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Cover of ARABRAP.NET VOL 1 sampler CD (2003)

Arabic hip hop is hip hop music and culture originating in the Arabic-speaking world. It is performed in English, local Arabic dialects, Hebrew, and French. Like most artists of the genre, these artists are highly influenced by American hip hop.

Hip hop music is highly popular almost everywhere in the Middle East. It is played on radio stations and shown on TV stations, but live hip hop performances has 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 rumored that a Palestinian group called DAM began the movement but in fact, the MWR (from Akko) released the first hip hop single in Arabic called "Ashanak Arabi" (Because you an Arab).[citation needed]


Main article: Algerian hip hop

The most popular Arabic rap group, the Algerian MBS, created in the late eighties. Algerian hip hop is one of the renowned Arabic hip hop types because its roots lie in French hip hop. Many French rappers originated from Africa, and of those, most from Algeria. Another group, is Intik who mixes different type of music and languages. Thoses crews have almost the same theme of lyrics - Algerian politics.


In Bahrain, 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 Dboy, Moneymar, Chillin, Tiny'O. is a site dedicated to showcasing upcoming hiphop Bahraini artists.


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More recent and very popular hip hop performers are MTM from Egypt, who have been using Egyptian Arabic in their songs. JAFFA PHONIX, founded in 2003 by two Palestinian refugees in Egypt, is an electro/hop band using Palestinian Arabic. The Arabian Knightz and Asfalt have also been gaining popularity.

Egyptian underground rap is now growing rapidly, due to the feeling of injustice that mainly affects youths in Egypt, with two rap groups called egyrap school and black bullets who are popular in Egyptian hip-hop/rap society. There is a lot of of Egyptian rap coverage on site.

Others such as Black Bulletz are now gaining popularity too in Egypt headed by MC Flash and Blaze.

In the past it was rare and unusual to hear Arabic Hip-Hop and Rap in Egypt. Egyptian rappers started like signed rappers. The first Egyptian rap crew was MTM. They put Egyptian rap into the spotlight all over the world. They released two albums: Omy Mesafra (My Mother is Travelling) in 2001, and Telephony Peyren (My Phone is Ringing) in 2003. They have received much criticism. Many Egyptian young people admired them and started to make their own songs, and began to make the Underground Society.

Another signed rapper is Karim Naguib. He started to record songs and released his first album, L'Wahdy (Alone), in 2007.

The first signed rapper from the Underground Society Rappers is Omar Boflot who won first place at the MTV Arabia competition Hip-Hopna. He is also the most famous rapper in Egypt. In the Underground Egyptian hip hop World there are many bands and single rappers.

One of the most famous hip hop groups in Egypt is called Revolution Recordz and was started in 2006 by Mezo and Ahmed Rock, who decided to make many rappers come together in one big gang. Currently Revolution Recordz contains four rap bands and 4 single rappers who are called:

Stif Say Wael (born April 24, primary stage name StiF Say) is an Egyptian rapper. At a young age Stif Say started to write poetry, rhymes and lyrics and controversy into his lyrics. He writes and raps about things that are happening in the Arab community of the world. Stif Say's music is a unique fusion[citation needed] of East and West, combining Arabic percussion rhythms, Middle Eastern melodies and urban Hip Hop/Rap The lyrics of Stif Say are influenced by the events running in the Middle East such as Darfur War and other critical issues and by the Palestinian struggle for freedom and equality. The songs, lyricsm, and music are written and arranged by Stif Say and musically produced by him and other known producers.

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


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.

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.


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 pitonp crew, MMD TAJ (The Arabian Journal) , NIZ-R , Ahmed_JAY ،962 Street, , DJ Sotusura and DJ Flava.


There is a popular Kuwaiti hip hop band called Army of One, who perform in English. In 2006, they 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 Kuwait itself.

There are also many unsigned Kuwaiti artists and bands who also perform in English, like HOT-C, 2D, RG who are considered pretty famous in Kuwait. A website dedicated to all underground rappers in Kuwait and from the Middle East is


AKS'SER, an Arabic hip-hop group from Lebanon, was formed by two Beirut-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.

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


Main article: Moroccan hip hop

One of the most successful Arabic rappers is the Moroccan 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 IAM and Danish topsellers Outlandish.

Cilvaringz is also a Moroccan rapper and member of the Wu-Tang Clan who speaks out against anti-Islamic sentiment along with fellow Dutch Moroccan rappers Salah Edin, Appa, and Sjaakie. Rapper Appa was accused of aiming death threats at the Dutch right wing politician Geert Wilders. Wilders took Appa to court over this issue and the judge ruled in favour of Appa.

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. Lyrically there different from Fnaire, comparable to American brag and boast rappers.


Main article: Palestinian hip hop

Palestinian hip hop supposedly started in 1998 with Tamer Nafar's group DAM.The group, based in Israel 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 word for "blood" (دم), but can also be an acronym for "Da Arabic MCs."

Ramallah Underground is a hip-hop group based in Ramallah, Palestine - including boikutt, stormtrap, and aswatt. Their lyrics represent a powerful response to the occupation of their country. Despite the severe isolation imposed on them they have benefited from a global media revolution that surpasses all boundaries and have adopted hip-hop as a subculture and a form of expression of protest, ultimately giving voice to a whole generation of Palestinians and Arabs.

The group MWR (Mahmoud, Waseem, and Richard) 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. Their lyrics represent a powerful response to the occupation of their territory. Despite the severe isolation imposed on Arab-Israelis, they have benefited from a global media revolution. This has allowed them to adopt hip-hop as an expression of protest, giving voice to the youth generation of Palestinians and Arabs. MWR is one of the most powerful hip-hop groups in Palestine. 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.[1]

Palestine also 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, and Y Crew).

Palestinian hip hop supposedly started in 1998 with Tamer Nafar's group DAM. These Palestinian youth forged the new Palestinian musical sub-genre, which blends Arabic melodies and hip hop beats. The group, based in Israel was founded in 1998, and is made up of three Palestinians (who are also Israeli citizens): Tamer Nafar, his brother Suhell Nafar, and Mahmoud Jrere. The group's name is the Hebrew word for "blood" and the Arabic word for "blood," but can also be an acronym for "Da Arabic MCs." or Arabic verb for "eternity". The group's lyrics often deal with the frustration at the feeling of being second class citizens in Israel, as well as other issues familiar to hip-hop fans around the world, including drug-related violence. 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 "Dedication".

Other Palestinian rappers include MWR, 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.

Palestinian rappers and producers

Saudi Arabia

The first Saudi Arabian Hip Hop Artist, Qusai aka Don Legend the Kamelion, began singing in the early 1990's 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 is expected to release a new album in early 2008 with his new group "Jeddah Legends." Many other rappers have recently risen from Jeddah including Black Royalty, Jeddah Fam and many others.

United Arab Emirates

Desert Heat is a hip hop duo based in Dubai. 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 wwhen they were surprisingly auditioned for Akon in Dubai. After impressing Akon, Desert Heat were pushed to open up the launch of MTV Arabia along side Akon and Ludacris. Shortly after Desert Heat released their first video "Desert Heat - Keep It Desert"


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, 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), Isam Bachiri (Outlandish), producer Fred Wreck (wrked with Snoop Dogg, G-Unit), DJ Lady S (Belgium), and Adam A. Shoucair also known as A.M.A (all.mighty.ameer) (Detroit), DJ Khaled (Terror Squad), Freeman (IAM), rim-k, Fnaire, Bigg and Fnaire.


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.


Individual acts