Tag Archives: hip-hop

azns in hip-hop [1]

posted by djtrishna

In the land of hip hop, female MCs are a rare breed. At least that’s what the mainstream would have us believe.

Right now there are countless female artists fighting intense discrimination in the industry while producing some of the best hip hop out there. Many of whom are reppin it for us Azns.

Case in point? Shadia Mansour.

If you’ve never heard of this extremely talented artist before, you are in for a treat. I would describe her as the more intelligent, politically conscious, Palestinian female version of Drake. Just kidding, that would be a complete diss to Shadia because she could totally tear Drake apart in a throw down, just sayin.

Why should we be paying attention to her? Shadia’s flow is intuitive, expertly dropped over well produced beats and vocals that could carry her career on their own. Her lyrics resist the current trend of mainstream hip hop to produce formulaic lines that ignore social and political realities, which she does without getting cheesy. And the first single “El Kofeyye 3arabeyye”, off of her new album features M1 of Dead Prez.

Yes, as in Dead Prez, Dead Prez. If you don’t think this is a testament to her skills and potential as an MC, perhaps you should examine what you think you know about hip hop.

El Kofeyye 3arabeyye is a brilliant track that explores the cultural roots of the Kofeyye and challenges its appropriation.

Her depth and dynamism as an artist can be seen in this track but also through her collaborations and performances with other Arab artists such as Canada’s own The Narcicyst and the UK’s Lowkey in which she holds her own amongst the presence of such strong men.

Shadia is also uncompromising her in image as a Palestinian female performer. She rocks keffiyehs and traditional Palestinian dress onstage, constantly reminding us of her identity. Shadia has been nicknamed the First Lady of Arab Hip-Hop. To me, this is particularly important in an era of hip hop in which artists would rather wear Louis Vutton in an effort to assimilate to whiteness than have their audiences deal with their racial other-ness.

Her album is set to drop sometime before year’s end. You can be sure to expect big things out of Shadia in her reclamation of hip hop.

Check out her myspace here.

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dropping rhymes, not bombs

posted my missmsian

I feared it would come to this. The latest cause for panic regarding security for the upcoming G20 summit in Toronto isn’t the discovery of bombs strategically planted under office buildings (“hey, boss, we found the WMDs, but they weren’t in Iraq”). It’s a music video.

And since “G G20 CRASH THE MEETING TORONTO 2010” was posted on YouTube, Canadian media have been demonizing AK and Illogik, the two dudes who produced it, calling the rap a rallying cry for anarchists to firebomb T.O. Stephen Harper looks about ready to lose his toupee–errr, his cool.

Have you even listened to the lyrics?

Okay, maybe a few protestors will choose property damage as a way to spread their message. I can even imagine rich, white, suburban kids heading downtown to flip some cars for jokes.

But, from their catchy lyrics, these guys seem like they’re trying to organize a more diverse collective than that. They encourage people to raise their fists in solidarity with accessibility, gender equity, environmental justice, indigenous sovereignty and migrant justice. They are “against the war [in Iraq], against empire and colonization.”

Hmmm …  a group of engaged citizens with real ideas about timely, significant issues, calling for “power to the people”? Sounds like a democracy to me. I thought that’s what we like to pretend we’re all about.

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