Matisyahu at Kravis Center December 29

Is Matisyahu without a beard like a king without a crown?

Earlier this month, in a sudden move that shocked every member of Planet Earth's Hasidic reggae community to the etsem (or bone for all you non-Hebrew speakers), everyone's favorite Jewish MC, Matisyahu (born Matthew Paul Miller), shaved off his famous facial hair. Fans and followers were forced to confront his clean-shaven look the morning of December 13, when he tweeted two iPhone photos of his newly naked mug, alongside a cryptic lyrical couplet ("At the break of day, I look for you at sunrise/When the tide comes in, I lose my disguise") from the 2009 track "Thunder."

A few hours later, he explained his actions by issuing an official facial hair statement via "This morning I posted a photo of myself on Twitter," he wrote, emphatically adding, "No more Chassidic reggae superstar... I am reclaiming myself. Trusting my goodness and my divine mission."

Naturally, Matis's people began to panic, thinking his beardlessness, lost side locks, and brash words were signs he had renounced his faith. However, the Hasidim can relax. This MC is still chillin' with Jehovah. He even tweeted, "For all those who are confused: today I went to the Mikva and Shul just like yesterday."

It's even possible that this little shaving incident is merely the birth of a new beard. "For those concerned with my naked face," Matisyahu has reassured the worriers, "you haven't seen the last of my facial hair."

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S. Pajot