Online Discussion: Palestinian hip-hop

Based on today’s video, the video below, and this article, in what ways are Palestinian hip-hop artists challenging the dominant?  Who and what are they challenging, and what does this tell us about hip-hop artistry?

Palestinian hip-hop group tackles murder of women

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian hip-hop group DAM on Tuesday released a music video of their latest song to raise awareness about the murder of women.

The song, “If I could go back in time,” features guest singer Amal Murkus. It describes a young woman who is killed by her father and brother.

The video begins with the shooting of the woman and chronicles her life backwards, revealing in the last lines that her crime was to have been born a girl.

Suhell Nafar of DAM, who co-directed the video, rejected labeling the murder of women as “honor killing” at a news conference in Ramallah to launch the video.

“We should throw these words out of our dictionary,” said Nafar. “Honor and killing are not logical just like Israel and democracy.”

Rapper Tamer Nafar said the group wrote the song for the “missing voices” of women denied the opportunity to follow their dreams.

“We feel that when there is a crime against a woman, it is seen as the end of the story,” he said.

“No one asks the right questions, no one tries to shed the light on the human face; it is just another death. A death justified merely by the fact of being a girl.”

Soraida Hussein, general director of the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee, noted the potential of art to bring change and said the video was a “powerful tool in our efforts for social change.”

DAM is an acclaimed hip-hop outfit from Lod in Israel formed in 1999 by brothers Tamer and Suheil Nafar and Mahmoud Jreri. The group has a large following in the Middle East and has performed internationally.

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54 thoughts on “Online Discussion: Palestinian hip-hop

  1. I would say the “dominant” that DAM and many Palestinian hip-hip artists are challenging is society and the traditions/rules/judgments it imposes on them that are simply accepted as truth. Tragedies such as accepted woman violence and being judged (to be a terrorist) simply for being a certain race are the exact oppressions that fueled hip-hop at its beginning and are the tools that drive hip-hop to be used as an art form of expression and resistance. DAM is a group that may not have risen fast, but have inevitably gained recognition throughout the Middle East and their messages of analyzing cultural and religious view for themselves (such as “honor killing”, rather than simply continuing to follow stereotypes and traditions that may not be ethically correct) is an empowering and educational way to use this outlet as a way to initiate change. What I see in the birth of hip hop in America as well as its start in the Middle East, are generations that through the art form of hip-hop have become more aware and active politically and ethically. When cultures come together to discuss hip-hop, other’s problems are discussed and common problems are brought to attention and empathized, not only unifying artists across race, but inspiring them to take action and speak out against wrong-doings globally and locally, all through hip-hop.

    • I agree with Taylor. Society is the dominant that those hip-hop artists are challenging. Their society is keeping them down and are keeping them trapped in one section. Groups like DAM are angry and rather than express that with violence, they express their anger through rap.

      • Adding on to Marinda’s comments and Taylor’s post it can be justified that rap and hip-hop music is an expression to tell personal stories and how much a certain issue or topic effects one another. DAM obviously wants to bring awareness to the murder of women so this video sheds light on this issue and makes a bigger impact than just speaking about it. This song and video is rather expressing so many emotions and feelings that may not be easily said through just talking.

      • I don’t think DAM is the only group attempting to speak out and gain support against the injustice of what is happening in their country. It is great that they are doing something, hip hop is what they know best and it is how they show it. I agree with Marinda that the current society in which they are a part of is the oppressor, their culture is not. It’s extremely noble and courageous of them to say what they are in the songs they sing. Especially beacuse of those two guys that faced 10 years in prison for singing a song about their dead friend.

    • I agree with both of you guys DAM is not your average hip hop group and sometimes that does not have to be a bad thing; it seems like they got the perfect idea of how they want to portray themselves. They have heavy influence from Public Enemy who were all about the rights for African Americans while DAM is about doing the same for Palestinian people.

      • Adding to that, as we saw on Tuesday, they also influenced groups such as PR, who has risen awareness of hip-hop in Gaza for the ’68 Palestinians through their concert in the video. This shows the ability of hip-hops message of hope to spread fast. It is possible that the near future holds social reforms from the expanding people of hip-hop in these third-world countries.

