar and drums, Sneakas started writing rhymes and producing his own music. After years of honing his skills in the underground circuit of New York City, Sneakas was signed in 2001 to the production company, Nu Media, whose production credits include the likes of Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Babyface, TLC, Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, Faith Hill, Kirk Franklin and Bob Dylan. In 2003, Sneakas toured for a year in the Middle East, performing in hundreds of clubs, festivals, fundraisers and other venues. Since his return to New York in 2004, he has continued to carve a niche for himself in the NYC Hip-Hop scene with performances at B.B Kings, Nuyorican Poets Café, Pussycat Lounge, Bowery Poetry Club, The Knitting Factory, M1-5, The Groove and The Bitter End. As an artist, his mission is to initiate positive change in the world through music and his socio-political messages.