Matisyahu has come a long way since 2005 when he released his breakout album, Live at Stubbs. Starting out in the reggae mold, Matisyahu quickly won over the rank and file of the genre with his fresh approach, which managed to lean on classic “roots” and “dancehall reggae,” even as it drew in new influences from hip-hop. But another part of that early success was undoubtedly tied to his unconventional appearance—wearing the long beard, black hat, and black suit of a Hasidic Jew—and his equally unconventional references to Hasidic Judaism in his lyrics. It was a combination that worked to bring him into the spotlight, and to open up reggae music to a host of new fans. Since then he has proven to be one of the most dynamic and creative artists in the industry today, breaking with convention at every turn and remaking his musical image with nearly every album. And his latest album, Akeda, is no different in this regard.