    • I completely agree with Taylor’s argument. I think the videos we watched in class, and this Youtube video really exemplify how hip-hop started. The roots of hip-hop are based out of prejudice and repression. That is exactly what is going on here. DAM is standing up for Palestinian people to be a voice of action. Though this may be a non violent action, it is still being used to counter all of the hardships happening currently. When so many bad things are happening, hip-hop can take their minds off of all the bad and even begin to be therapeutic. They are also challenging the argument that hip-hop is strictly American. This music is hip-hop, they are obviously not in America. That challenges views of hip-hop right there.

      • I somewhat agree with you. I think that hip hop is not getting their minds off how they feel about the way they are being treated. They are using hip hop to get the words out there. To have people on their side. They wanted change to come their way and they did not worry about the money, as long as they had other people who were about making change with them. The DAM was not the only group that tried to make changes their were also other groups that wanted to express the way they felt about the oppression that was happening in their country. It is really hard for them to make change because they are still finding their voice and that they are the minority. These groups proved that hip hop can be used to make a difference in your environment.

  2. DAM is clearly challenging the political and social standards within the Middle East, more specifically Israel. The Israeli government is clearly the “dominant” in the picture politically and males are the “dominant” from a social aspect. In the article, Nafar is quoted saying that Israel’s government lacks democracy because so many groups go unrepresented and the Palestinians face constant oppression. In Israel, that stands true as the government does its best to ensure that Palestinians have trouble traveling around Israel and have to struggle much more than the Israeli people. Women in Palestinian society are also treated as a lesser than men. Nafar is also quoted in the article, saying that a woman death is “just another death. A death justified merely by the fact of being a girl.” Such severe oppression should not be tolerated anywhere and DAM has set out to combat the issues through hip-hop. Until their founding in 1999, hip-hop was nonexistent in the Middle East, but with some influence from literature, other artists, and the turmoil around them, DAM began to grow. DAM was confused at first, attempting to rap in english, but they soon realized that They could be more influential by rapping in their native language, allowing for a much better connection with their music and fan base. DAM is now an international group and hundreds of thousands in the Middle East have grown to embrace their sullen, yet provocative message.

    • Jack does make a good point regarding the difficulty of travel for the Palestinians. It goes to show how hard the government is trying to make life harder for the Palestinians living there. It seems like they try to put resources into every little aspect that can make life harder for them. I’m glad DAM stuck with their native tounge for the music, it makes no sense for them to be rapping in English, they talk about problems around them, might as well speak the language the people can understand too.

      • I agree with you in that the difficulty for these people to travel makes the life of the Palestinian people tougher. Because of their hard lives I think its important for groups such as DAM to help lift the soul of the region through the power of Hip Hop. These groups that are rising out of these nations are what start movements to give individuals hope and purpose. With the persistence of DAM and others, the hope of progress in Palestine stays alive.

    • Jack is correct in saying that Israel is definitely the dominant voice in the region where DAM is. DAM is continuing the themes we have learned about throughout the semester about people needing a voice and hip hop being the answer. DAM also brings in another aspect of resistance because they choose to rap in their native language, not in English, even though they learned about hip hop from American artists. It will be interesting to see if DAM could make it big in the United States because, as we know, the US is a big supporter of Israel in the region. I wonder if that will have an affect on their ability to gain popularity.

      • Interesting thought. I think the fact that we are allies with Israel has a huge effect on what we hear and see from that region. Much of the news we receive on that region is very one-sided. I’m sure most Americans would be quick to label Palestinians as terrorists and Israelis as the victims, while it appeared quite the opposite in SlingShot hip-hop. The skewed American media powerhouses are certain to affect how we pick and chose what we see/listen to from that region. However, I also think this music would fail in the American music industry because it is not in English. The instrumentals used in DAM’s songs are derived from those used by American artists, which unless rapped over in English, would be rather uninteresting to Americans because there is no connection to the music. So much of hip-hop is listening to the music and if a person does not understand the music, they will more than likely immediately tune it out. That being said, the combination of skewed media and disinterest in songs written in different languages would mean that DAM’s music would fail in the American music industry.

