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Arabic hip hop is hip hop music and culture originating in the Arabic-speaking world. It is performed in Arabic, and local Arabic dialects, English, French, Berber languages (Tamazight) and Hebrew. Like most artists of the genre, the artists from the Arab World are highly influenced by American hip hop.

Also considered part of Arabic hip hop are the rappers of Arab origin in the Arab diaspora including in Europe, North America, Australia. These rappers are at times well-renowned far beyond their appeal to Arab audiences and are considered successful intrenational rap acts.

Hip hop music is highly popular almost everywhere in the Middle East, the Gulf and Northern Africa. It is played on radio stations and shown on TV stations, but live hip hop performances have only begun in the 1990s. Many hip hop groups are still underground, because their views and criticism of politics could lead to government censure. Therefore, the internet has been a major outlet for most groups. Hip hop music is played on the radio stations and shown on TV stations in Arab countries, but performing it has begun only recently. It is widely claimed that a Palestinian group called DAM began the movement but in fact, the MWR (from Akkomarker) released the first hip hop single in Arabic called "Ashanak Arabi" (Because you an Arab).

Yemen

The Yemeni HIP HOP has just started recently and increased very fast in 2008 and 2009. Because of the fast increase a lot of rappers appeared with different styles which has improved the quality of the Yemeni rap.There are many Yemeni rappers around the world but mostly in the USAmarker and the UKmarker. Some of them had the chance to performe in stages and to be heard such as KAWI, PRINCE ABIA, MR.NIO, HAGAGE AJ, MR.GBL,المجرم الغدار, Makaveli and more other.

Algeria

Algerianmarker hip hop is one of the renowned Arabic hip hop types because its roots lie in Frenchmarker hip hop. Many French rappers originated from Africa, and of those, most from Algeriamarker.

The Algerian MBS, created in the late 1980s is considered the most popular Algerian rap group. Another group, is Intik that mixes different type of music and languages. Thoses crews have almost the same theme of lyrics - Algerianmarker politics.

Bahrain

In Bahrainmarker, the hiphop scene has risen dramatically over the past few years. DJ Outlaw and Outlaw Productions are the most prominent, performing and organizing concerts, although there are others, such as Tha Kingz, Dboy, Moneymar, Chillin, LIL J , MR HR , flow , T-ZAY, Tiny'O, Isa il Shirawi.

BahrainTalent.com is a site dedicated to showcasing upcoming hiphop Bahraini artists.

Egypt

In the past it was very rare to hear Arabic hip-hop and rap in Egypt. The pioneering Egyptian rap crew was MTM and Y-crew 1998 .in 2003 " MTM They put Egyptian rap into the spotlight releasing two albums: Omy Mesafra (My Mother is Traveling) in 2001, and Telephony Beyren (My Phone is Ringing) in 2003.

Egyptian Rap has come a long way and existed from a long time a go, yet more recently become more heavily promoted in Egypt and The Middle East, with many new MC's and Crews.

Egyptian underground rap is now growing rapidly, due to the feeling of injustice that mainly affects youths in Egypt, with rap groups such as Egyrap School, BUSSMA, Black Bullets, One Way and a solo Rappper OMaR x who are popular in Egyptian hip-hop/rap society. There is a lot of coverage of the Egyptian rap scene on EgyRap.net site.

FEMALE Egyptian Rappers have been in the hidden light for many years, One of the first Female Egyptian Rappers to hit the stages of Kamit (Egypt), is of "Mixed-Heritage", British Egyptian-Lebanese Rap-Poetess by the name of: Princess Emmanuelle a.k.a. EmpresS *1, she began performing in her motherland Egypt since 2001, and her First One Woman Show @ Sawy Theatre was in 2005"A Hip-Hop Poetry Story" backed by Sudanese Reggae band (The First in Egypt0 'Al Wazza' and Hip Hop beat-boxers and dancers.

EmpresS *1 has Two UK albums and has shared stages with Jocelyn Brown (2002), The Wailers (2000), has been invited by the Legendary Public Enemy on stage in 2005, UK. In Egypt she has performed her "Word Sound 'n Power" or "Conscious Rap~Poetry" with 'Al Wazza', 'West el Balad', 'Fathy Salama', 'Sahara', 'Rania Shalaan', 'DAM', etc. etc. More recently she had the Launch for her Tour 'Rap Renaissence' in Egypt 2009. Egyptian Television Appearances include: Nile TV, Nile International, OTV, Dream, and Ch 2 (Land).EmpresS *1 has featured in a Dead Prez documentary; she is one of the three female elements of the prominent 'Black Samurai' movement. More Females follow in her footsteps, yet Rap more so in their Mother tongue, hence they are fully Egyptian born and bread.

