Matisyahu has proven true the age-old saying that it's bad business doing business with friends. On March 1, 2006, the evening before his major label studio debut Youth hit stores, Matisyahu terminated his management agreement with nonprofit Jewish label JDub. Cited by many as the organization responsible for Matisyahu's rapid rise to fame, JDub released several of the Hassidic reggae star's early recordings and nurtured the singer through the club circuit. After switching over to the majors two years ago, Matisyahu kept JDub principals Aaron Bisman and Jacob Harris on as his managers. Youth was jointly released through JDub/EMI.
In response, Bisman and Harris have issued the following statement: "Matisyahu's sudden decision to sever ties with JDub came as a complete shock to our organization. From the beginning, our relationship was forged on the same ideals, beliefs and long-term vision: to promote proud, authentic Jewish voices in popular culture. Matisyahu preaches spirituality, unity, and honesty without letting ego or other desires interfere we believe his rash termination of his relationship with JDub demonstrates that success has clouded his judgment and core ideals."
According to JDub's attorneys, "Matisyahu has terminated JDub's written management contract that was set to continue for years, causing JDub substantial damages. We believe that this has occurred unlawfully and without any legitimate justification. JDub cannot stand idly by and allow Matisyahu to deprive this worthy organization of its hard-earned rights. JDub will take whatever steps are necessary to recover its damages from Matisyahu and anyone else who may be liable to JDub in connection with his conduct."
In addition to Matisyahu, JDub works with a variety of other Jewish artists including SoCalled, GOLEM, and Balkan Beat Box and produces the annual Jewtide holiday event each December.