DAM: Arabic Reggae!!!

Posted on October 23, 2010

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So, Lately I have been obsessed with all things Arab. I’m guessing this has something to do with the a class that I am taking called Al- Jazeera: Voice of the Voiceless. This class is amazing! It’s all about the world’s largest News station, Al- Jazeera, and is a really a crash course for all things Arab. To say I am learning a lot would be an understatement! Now, one of the things tha this class has really got me interested in is Arabic music, in particular Arabic reggae. And as I was roaming around on YouTube I discovered a dope Arabic reggae band called DAM.

DAM is the Middle East’s leading rap/hip hop group. It is composed of Tamer Nafar, 27, his younger brother Suhell, 23, and Mahmoud Jreri, 24. The group has been performing together since the late 90s. Tamer, who had been performing Rap since 1998 with his brother, was first contacted by Mahmoud Jreri. Mahmoud was writing his own lyrics so they quickly decided to join forces and the group was born in 1999. All three members of the group were born and grew up in the slums of Lod, a mixed town of Arabs and Jews, 20 km from Jerusalem.

DAM’s music is a unique fusion of East and West, combining Arabic percussion rhythms, Middle Eastern melodies and urban Hip Hop/Rap. The lyrics of DAM are influenced by the continuing Israeli – Palestinian conflict as well as by the Palestinian struggle for freedom and equality. DAM also draw their influence from such controversial issues as terrorism, drugs and women’s rights. Musically they take their inspiration from both Hip Hop artists (Nas, 2Pac, Mos Def, IAM, NTM, Saian Supa Crew, MBS etc.) and Arabic music (Marcel Khalifa,Kazem Saher,George Wassouf, Majda al Romi etc.)

DAM’s music is great. I think it’s amazing how far Bob Marley, reggae and hip-hops reach really is. Even in the slums of Israel you can find reggae or rap. Reggae helped the world to open up it’s eyes and see the problems that Jamaicans and the rest of the world faced. And Rap and Hip-Hop were an outcry from the disenfranchised ghetto youth would not be taken advantage of anymore. Music was both of these groups way of getting the world’s attention and forcing change. This is what Dam is doing. Forcing us to listen to the cry’s of the Middle East. It’s time to stop ignoring this part of the world. Instead we all need to help and change it. All children deserve to live peacefully in the holy land!!

If you’d like to listen to DAM, which you should, check out this video of the song “Generation.”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DesQNMeu_6w
 Or you can visit the band’s MySpace page http://www.myspace.com/damrap 

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