    • DAM represents much of what hip hop use to be. They are try yo make a movement as well as something that makes a difference. the fact that we are watching what they are doing in class shows that what they are doing has a voice. There music is trying to spark a conversation in their society that can hopefully make a change for the best. DAM Making their music with out the motivation of making millions of dollars which shows that what they are doing has greater importance on any dollar amount that they could receive.

    • Jack makes a very good point when he points out what and who is “dominant” in this article. DAM has done an amazing thing in a culture that usually isn’t very accepting of people speaking out against the way things are done by challenging the idea that women’s lives aren’t as important as a mans. I agree that this sort of oppression should not be accepted in any part of the world, and I am happy to see that DAM is making an effort to change the way people think.

  3. After watching the film I came to think that Palestinian hip hop is real when I heard that we would be watching a film on it I was curious to see what was going to happen. It is not that I did not think it was going to be bad I just wanted to see how they were going to rap. I was wondering if they would rap in their language or in English and the fact that they could do both was just incredible to me.
    Now if I was going to say what they were focus was I would say that their main idea was to make people aware of what was going on in their country and they could have easily decided to talk about things that were irrelevant but instead they choose to focus on the topics that happening around, not only that they are actually involved in the community. I think groups like DAM are not only challenging the stereotype that you have to be African American to make hip hop music but also challenging the ongoing issues like poverty and how the people are not allowed to go into certain areas. The fact that you can interact and reach out and touch them makes them so much more likeable and relatable changing hip hop in my opinion.

    • Reggie makes a valid point in his post by saying DAM challenges the sterotype of being African American to do rap music and challenges what issues can be rapped about. DAM breaks these constraints we are not typically used to seeing as an audience of hip-hop.

    • I agree with Reggie’s note about being about to reach out to them. DAM is very involved in their community and is humble enough to not forget those that helped them. They genuinely care about the music they make and the impac they have on peoples lives. They still have that passion, that desire to make good music and it shows both through this video and the documentary we watched in class.

  4. Palestinian hip-hop artists are challenging the dominant by speaking their minds about issues such as violence and more specifically violence against women out to the public. Globally its definitely interesting for Palestinian artists to be so involved with hip-hop music and rap because we see the popularity of this genre typically in the United States. I think Palestinian artists are able to bring awareness to issues that are going on in their country and the feelings they have associated with it. When we watched the documentary in class on Thursday we saw that by just performing at a certain place they could get caught and face penalties for their actions. Here in the states we are able to speak about whatever we want which is a privilege unlike other countries around the world. Before enrolling in this class I had no idea that artists like DAM even existed because I never heard of them in today’s popular media. DAM is making just as big a difference if not even more than artists like Nicki Minaj or Drake who only rap about sex and partying which is not what hip-hop music is all about. It’s truly about telling a story and voicing an opinion in hopes that you’ll help change someone’s mindset about a issue or situation.

    • I agree with Kailey. Hip hop artists like DAM are using hip hop in a positive way by bring up issues in their society that many people are too scared to speak about because of the possible repercussions. This is the type of music that could help a society toward actual change. Speaking out about important issues like DAM does, allows people with similar opinions to unite and take action since a group is more powerful than an individual. It’s cool to see people who are using this art form in a constructive way and to make a difference, rather than other hip hop artists who produce songs that have poor lyrical content and lack anything meaningful, like Kailey mentioned. When used in the right way, hip hop can have a positive effect on large populations of people.

  5. Palestinian hip hop artists are challenging the dominant by exposing issues and the lived conditions of Palestinian people. The lyrics speak to their audiences by bringing up problems in their society that others may be too afraid to go against. Issues like police brutality, corruption, drugs, violence and patriarchy. Instead of engaging in the violence surrounding them, artists like DAM, use hip hop as a medium to spread their politically conscious messages to the world. One of their most famous songs, “Who is the Terrorist,” tells Israelis and the world that they are not the terrorists everyone thinks of them as. It claims that it is a mistake and hypocritical for them to call Palestinians terrorists when they are the ones who are taking their land, everything they own and killing innocent people because of the terrorist stereotype placed on Palestinians. Another one of DAM’s songs “If I could go back in time” supports the group’s opinion that the murder of women should not be labeled as “honor killing.” They say this is a way for them to speak for the women who are “denied the opportunity to follow their dreams.” DAM has gained recognition for going against stereotypes and traditions that many may feel are ethical wrong, but don’t have the means or are too scared to speak out against. The rise of hip hop in America, Palestine and around the world has provided people with a way to become more politically active and aware. Hip hop that discusses and brings up important issues and problems in society has the ability to unite people and inspire them to take action and right these wrongs.

