Orthodox Jewish Rapper Matisyahu Shaves Off Iconic Beard

ABC's Cassandra Arsenault reports:

Orthodox Hasidic Jewish rapper Matisyahu has sported a lengthy beard for years, not as a fashion statement but as part of his religious beliefs. However, the artist has taken a razor blade to his trademark facial hair.

Matisyahu broke the news of his clean-shaven face, with photos of himself sans beard, Tuesday, first on Twitter, saying, "@matisyahu At the break of day I look for you at sunrise … When the tide comes in I lose my disguise." The message is taken from the lyrics of his song "Thunder."

Matisyahu before shaving off his beard:

Credit: Getty Images

Matisyahu without his beard:

Credit: @Matisyahu/Twitter

Born Matthew Miller, Matisyahu has become the most visibly Jewish artist in hip-hop since his debut album " Shake Off the Dust… Arise." His music blends traditional Jewish themes with reggae, rock, and hip-hop beat boxing sounds.

Initially, the 32-year-old artist's motives behind the drastic shave were unclear, but then Matisyahu followed up his tweet with a simple explanation on his website: "No more Chassidic reggae superstar."

"Sorry folks all you get is me…no alias. When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process. It was my choice. My journey to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality-not through books but through real life." Matisyahu wrote. "I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules - lots of them - or else I would somehow fall apart. I am reclaiming myself."

Although his non-existent facial hair may seem unfamiliar to his fans, he reassured everyone that his music would stay familiar and be something worth looking forward to in 2012.

"Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don't worry…you haven't seen the last of my facial hair," he said in a statement.

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