Middle East/North Africa

Hip Hop has emerged as the dominant voice of youth in the Middle East and North Africa, especially for Arab youth. Local movements have developed in nearly every country in the region, from Morocco to Egypt, Saudi Arabia to Syria, making Arab Hip Hop one of the most important movements on the global scene.

With a strong adherence to “true Hip Hop”, and a focus on social and political issues, Arab Hip Hop artists are leading a global return to Hip Hop’s roots. And with more and more female artists joining the movement, Arab Hip Hop continues to push for change within the Arab and larger Muslim world.

Israeli Hip Hop came later on to the scene and has carved out a niche for itself, in Hebrew and English, though it is dwarfed in popularity to Techno and House music within Israel. Nevertheless, Israeli groups, such as Hadag Nachash, have created a distinctive funk-fusion sound that has resonated well with Israeli audiences, as well as diaspora Jewish fans abroad.

What is most significant, however, are the many successful interactions between Arab/Muslim and Israeli/Jewish Hip Hop groups over the past few years, from collaborations on songs to joint concerts in the region and abroad. Even as the notion of peaceful co-existence in the region becomes a punchline, the Hip Hop community seems to be making good progress towards peace.

Pull down the Geography menu to check out what’s goin on in Hip Hop in the Middle East and North Africa. Salam, Shalom, Peace!

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  1. December 5, 2011 at 10:56 am

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