The official Shemspeed logo.
|Country of origin||United States|
Shemspeed is an American independent recording label and promotional agency, working primarily in the genres of hip hop, dancehall, pop and world music. Shemspeed was started in 2007 by Erez Safar. Shemspeed injects a Hebrew word for God, "Shem," to mean "Godspeed," or "good luck."
Shemspeed's website, Shemspeed.com, focuses on Jewish music and music videos, events listings, features and reviews, and a music and apparel store. To promote the website’s launch, Safar booked four concerts in four nights at venues in Jerusalem, London, New York and Los Angeles with over 40 live acts in total.
In early 2010, Shemspeed began selling a blue and white "Israeli keffiyeh" with Stars of David and the Hebrew slogan "Am Yisrael Chai" ("The people of Israel live"). Manufactured by Baruch Chertok’s company, Dveykus, the scarves caused some minor controversy by putting a Jewish spin on the Middle Eastern garb most prominently associated with the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Safar defended the sale of the keffiyehs, noting that Jews indigenous to the Middle East have worn some variation of the keffiyeh for thousands of years.
Sephardic Music Festival
Shemspeed released the 2010 compilation album Sephardic Music Festival, Vol. 1, featuring Middle Eastern-influenced tracks from several Jewish artists, including Matisyahu, Pharaoh's Daughter, DeScribe, Moshav and Sarah Aroeste. A second volume was released in 2012.
Hip Hop Sulha
Shemspeed also organizes Hip Hop Sulha, a concert series promoting interfaith tolerance. The concerts have featured Jewish acts such as the Americans Yuri Lane and Y-Love and the Israeli Sagol 59 alongside Arabic artists like Saz and the N.O.M.A.D.S..
- Electro Morocco
- Tj Di Hitmaker
- SHI 360
- Kosha Dillz
- Dov Rosenblatt
- Dreams In Static
- Hood Samaritan
- Moshiach Oi!
- Y-Love & Yuri Lane - Count It (Sefira) (2008)
- Y-Love - This Is Babylon (2008)
- C-Rayz Walz & Kosha Dillz - Freestyle vs. Written (2009)
- Benyamin Brody, Diwon & Dugans - Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs) (2009)
- DeScribe & Y-Love - The Change EP (2009)
- Dreams In Static (Diwon and Dugans) - Serene Poetic (2010)
- Various Artists - Sephardic Music Festival, Vol. 1 (2010)
- Darshan - Lishmah (EP) (2010)
- Eprhyme - Waywordwonderwill (2009)
- DeScribe - Harmony (EP) (2010)
- D. Brook & J. Harkman - Darkcho (2010)
- Y-Love - See Me - EP (2011)
- Various Artists - Sephardic Music Festival, Vol. 2 (2012)
- Shemspeed MCs (DeScribe, Y-Love, Kosha Dillz & Eprhyme) vs. Electro Morocco - "Boom Selecta" (2010)
- DeScribe feat. Matisyahu - "Pure Soul" (2011)
- Lipa Schmeltzer & DeScribe - "Acharon Acharon, Chaviv (Diwon Remix)" (2011)
- Y-Love & Tj Di Hitmaker feat. Andy Milonakis - "The Takeover" (2011)
- "Forward 50, 2007," The Forward. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- Ben Jacobson, “Young and Jewish on the Web”, Jerusalem Post Billboard, October 19–25, 2007.
- Michele Chabin, "Reclaiming The Keffiyah?" The New York Jewish Week, January 28, 2010.
- Robert Mackey, "An 'Israeli Remix' of a Palestinian Scarf," New York Times, February 8, 2010.
- Mordechai Shinefield, "Monday Music: Sephardic Music Takes On the Club Scene," The Forward, January 17, 2011.
- "Heard & Scene: Festival Shines Spotlight on Sephardic Culture," The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2010.
- Tad Hendrickson, "Bringing Out Sephardic Music's New Voices," Wall Street Journal, December 7, 2012.
- Rachel Breitman, "Rapping in the name of interfaith tolerance," USA Today, October 2, 2006.