"I know that poetry is the way forward, she says with the conviction of a priestess and the twang of a West London teenager. (The Voice, Feb 23, 2003) -------"A lot of thought-provoking, positive lyrics that touch on almost every aspect off human endeavours are all included in "Born Into a Drowning World". At nineteen, age has imprinted her name boldly in the sand of history. (The African Voice, Jan 2003)--------------“With a name like Princess Emmanuelle there comes a lot of questions and a lot of expectations..I only hoped that the Princess did not disappoint....and she did not.” (Community Times, Feb 2008)

More recent and very popular hip hop performers include Jaffa Phonix, founded in 2003 by two Palestinian refugees in Egypt, is an electro/hop band using Palestinian Arabic. UGB and Asfalt have also been gaining popularity. Also worthy for mention are acts like Black Bulletz who are gaining great popularity headed by MC Flash and Blaze. Another signed rapper is Karim Naguib. He started to record songs and released his first album, L'Wahdy (Alone), in 2007. StiF Say (Wael) is a Egyptian rapper. There are also the two Egyptian rappers who rap in English and show a lot of success with it Lil Seraphin and The Craniumist forming "The Sand Nation".

The Underground Egyptian hip hop world is flourishing with the first signed rapper from the Underground Society Rappers being Omar Boflot who won first place at the MTV Arabia competition "Hip-Hopna". He is also the most famous rapper in Egypt. Many other bands and single rappers take part in it.

Egyptian hip hop underground producers such as Smokin are very famous to their oriental hip hop instrumentals and songs , Mohamed ibrahim also known as smokin is a hip hop music producer that produced to many hip hop artists is also producing for his crew which called zilzalthe crew is from north sinai, Egypt is known for their self titled song and their album hazza ardiya means earth quake.

There is also an active Egyptian rapper, named LaLaZeZo, who has the rights for Arabic Rap Kings Mixtapes. This is the first time in the world that albums containing songs for the Arabic Underground Rappers have been released.

Another renowned hip hop act in Egypt is Revolution Recordz that started in 2006 by Mezo and Ahmed Rock, who decided to solicit works of many rappers to come together in one big group. Currently Revolution Recordz contains four rap bands and 4 single rappers who are called: Ismailia Soldiers, WilD Mc's, Hood Booyz, P.T.S , MEZO, Ahmed Rock, C-Zar, Mohey.

Actor Ahmed Mekky has spontaneously emerged recently as a Comical and Conscious Egyptian rap artist releasing successful songs along with his movies in 2008 and 2009.

Iraq

Timz is an Iraqi American rapper mostly known for his controversial rap song "Iraq". His debut album "Open for Business" is available online. He has gained recognition through his political messages in his music, and he has been featured on Fox News, MTV News, and Al Jazeera and has been nominated for "Best Hip-Hop Album" at the 2006 San Diego Music Awards.

ShaGaGy, Mr Passion & Nine Z Are the first Iraqi rappers rapping in Arabic language, they started in 2005 and they decided to be in one group which is called "Voice in Fog".

F.D Is an Iraqi rapper who started rapping in 2000, and he decided to make a rap group named "Arab Gezz" with his mate K.B, F.D raps in both languages English and Arabic.

The Narcicyst is a well known Iraqi Canadian hip hop artist and former frontman to hip hop group Euphrates. Sandhill was also a part of Euphrates, that now produces hip hop beats and often works with The Narcicyst. He raps in both Iraqi Arabic and English.

Mc NiZ-R is an Iraqimarker rapper who is living in Jordanmarker who raps in both Jordanian and Iraqi Arabic dialects. Lowkey is an Iraqi-British rapper, political activist and poet.

