Sam Kestenbaum’s ‘“I’m An Israelite’: Kendrick Lamar’s Spiritual Search, Hebrew Israelite Religion, and the Politics of a Celebrity Encounter” points out how Kendrick Lamar has delivered spiritual and esoteric messages on all his albums. Yet DAMN. was the rapper’s first foray into Hebrew Israelite theology. This shift, according to Kestenbaum, is no coincidence. There is a family connection here: Lamar’s cousin, a member of a prominent Israelite group, taught the rapper in one-on-one study sessions. Lamar’s telegraphing the fire-and-brimstone doctrine of this movement was a surprising move to some listeners, and Kestenbaum describes some of the backlash Lamar received for it. The move was also met with ambivalence from Hebrew Israelites wary of a worldly rapper adopting their beliefs on the world stage without their formal approval. Even Lamar’s public statements about the beliefs have been muted and vague. For example, as Kestenbaum points out, Lamar told Rolling Stone he was speaking from his cousin’s perspective, but he agreed with some core Hebrew Israelite beliefs. Attentive to both the porous nature of claims to belief, as well as the overall lack of public knowledge concerning the Hebrew Israelites, Kestenbaum looks at the limits of celebrity endorsement – how Lamar’s exploration of Hebrew Israelite belief is policed by insiders, outsiders, and the media, and considers what this says about the place of marginalized American spiritual beliefs in pop culture.