    • I agree with Nicole when she says DAM fights the dominant by simply exposing the isues. So many of the issues aren’t solved because nobody ever talks about it. Their music is a crucial step toward helping solve the problems becuase they recognize the problems in their music. People who aren’t sure what the issues are just listen to the music and the problems are brought to their attention. Thanks to DAM and groups like them, the public is now more aware of the problems and have increased knowledge giving them more courage to speak up against the problems.

    • I definitely agree with what Nicole is saying, and it is most effective for DAM to reach their audience through music rather than retaliation. You can say that they are activists in a way, and are presenting that through the lyrics in their songs. Through music their voice can be heard not only to their people but around the world. It will be interesting to see how these Palestinian artists rise in the hip hop world and hopefully become more popular, making their voices heard.

      • I agree with nicole. DAM is smart in that instead of retaliating with hostility and violence, they are able to channel their frustration into their music to expose the issues the best way that they can, while remaining relatively safe from the law, although it is hard to say that they are “safe” when the rappers in the West Bank were arrested right after the concert they did with DAM. They have given a voice to what many Palestinians and Arabs feel about Israeli “democracy” which is why they have such a strong reputation building.

    • I agree with your post Nicole. The lyrics of these Palestinian hip-hop artists talk about the issues that most of these individuals have to deal with on a daily basis. Instead of rebelling against these issues in a violent manner, artists like DAM use their songs to send messages to other individuals, telling them that they can help their country through music and not violence. I agree with your point about the rise of hip-hop not only in America but also around the world providing others with an outlet to become more politically active and raise awareness about all of the hardships and struggles that these individuals have to deal with. DAM has definitely inspired a lot of Palestinian individuals to direct their anger and frustration in a more positive manner.

  6. Palestinian hip hop artists such as DAM are challenging the soft and hard rules that the government has set. Soft in terms of societal norms and expectations, and hard rules in terms of rules and laws under governmental jurisdiction. You could also say that the dominant includes the people of Palestine who agree and comply with the negative soft and hard rules set by the government. They are challenging the government (the dominant) by providing the public, especially the youth with a voice that opposes these societal rules and laws. Also, these songs are becoming more and more globally known, therefore the context in these hip hop songs become more of a PSA to people of the world, allowing them to see what is going on in Palestine. DAM presents the more “old-school” form of hip hop where the rhymes were more lyrical, and rather told a story. Although it does have many theoretical and non literal terms in it, a lot of it is direct and will tell you exactly what is going on, rather than leaving a poetical context around the song.

    • I agree. Groups like DAM are definitely challenging the government with their songs. I also agree that they are giving people especially the youth a voice that can be heard a lot easier through music instead of violence.

      • i agree with both of the comments that were stated, I feel like Palestinian hip-hop is mirroring the hip-hop stages from when america was at its prime of hip-hop when 90% of the music that came out had depth and meaning towards it and not music that just about how rich and awesome the person is, and personally i think that this point in time hip hop is on a downward slope. when having songs mainly about “snaps backs and tattoos” you do question your self where is rap going. although, it is catchy it almost brings down the past artist of all the hard work they have done in the past.

  7. DAM is using their popularity and credibility to speak about an issue that is glossed over (both domestically and in this case, internationally) and thats the violence against women. In the US, it’s common to hear about domestic violence groups or the options available to women. However, it’s not that simple in other countries. This is actually a bold move given the cultural aspects in regards to the treatment of women. For DAM and the director of this video to challenge the “norm” of “honor killings” through hip hop is an example of hip hop being used as a medium to bring about change and/or awareness. It is also a great way for the message to get out in a country where everything is so restricted. I am curious to see how well-recieved this video was, and wonder how successful (or unsuccessful) it would be here in the states.

