Steve Lieberman, the man behind “The Gangsta Rabbi,” was recently told that his Leukemia was terminal. Such news would’ve be enough to break the will of many artists, but Lieberman responded to the news by releasing Terminator V617F, his newest album, containing some of his greatest work yet.

Gangsta Rabbi

Lieberman was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn in 1958. He got his start in music playing the bass guitar, and now plays a variety of instruments, including the trombone and flute. As with many diversely talented artists, it’s hard to peg exactly what genre Lieberman belongs to. His music does have a distorted, punk-rock quality to it, but throw in the flute and the trombone and what you get is something much more eclectic and interesting.

This eclectic mix of electronic grunge and traditional instrumentation is most recognizable in “The Rabbi is Dead.” Lieberman has several covers on the album. In his take on “The Real Me” by The Who, Lieberman converts the orchestral, grandiose energy of the original to his signature punk-rock energy. His cover of “Feeling Stronger Every Day” by Chicago is played in a minor key, making it an ominous track, as opposed to the feel-good tone of the original. “JAK2 V617F” is one of the most meaningful tracks on the album, since the title of the song is actually the name of the genetic mutation that Lieberman’s Leukemia is caused by.

Lieberman’s story, for those who read it, is a truly inspirational one. He is one of many artists who have risen above personal struggles to create truly significant works. In addition to his five-year struggle with Leukemia, he has had a lifelong struggle with Major Depressive Disorder. Yet Lieberman keeps working to create meaningful work. Ernest Hemingway said,The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” Lieberman is one such person.

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