Aïwa is a french Iraqi hip hop band headed by two Iraqi brothers Wamid and Naufalle. The band was created in 1998 and toured all over the world. Naufalle is rapping exclusively in Iraqi dialect since 1998 and could also be considered as the first rapping in Iraqi language. Aiwa made 3 albums so far ("Aiwa" 2003 , "Elnar" 2006, "Remixed volume 1" 2007)

Jordan

Rap and Hip Hop music are also very popular in Jordan. Arabic Hip Hop is one of the most popular music genres listened to by Jordan's youth, in addition to trance and techno. Famous artists are Samm, TAJ (The Arabian Journal), 962 Street, DJ Sotusura, Ayman Max[279968]Ahat (band), Ahmed Jay, MC Puck, Dr. Mex, E-boy and E2TheD.

Kuwait

There is a popular Kuwaitimarker hip hop band called Army of One , Nu Rulze Gang, Red Room, Mafia Team, West Point, Tequila, Diss oR Die, ThuGz Team , who perform in English Arabic . In 2006, Army of one released an album called "Reprezentin", which received much success around the region. In 2007, their second album was released, which was the first to be released in Kuwaitmarker itself.

The Arabic Freestyle Battles is Also popular in Kuwait and there is Many Mcees doing UnderGround Freestyles Battles between Them such as BLaCk Face , Mc.CooL they are considered as the best Arabic Freestylers in Kuwait .

There are also many unsigned Kuwaiti artists and bands who also perform in English and Arabic, like , Dj Devil, Jay Nli, Rap Jahrawee, CraZy, 7j, BLacK Face, NaZ NaR, SuperMan, EQzOoZ, Luda, Freaky, Mc.CooL, Dead SouL, Scream, lil-M, Young D, NoDD, Mr.X, KaPaRo, Kuwaity Rock, Dj naMla , A7mad al39imey , Dj Star, MisHreFaWy, DirTy MaN, Dj-BliZe, HusTla, SnOoP_G and BigWilly and AL Refaie aka phelony who are considered famous in Kuwait

AL Refaie is not only an emcee, but also is one of the best hip hop producers in the Middle East.

Lebanon

AKS'SER,The first Arabic hiphop group which had lyrics in ARABIC. It's from Lebanon, was formed by two Beirutmarker-based rappers whose music is a discourse about a society marked by civil war. The act is currently signed with EMI. [Rayess Bek], one of AKS'SER members, has gone on with a solo career, releasing a widely acclaimed album.

RAmez a solo Lebanese rap artist signed to an independent producer reaches the highest rap sales in Lebanon at Virgin Megastores in 2007 and became the first Lebanese rapper to hit the top charts on NRJ with the Lebanese rap song "Leich Heik Baladé". Later on he is aired in 2008 on "Lebanon's number one" Radio One with "Is it too much asking" a controversial song and video calling for Peace and widely viewed on Youtube throughout the world. In 2009 RAmez creates his own company RAMEZ Productions (RAP)and continues to promote Lebanon in a positive way after 10 years of international work on Radio and Rap.

Jboo-Yalla (real name John E. Butrus) is a solo Lebanese rap artist from Beirut has gained popularity in the United States with his songs in English such as "Customas" and "What It Do" from his 2009 album, "I Got Paper". He is also know to have coined the phrase "you're my apprentice".

Clotaire K, another Lebanese rapper, recently released an album. Ashekman (Lebanese rap crew), Khat Ahmar (Lebanese rap and music production crew), Clotaire K and Ghassan Rahbani are other known Lebanese rappers.

Libya

Morocco

Arabic Hip Hop is most popular and successful in Morocco where artists enjoy regular Festival performances, TV/Radio appearances and commercial endorsements.

One of the most successful Arabic rappers is the Moroccanmarker artist Salah Edin who performs his music in the Moroccan dialect Darija. Salah Edin has performed in over 31 countries in 4 continents and worked among popular American acts such as the Wu-Tang Clan, producer Focus (Aftermath) as well as with popular French artists, Sefyu, IAM and Danish topsellers Outlandish.

Cilvaringz is the most successful Moroccan rapper and member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He performed in 46 countries alongside his Wu-Tang Clan band members and successfully sold his debut album I all over the world. He who speaks out against anti-Islamic sentiment along with fellow Dutch Moroccan rappers Salah Edin, Appa, and Sjaakie.

