Beyond Eminem

Rap has long had a diverse fringe, but the field is getting a fresh infusion of ethnic energy

Dating back to the Beastie Boys, rap has long had a diverse fringe, but Chinese-American rapper Jin, left, and others are giving the field a fresh infusion of ethnic energy. Their focus? Politics and spirituality, not babes and bling. --By Jeremy Caplan

MAXI JAZZ A devout Nichiren Buddhist in a band called, paradoxically, Faithless, he raps religiously against the war in Iraq

MATISYAHU No Sabbath rapping for this Hasidic hip-hopper. But his new rabbinical-style reggae rap has caught on big

LITEFOOT On his 2005-06 Reach the Rez tour of 211 Native-American communities, he'll use English and Cherokee

CAPITAL D An Orthodox...