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|Birth name||Ya'akov Shimoni|
|Born||November 13, 1979|
Tel Aviv, Israel
|Origin||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|Occupation(s)||Rapper, singer, record producer|
|Labels||TACT Records/NMC United|
|Associated acts||TACT Family, Joe Budden, Miri Ben-Ari|
Subliminal was born in Tel Aviv, Israel to a Persian Jewish mother and Tunisian Jewish father. Subliminal started performing music at age 12, and at age 15 met Yoav Eliasi. The two quickly became friends as a result of their mutual love of hip-hop.
In 1995 the two began performing in Israeli clubs geared toward a hip-hop audience, wearing baggy clothes and gold chains. They quickly developed a following among the nation's youth, and soon put out their first album, "The Light From Zion".
After the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000, the two began writing patriotic songs. They became known as creators of "Zionist hip-hop", a label still applied to them. In further contrast to the generally rebellious "outlaw" nature of most hip-hop, they also praise army service and eschew drugs and smoking.
Being the son of Jewish refugees is at the core of Subliminal's hard-line politics. "In Tunisia, my father grew up with his family locking all the doors and windows whenever performing a Jewish ceremony -- out of fear of attacks." Both parents, he says, "ran for their lives" to Israel, where they spent decades recovering from the persecution they had faced.
Subliminal and Ha'Tzel also helped discover the Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar; they collaborated but eventually fell out over Subliminal and Nafar's political disagreement. The bitter end of their musical relationship is chronicled in the documentary film, Channels of Rage.
In 2010 Subliminal married Ines Goldberg.
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Through lyrics and concerts, Subliminal and his rap group aim to inspire and encourage a new generation to stand as a unified Israeli nation. At many of his concerts, Subliminal begins by calling to the audience, "Who is proud to be a Zionist in the state of Israel, put your hands in the air! Hell yeah!" Subliminal can be seen at many of his concerts wearing American hip hop clothing and a large Star of David chain necklace. Journalist Joshua Mitnick writes that with Subliminal's patriotic, 2002 chart-topping album "Ha’or v’Ha’tzel" (The Light and the Shadow),
he transformed the Star of David into a fashion statement and helped integrate the music of urban America into the fold of Israeli pop… For Subliminal, the music has generated tens of thousands of record sales. For Israeli teens, it has given voice to their outrage at the state of affairs in their country. Hip-hop, a quintessentially American art form, is helping bolster national morale in a country bruised by… years of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians.
When we talk politics with Arabs in Israel, they say, 'My grandfather used to live in Tel Aviv, and now it's owned by Jewish people -- we want to come back,'" he says. "I respond, 'My parents came from Iran and Tunisia, but nobody is going to give our property back to us. It's all been confiscated . . . We have this little sandbox we call Israel. We give our hearts and lives to make it a proud country. Every one serves in the Israeli Defense Force in order for Israel to survive. You have half of the globe.'"
- Ha'Or m'Zion (האור מציון, "The Light From Zion") (2000)
- Ha'Or Ve'HaTzel with HaTzel (האור והצל, "The Light and the Shadow") 2002
- TACT All-Stars with Mishpacha TACT (תאקט אול סטארז, "TACT All-Stars") (2004)
- Bediuk Kshe'Chashavtem she'Hakol Nigmar (בדיוק כשחשבתם שהכל נגמר, "Just When You Thought It Was All Over") (2006)
- Jew-niversal (2011)
- Israeli Rapper Takes U.S. : Rolling Stone Archived May 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Press, Viva Sarah (September 25, 2006). "Sabra Sounds: Year in Review". The Nation. Archived from the original on September 18, 2011. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- Joshua Mitnick, "Israeli Hip-Hop Takes on Mideast Politics," USA Today, November 6, 2003. https://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2003-11-06-hiphop-usat_x.htm.
- The Light & The Shadow / Ha'or Ve'hatzel Album on Emusic.com
- TACT Records site
- "Israeli rappers prove hip-hop will translate to any language", by Loolwa Khazzoom, Boston Globe, 2004-01-04
- Israeli Rapper Takes U.S., by Loolwa Khazzoom, Rolling Stone, 2005-03-02
- (in Hebrew) Subliminal at Mooma (biography by Yoav Kutner)