    • I agree that this video is used as a medium to bring about change and/or awareness about the topic that is very controvercial. I think that this video will have success in the U.S. because of the message that they are trying to send.

    • I agree that this video and song was very bold but it is the best way for people to know what is going on and it proves that hip hop is still and outlet for awareness. DAM is a group that is not afraid to speak the truth.

  8. After watching the music video for the song, “If I could go back in time” by the Palestinian hip hop group DAM I think that the DAM came up with a good way to raise their voice to the government. Their voice has been denied by the government and by using hip hop to reach them and challenge the law is the only chance they have to have awareness of what’s wrong and what’s right.
    While many people may see this video and think that it was not necessary to show a clip of a women getting killed they should seek beyond the video and catch the message of what this hip hop group is trying to send out to world. They are using their popularity to spread an important message about a serious issue that should be fixed.

    • I agree with you completly. DAM is performing about an issue that sounds very serious in their area. They represent what true hip-hop is by bringing up issues and getting their word to the government through their music. Hip-hop in the United States has changed and is not about this anymore. There are not to many artists that are going out and talking about political issues. Most songs are just about living a lifestyle of drugs, violence and woman now. In the start of hip-hop in America it was more about bringing up issues going on. This is what hip-hop needs to go back towards.

      • I agree with both Conner and Chester. How we view hip-hop and what hip-hop is in America has completely changed. DAM is a great example of what artists in America should revert back too; speaking about what really matters instead of living a lifestyle in which rappers believe is the only way to ‘live’. To change the way hip-hop is in America, the industry itself needs to change. I believe if you change the industry’s thought process of what should released (lyrical wise), then American hip-hop wouldn’t represent such a negative lifestyle. But obviously, that takes a lot of work and a lot of hope as well.

    • I agree with Chester about the explicit content in the video. Many might see something like that and think it is wrong and not ok to show to the public but really that is what these people see in their everyday lives and to deny that is just foolish and naive.

    • Exactly a great point. People have a problem with the killings but it is real and is no different than what is being shown on CNN. What is impressive is that this group is able to make such an impact on the politics of palestine through music. Not by killing, destroying government property but by using their rights to go about it the right way

  9. Even though I cannont understand the words that the artists are saying, but you can tell that they are very emotionally connected to this topic. There is a lot of emotion in their words when they are singing, also the beat to the song is kind of slow, causing the listener to fell that this is a sad issue. Also the hand motions and body positions by the artist show that he is really connected to this topic and has a strong stand for it. And his stand is stongly against it, and this song is his way of bringing up this subject to the audience and even standing against the government for not intervening enough. This shows that there are still people out there that are trying to get messages across by using hip-hop. In this video hip-hop is being used as a form of protest. This form of protest, in my opinion, is one of the stronger ways. I feel this way because there are many people all over the world that listen to hip-hop so this message can get across to this whole audience instead of a select few.

  10. I find it a bit interesting that DAM is willing to risk everything in order to get their message out. They know that they will be reprimanded for voicing their opinions on various political matters of a more serious nature, yet they have decided that bringing attention to certain atrocities is more important. The reason why I find that particularly interesting is because in the United States were have the privilege of being able to voice our opinions and put anything out there that we would like. It seems as though we often take that for granted. Maybe if we did not have that right we would actually say things of importance, make our words count. Instead, because we can say whatever we like our words are idle, and I would go so far as to say harmful. Instead of presenting issues we create more issues. By degrading women and making them out to be props we are promoting violence towards them. The Palestinians seem to understand the true roots of hip-hop; we really must continue to challenge the dominant as they do. DAM is important because we can certainly learn some lessons in regards to promoting justice and equality. We are the United States and we are powerful. It’s time we set an example, used that power for good.

