Hip Hop has long been a rich musical genre with deep roots in social struggles. Although it started as a movement within the African American community, this artistic form of expression has spread to many communities around the world, using it to convey their social struggle through music. Indeed, the Arab Spring only reinforced the attachment of Arab youth to this growing movement and Jordan was no exception. Many Jordanian youth are now not only perfectly familiar with this new art form, but are also replicating it in their own language and terminology.
The Hip Hop movement in Jordan was encouraged with the emergence of DAM – a Palestinian hip hop group that spoke about issues related to the Palestinian Arab minority within Israel. DAM began as a local hip hop group but its popularity spread to the rest of the Arab world like wildfire, especially after their hit song, “Who’s the terrorist?” DAM’s attractiveness and uniqueness lay in their Arabic lyrics. Hip hop as a form of art was definitely well known to the Arab world, but DAM was the first group to use hip hop’s basic structure and format and apply it in the Arabic language, giving millions of Arabs who did not speak English access to this music genre.
The emergence of rappers, lyricists and emcees began taking form within the past decade, giving root to hip hop artists such as the Tareq Abu Kwaik (El Far3i), a drummer, percussionist and lyricist of Palestinian origin and Jordan’s first hip hop movement, 962 Street, named after Jordan’s international code “962.” The movement was started by Emcee Amer Al Taher, who had moved to Jordan from Saudi Arabia in 2005 and by 2008, it had grown to include a number of solo artists who were already active in Jordan’s hip hop scene.
Hip Hop shows are widespread in Jordan and are spread around by word of mouth. Once you know someone in the hip hop scene, you are sure to hear about all the shows that are taking place around the country. The artists themselves are a close-knit community and have established a community based on mutual support and encouragement.
Do not miss out on this increasingly popular form of art prominent on Jordan’s streets and visit youinjordan.com’s facebook page for constant information on various shows!