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The Hip Hop Violinist

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Album Review

Besides the fact that she's just so gosh darn beautiful, the hip-hop community took to Miri Ben-Ari because of her spirited playing that perfectly fit songs like Twista's "Overnight Celebrity," and in many ways it made them. Right from the title, The Hip-Hop Violinist relies too much on the gimmick of such a thing, and in the end comes off less satisfying than her jazz releases, which had more inspired tiles like Sahara and Temple of Beautiful instead of Female Israeli Jazz Violinist. Half of her guests can't help but dwell on her name, her beauty, and her quirky role in hip-hop, repeatedly giving props to her instead of offering anything substantial. Good news is Lil' Mo will have none of it, instead delivering the uplifting "Hold Your Head Up High" with a passion to which Miri's winding violin responds with spirit. "Chillin' in the Key of E" is intriguing Vivaldi meets Wes Montgomery meets hanging out downtown, and the Southern party anthem "4 Flat Tires" with Baby, Lil Wayne, and Six Shot makes up for a lot of filler. Hearing Doug E. Fresh's human beatbox accompany Ben-Ari's interpretive take on "Star Spangled Banner" is exciting and neither John Legend nor Kanye West damage their lofty status, but insights into Ben-Ari the artist are just too rare. Consider it a mixtape with Ben-Ari appearances and it's more hit than miss, but as thrilling and as fun as the album can be, you can't help but wish the unique voice on her earlier recordings was more center stage. [The album was also released in an edited version.]

Customer Reviews

I Wish

I just wish I had enough money to buy the CD. This thing is hot and should be getting a lot more attention than songs such as Laffy Taffy. Seriously guys only like it because girls like it and girls only like it because... Well who knows why women do they things they do no offense what so ever I think highly of and respect the oppostie sex. Anyways moving on you should really get this album because it's one of the few today that's moving Hip Hop in the right direction.


I'm a big fan of string instruments and orchestra sounds.( I love a movie with a good soundtrack) And I also hip hop. I'm glad someone if finally trying to combine the two, but I'm not sure she's got it exactly right yet. I think it's the rap that mostly messes it up. The song's should have more singing, so that the sound is smoother. For example, Black Violin came together nicely on songs like "Ima Rider" (although that singing isn't exactly smooth). I don't what she's got here is a good start, but I want to hear her on the radio someday, and to do that, she needs to make the music flow.


I'm not so sure about the songs but I'm so glad that there is someone out there making classical instruments popular again. I don't like it when people think that violas and violins and cellos are for geeks. They are cool and I'm very happy that someone is changing that stereotype around!


Born: Israel

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Few artists can say they're career launch involved both superstar rapper Kanye West and Carnegie Hall favorite Isaac Stern, but Hip-hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari can. When the Israeli-born virtuoso's family couldn't afford her violin lessons anymore, it was Stern who stepped in, gifting the young prodigy a violin. She was later chosen to play in the prestigious Israeli Army String Quartet and fell in love with jazz, a love that brought her to the United States and the Mannes School of Music in New York...
Full Bio

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The Hip Hop Violinist, Miri Ben-Ari
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