In Morocco Fnaire is another popular hip hop group. Lyrically they rap about how proud they are about their country and the way how people in Morocco. H-kayne is also a rap group that lyrically is comparable to American brag and boast type of rapping. And in Casablanca, hip-hop is becoming the street and underground voice of many rappers, and among the most popular are Mozidem, Casa Crew, Casa System,In Tangier, there other great names, including, MUSLIM and Kachla.

In Europe, there many European-born Moroccans, such LaFouine, Kamelancien, Salah, Isam Bashiri, etc, who became distinguished themselves and became among the best European rappers.

Tigresse Flow is the first ever Moroccan All-female rap group.

World famous producer and co-owner of RedOneKonvict, RedOne worked with top notch singers and producers such as Toni Braxton, Back street Boys, Shakira, Lady Gaga, Katdeluna, Akon, and others.

Oman

Palestine

Palestinian hip hop supposedly started in 1998 with Tamer Nafar's group DAM.The group, based in Israelmarker was founded in 1998, and is made up of three Palestinian men: Tamer Nafar, his brother Suhell Nafar, and Mahmoud Jrere. They blend Arabic melodies and hip hop beats in their music. The group's name is the Arabic verb meaning "to last forever" (دام), and is similar to the Arabic word for "blood" (دم), but can also be an acronym for "Da Arabic MCs." Despite not having a formal recording contract, DAM's 2001 single "Meen Irhabi? - Who's the Terrorist?" - was downloaded more than a million times from their website. The group has also delivered their message outside Israel and the Palestinian territories on four European tours. DAM's latest single "Born Here" is in Hebrew and they are hoping they can bring the Palestinian message to an Israeli audience. "Arabs already know how they live - we have to educate Israelis on what's going on." In 2006 they released their debut album "Ihda'".

The group MWR (made up of Mahmoud, Waseem, and Richard) is one of the most powerful hip-hop groups in Palestine. helps to bridge the social gap between Israelis and Palestinians. They sing out against poverty, drugs, crime, and the hardships they deal with as Palestinians living inside of Israel. They have even captivated a strong Israeli fan base to go along with their Arab supporters. This has helped them represent the Palestinians struggle within Israel today.

Ramallah Underground including boikutt, stormtrap, and aswatt is a hip-hop group based in Ramallahmarker, Palestine. Their lyrics represent a powerful response to the occupation of their country. They have benefited from a global media coverage adopting hip-hop as a subculture and as a form of expression of protest, ultimately giving voice to a whole generation of Palestinians and Arabs.

PR ( Palestinian Rapperz) are known as the first rap group in Gaza. Their group includes Mohammad Al-Farra a.k.a D.R , Kan'an Fayyad, Mu'taz a.k.a Mezo, and Ayman Meghames. Ayman's father, Jamal Meghames died a martyr during the war on the Gaza Strip in 2009. The group has made two new songs since the war "Gaza Ehna Minha" and "My City" which feature Shadia Mansour a Palestinian rapper living in the UK.

F3L - فـعـل is an Arabic Hip Hop band from three countries [Palestine, Iraq & Lebanon],F3L translates to "Verb" in English, and it refers to a superior act, a more effective performance.F3L talks about three countries that are suffering from the same enemy at the same time, which is one of the reasons that gave the group a truly unique nature.F3L is a group of three young refugees living in UAE,1) Mohammed Al Bittar, Palestinian Rapper, Producer and Audio Engineer.2) Wesam Al Sha'ar (A.K.A Big Daddy) Lebanese Rapper and graphic designer.3) Hamed Al Obaide (A.K.A Disclow) Rapper who raps in the English Language.F3L was currently done from the first mixtape [Lyrical Revolution] in 2009, which was produced by Jethro and the group now is working on the first Album.

Palestine has its own line of top producers such as Rami Ba'arah, a Palestinian born producer and rapper who has worked with many of the Arab rappers (DAM, Arabian Knights, Niz-R, TAJ, Y Crew and F3L). Other Palestinian rappers include Arapeyat and Jabbar (rapper & producer), the Palestinian Rapperz, the N.O.M.A.D.S, and the Philistines and Jaffa Phonix, founded in 2003 by two Palestinian refugees in Egypt, is an electro/hop band using Palestinain Arabic.