  11. From watching the film, video, and reading the article about the song “If I could go back in time” by DAM, a Palestinian rap group, I believe that they are challenging many stereotypes that revolve around hip-hop. DAM raps about the oppression that they and other Palestinians are in. You see in the film that they are constantly bombed by Israeli’s, only allowed to stay in the Gaza Strip, and are marginalized because they identify as Palestinian. Not only is it hard for them to share their voices, but you notice that there are only a few women hip-hop artists. The music video ties in with this because it is about a woman who is killed by her brother and father for solely being a female. When I hear groups like DAM and PR (Palestinian Rapperz), I actually want to listen because they are not rapping about women in a sexual way or about drugs and money. Groups like this can make change I feel, but they need more listeners. Voicing their opinion through rap is one of the only tools they have to put their voices out there, and not to mention they are pretty good. They are challenging stereotypes of rap and challenging who they are fighting against, but with art, not bombs, guns, and violence.

  12. The Palestinian rappers that we’ve seen in these videos have been very vocal about issues that plague their culture. The video in class showed the struggles felt by the whole Palestinian community within Israel and the horrible living conditions, along with constant prejudice against them. If I Could Go Back In Time, also had a message about the issue of Honor Killing, which has taken many innocent lives. When rappers like DAM address these issues it challenges those dominant ideas that these things are ok to be happening. Some of the issues have been going on for centuries and have become somewhat the norm, and artists like these can make a difference. I liked that they can use the artistry of rap and visuals like in the music video to put it into perspective. In the video they put a face, a story, and life to a topic that would make most people uncomfortable, which is something that really needs to be done to make a difference. I think the fact that rap is just emerging in these other countries, the words that are spoken have even deeper impacts because the fact that what they are saying is what is going to be main stream. Unlike in America where the mainstream somewhat taints the good in rap music. Like Soraida Hussein mentions rap can be used as a tool for good not just what popular notions make it out to be.

  13. Palestinian hip-hop artists are challenging the dominant in the sense that they are challenging the society as a whole. The way they challenge society as a whole is through violence in their songs. However, between DAM and American artists, DAM expresses violence through real life issues that they are going through, especially within their society. With the song If I Could Go Back, it challenges societies thoughts on women in general. In the statement below the video, Tamer Nafar stated that they wrote the song for the “missing voices of women denied the opportunity to follow their dreams.” DAM rose in the Middle East due to the issues that they rapped about; they rapped about things that questioned culture and speak about the struggles they went through to perform and make sure their voices were heard. DAM stemmed from oppression just like the roots of hip-hop in America. They use their music to provide a need for change. Typically, there are not a lot of artists, whether they are from America or the Middle East, that put out songs that deal with issues like the song If I Could Go Back does. If more groups expressed themselves like DAM did, then hip-hop would not only be universal, but it erases the culture/language barrier because more issues that matter would be the main focus instead of money or “reppin” your hood.

  14. The Palestinian hip hop artist DAM is challenging the dominant, which are the traditions, beliefs, rules their society has, that has been accepted as truth. From the music video, DAM really is challenging the issue of women violence and voicing out that message for the women that couldn’t though hip hop, which I think is a really powerful way to get the message across and really express that resistance towards issues like being judged to be a terrorist simply because you’re a certain race. I mean that really how hip hop even started (an art form of expression and resistance). DAM has been challenging the norms of their country though rap music. I found it interesting in the film we saw that they really want to get their messages across to their audience, for example, bringing up topics like poverty, not being able to go to certain areas making it hard for people to travel, and like in the music video bringing up the topic of women violence. I think that with doing so the group can interact, connect, and reach out to their audience, and it just makes them a lot more likable and true artists in my opinion. I think that groups like them are the one that are really changing hip hop for the better.

  15. The fact that DAM did a song and video on this topic is very bold and i feel like they could have gotten in trouble. Rules are very strict where they are from and they know they are probably being watched with a careful eye when they do songs like these. i commend them for doing this. women who can’t speak out are being heard from this song. I don’t know, but i feel like society and people in higher power are the ones who made having a girl seem bad. In other places, having a girl instead of a son is considered bad but it’s gone so far as the men in the family will kill their sisters/daughters for no reason other than her gender. This also ties in with the list of statements about hip hop when it says “rap treats women horribly”. This song definitely gives women power in some way. DAM is a male group and yet they are rapping about how women are being treated unfairly. They show that the list of statements about hip hop aren’t true.

