It’s young, it’s hip, and it’s in Arabic. Yes, the Arab world has recently found a voice beyond romantic crooning and patriotic yelling. Hip hop or rap, historically the sound coming from the ghettos, has been discovered in the past ten years by youngsters anxious for self-expression.
Personally, I am not much a fan of hip-hop and rap, so I’m not very familiar with its musician, especially not the young aspiring locals. So when Mike Al-Naji emailed me wondering why I never mentioned local rap talents on And Far Away, I asked him to write a little post about this, which I am going to share here:
Focusing The Spotlight On The Hip-Hop/Rap Movement
By Mike Al-Naji
“It started first as a hobby,” says local Jordanian rapper, MC Micro, “something I like to do and a way I could express myself, my thoughts, and my feelings”. He first started writing lyrics, and then started recording his music at home and sharing it with friends. Now, he has weekly performances at local coffee shops and has plans for releasing his first mixtape in late 2010. He is also currently working on what he says is a new, exciting project that aims to support all local musical talents.
“I rap about things that everyone goes through everyday,” he continues. “I just sit back, relax say what I want to say, and don’t care how it comes out as long as I’m expressing myself. “I didn’t think I was ever going to take it to this level, I never realized how much people actually liked rap and hip hop. Our youth is actually affected by this genre of music, and people liked what I produced, so it was a circle of forwarding and sending!”
Another local rapper, MC Puck, agrees “The hip hop scene in Jordan is still growing, and luckily, people have started to like it more in the past two years, but still, it needs some time to get to a level where most of the youth actively listen to it.”
Ahmad Al-Khaldi, better known as MC Puck, started writing and rapping in 2000. He later started a band called “Abaddons”. Looking to increase his skill, he took piano lessons and learned how to compose and produce music, after which he met Dan Drill started a project called “Sharq Music”.
“A lot of people say that we imitate the west, but actually music has no limits, if you hear most of my tracks, I try to combine Arabic melodies with hip hop loops to represent the Arabic mentality in music. Also, hip hop started as a way to say what you feel, what you suffer, and tell people more about the life you’re living, so actually we took this genre of music and changed it to what serves our needs, and oh yeah, I never hear people say that Amr Diab or Tamer Hosni for example imitate the west, which if we want to agree on this theory, they do, so it’s just music!”
MC Puck mixtape should be released in 2010, and he is currently working with Iraqi producer E-Qube on two tracks for his album.
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