Qatar

Saudi Arabia

The first Saudi Arabian Hip Hop Artist, Qusai aka Don Legend the Kamelion, began rapping in the early 1990s and released his first solo album, "The Life of a Lost Soul" in May 2002 which included the popular single "Jeddah". After his journey in the United States with "Urban Legacy" and fellow rapper D-Light, he returned back home and released his depute album with Platinum Records in June 2008 with his new group "Jeddah Legends." Many other rappers have recently risen from Jeddah such as Black Royalty, Jeddah F.A.M, Red Coast, and Frozen Minds.

Kla$h (Mohammed AlGhamdi)

Kla$h started his rap career by dissing a group called "Cool", and he got famous for his openness. Other rappers started dissing and challenging him to gain fame. Beefs started to increase between him and other rappers, so the disses and songs started spreading all over the Arabic forums, until the police heard his songs, they had to hunt him down, and put him in jail. He was put in jail for "Frequently Insults and Verbal Abuse" in the streets and songs. He spend 3 months in jail and he's been all over the news and newspapers. While he was in jail he wrote one of the best songs he ever made called "Ummi" which means "Mom" in Arabic. The song spread in a very big way that in Kla$h's official site were more than 124,000 downloads.

A Year later "LBC" had an interview with him in a program called "Bold Red". He said that he retired from dissing and he's not a racist and he convey the streets to the "Cool". He also said he's been working with a production company for two months, and will release a video clip for every album he releases.

Waker Al'usfoor

Waker Al'usfoor is a band started to rap by dissing the rapper Kla$h. Waker Al'usfoor is made up of four known rappers in Saudi Arabia.

Syria

Syrian hip hop developed in the 1990s.

The Top Syrian MC's and Bands : Omar offendum , BalckBanners ,Eslam Jawaad,Sham MC's,Murder Eyes and Street Art

Tunisia

Tunisia has its own rap band Afrock comprising of "Da Sole" and WMD who have released an official mixtape called "New Species" which was critically-acclaimed nationally and internationally, whereas Trappa is a Tunisian rapper in the United States.Other Tunisian rappers who rap in Tunisian Arabic dialect and are based in Tunisia include Dragon Balti or Balti Hiroshima, Bad Boy Mc(Tunis) and Sincero (Sfax).

United Arab Emirates

Desert Heat is a hip hop duo based in Dubaimarker. Formed in late 2002, Desert Heat consists of two Emirati brothers ‘Illmiyah’ (eel-mee-yah) & ‘Arableak’. Desert Heat primarily rap in English, but the majority of their songs contain some Arabic literature. They speak about their own struggles, what it’s like being a Muslim Arab in the Middle East and what all ‘normal’ things they do. Desert Heat had high exposure when they were surprisingly auditioned for Akon in Dubai. After impressing Akon, Desert Heat were pushed to open up the launch of MTV Arabia alongside Akon and Ludacris. Shortly after Desert Heat released their first video "Desert Heat - Keep It Desert"

Kaz Money has opened for 50 cent in Dubai.

International / Other

Cover of ArabRapNet vol 1 sampler CD (2003)


The First Arabic RapMixtape released in 2008 under the name "Arabic Rap Kings Vol. 1 2008". This album copyrighted to LaLa4Fans Company for Amateur Talents.

From other Arab nations (Middle East and North Africa) as well as acts from the European continent: Arab Legion, Iron Sheik, Patriarch Son of a Refugee, Euphrates, and h2Z.

Other successful rappers, producers and DJ's of Arabic origin are Cilvaringz (Wu-Tang Clan), Salah Edin (Aftermath Entertainment), DJ Cut Killer (France), DJ Abdel (France), Freeman (IAM), Outlandish (Isam Bachiri), producer Fred Wreck (worked with Snoop Dogg in Doggystyle Records (USA) and with G-Unit), DJ Lady S (Belgium), and Adam A. Shoucair also known as A.M.A (all.mighty.ameer) (Detroitmarker), DJ Khaled (Terror Squad) (USA), Belly (Canada), K'Maro (Canada), K'naan (Somalia/Canada), Baba Saad (Germany), Nazar (Austria), Azad (Germany), Freeman IAM, rim-k, Fnaire, Bigg, Tai Mahmud, and Arab Gezz.

Notes

Massiv,Germany

External links

The internet played a major rule in spreading Arabic Hip Hop; the majority of the Arab Rappers got their breaks from websites that were created to showcase the (then) unsigned aspiring rappers. Some of those websites are presently defunct, while others exist till nowadays.


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