  16. There is this Star Trek quote, that I think really applies to what this video is speaking about, “do the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few?” I think that this is applicable because the Palestinians are a marginalized group, who represent a few yet their needs have been neglected to satisfy the dominant. They are challenging their government, their people, and the world to look at what is happening to them; to look at the inhumane treatment that has been subjected to them. They are challenging all those that have accepted what it means to Palestinian and those who have rejected them just because of their bloodline and not because of their content or their character. I think this suggest that hip-hop artistry is versatile it can literally satisfy the needs and the desires of people. It can be used to educate and uplift many as well as keep people socially inept. It also tells us that hip-hop artistry can fit the needs of many cultures. This is not just for blacks to enjoy it’s artistry allows all of us to mold it in the way we choose to share and tell our story.

    • This was a good quote to use & you would think the majority rules but not in the Palestinian’s case unfortunately. But maybe hip hop can one day change this for their country.

  17. I think this group of young men, not only want people to see this video and think about what is happening to women in their country, I also think they are challenging there society as a whole. There rules and traditions that oppressed people like them, from expressing their feelings in forms that are seen as “untraditional”. Hip-hop has made such a big impact for this people, and unlike other groups, like the African groups we saw in the video from class, these young man speak about their oppression and there challenges, they don’t look at hip-hop as a way to receive riches, but as way to speak to people and to unite communities to stop the discriminations they face daily. It is amazing how trough this form of music people can express so much and reach out to people.

  18. Palestinian hip hop artists are challenging many issues in their videos and music in general. The main issue they challenge people to look at and really think about is the freedom given to the common population in their country. Their videos are explicit and show violence toward women and the rough living conditions that many of the people in that area deal with every day. Even though it may be hard for some to watch these videos and the graphic images they may portray, it is very real for Palestinians. The reason for these songs and videos is to open up the eyes of outsiders looking into this area of the world. Many people do not know the struggles these people go through on a daily basis and to communicate their lifestyles through music is a meaningful and quite successful way to educate the world. These artists use hip hop to express themselves and their people in a very powerful and moving way that can only help to benefit the overall lives of everyone involved.

  19. Palestinian hip-hop artsists are challenging the dominant, in a sense that they are challenging the social norms of where they live. They challenge the immorality of “the occupation” and how they are labeled as “terrorists” just because they speak a certain language or where a backpack. I noticed that a lot of the groups in Palestine like DAM and PR use a similar line where they say something along the lines of “who are the real terrorists when it was our country first”. This shows that the same sort of anger and frustration is felt throughout the palestinian hip-hop artists. When killing women is labeled as “Honor Killing” there is clearly a problem with society and peoples thinking. Groups like DAM respresent this terrible respresentation by making songs that raise awareness and evoke emotion out of an audience. This brings into the artistry of hip-hop, and how when there is a conscious put into a song and some real raw emotion how powerful that can really be.

  20. After watching the movie I came with the conclusion that hip hop has become a worldwide movement now. When it first started in the streets of The Bronx to let minority groups speak out due to discrimination and being treated bad, well now other rappers from foreign countries have adapted into hip-hop to try to explain the difficulties they are currently living in. For example the two rap groups that are coming up in Palestine known as DAM and PR “Palestinian Rappers” have been challenging the dominant by making hip hop tracks to express the hardships that are happening in their lands in which they come from. The reason why I state this is for example as the new music video by DAM has came up, they are trying to stop the certain type of crime known as murder in their country. With this music video they have made they are trying to show the people that being born a girl in their race is not a crime at all. With DAM group member Nafar says that words such as “honor Killings” should be removed and should stop being used. What this tells us about Hip-hop artistry is that rap artist/rappers can use their voice and their position of power to support people who cannot seem to stand up and defend themselves. In this case just like the females in their country who get killed who are just treated as another death. This is because women do not have the same amount of power as men do. So DAM is challenging the people who commit these crimes and letting them know, that this cannot happen anymore trying to get the attention of not only of fans but also the eyes of their government in the native lands of Israel and Palestine.

  21. Hip hop was started as a way to give minorities a voice against the dominant. To allow the world to hear about the struggle of the people. This intellectual movement has been travelling the world. Palestinian hip hop artists in Israel are using hip hop as a tool to communicate the injustices they face on a daily basis. The song “If I Could Go Back In Time,” by DAM, explains how the violence towards women in the middle east goes unchecked. In the song, the group talks about “honor killings” of women by their families. Rapper Tamer Nafar said the group wrote the song for the “missing voices” of women. Other Palestinian groups, such as PR, make songs challenging the notions that Palestinians are terrorists, by bringing to light the terror that is brought to them by the Israelis. By continuing to make songs like this, Palestinian Hip-Hopers will bring to light the injustices imposed on their people and put an end to “the dominant.”

  22. Hip hop was started as a way to give minorities a voice against the dominant. To allow the world to hear about the struggle of the people. This intellectual movement has been travelling the world. Palestinian hip hop artists in Israel are using hip hop as a tool to communicate the injustices they face on a daily basis. The song “If I Could Go Back In Time,” by DAM, explains how the violence towards women in the middle east goes unchecked. In the song, the group talks about “honor killings” of women by their families. Rapper Tamer Nafar said the group wrote the song for the “missing voices” of women. Other Palestinian groups, such as PR, make songs challenging the notions that Palestinians are terrorists, by bringing to light the terror that is brought to them by the Israelis. By continuing to make songs like this, Palestinian Hip-Hoppers will bring to light the injustices imposed on their people and put an end to “the dominant.”

  23. Mainstream hip-hop is obsessed with gold chains and ass. It is too caught up on the sexual objectification of women and the pursuit of money. Both the artists and fans are to blame for this. It is a cycle that continues to perpetuate because the industry releases these garbage tracks, the fans eat it up, and so they keep doing it. Palestinian rap, as a whole, goes against the grain of the ‘dominant’ idea of what rap is. The region is which Palestine resides has been victim to years of devastation. The violence and casualties brought about by the conflict has ultimately lowered the quality of life for the regions inhabitants. Beginning in the late ’90s, hip-hop started popping up in Palestine. Rap groups such as DAM, began listening to American artists. Influenced by rap artists such as 2 pac and DMX, the group began to find their own style. The group began to use rap as a vehicle to voice the hardships and injustices that they face. The groups song “Who is the terrorist” is a prime example of how the group differs from that of the dominant mainstream. They use rap as a voice of activism, rather than to brag about hoes and rims like that of the majority of hip-hop In the United States. The mainstream hip-hop industry has one thing in mind: Money over everything. What sells is what’s played. Unfortunately, the majority of ‘hip-hop fans’ want to hear their favorite rapper talk about nights filled with champagne and bitches.

  24. Palestinians are using hip hop as a way to gain visibility and overcome the terrorist regime from which rules their every day lives. They are taking hip hop back to its origins and using the elements of hip hop to let their voices be heard. The genuineness in their approach and in their rhetoric is hands down a true testament to the garbage 2 Chainz, Waka, [insert mainstream name here], produce in the states. They are challenging the stereotypes that have been placed on them by the Israelis and the rest of the world by calling out that they are people and not statistics or animals. They are giving voice to the Palestinian youth and families by breaking them free of the way they are perceived on TV and news. They are empowering them to remember that they are worthy of love and respect just like any Israeli. They are teaching the people to love themselves and to embrace the true identity of a Palestinian rather than the forced and biased views of the news.

    Hip hop artistry is universal and all it takes is a beat, a message, and a venue, small or large. Hip hop truly is a a universal stage even though many people claim hip hop to MTV and BET portrayals because it gives individuals a chance to voice themselves and to tell stories and history through direct narratives. When used for its true worth, hip hop is amazing and can inspire and empower many peoples globally.

  25. Before we watched the video in class I had no idea there were Palestinians rappers! Then I thought they would just sound terrible and be a poor imitation of rappers in the U.S. But it was the opposite, they were actually really talented being able to rap in both english and palestinian. And not only that but their reason behind rap was genuinely for the people. They don’t make millions doing what they do, its simply to be a voice for their people and stop all the violence happening in their country. Palestinian rappers are challenging the dominate by speaking out against the injustice through rap. This is an example of what hip hop is really all about. These rappers are risking their lives in order to create an awareness that may help their country stop the violence.

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