Here’s another special treat from my collection.

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DAM, a group of three Palestinians from Lod, which is a mixed town 20 km away from Jerusalem, inside Israel. The three, Tamed Nafar, his brother Suhell and Mahmoud Jreri were the first Palestinian hip-hop group ever. They formed in 99 and have become the leading group of the Palestinian and Arab hip-hop movement in the Middle East. Their name stands for Da Arabian MCs, but in Arabic, dam can mean immortal or blood, which is the same word in Hebrew, too. With “Ihda” (Dedication), their third record, they’re reaching beyond the region and release their first internationally distributed album.

Musically, they fuse hip-hop with elements of local music, which they produce themselves – that alone is a joy to listen to. Since I don’t speak Arabic, I can’t say much about their rhyme schemes or wordplay, but if you’re interested in their lyrics, they provide English translations on their website, along with an Interview in English, so you can catch a glimpse of what the Palestinians are going through. And it’s not pretty, I can guarantee you that much. That is why they include some parts in Hebrew and English on this record, and their first album was recorded in modern Hebrew entirely. (All Palestinians in Israel are required to learn Hebrew, as well.) As they put it, the Arabs already know what’s going on, it’s the Israelis and the West that needs to be reached.

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1 – Mukadime – Intro
2 – Mali huriye – I Don’t Have Freedom
3 – Ng’ayer bukra – Change Tomorrow
4 – Warde – Flower
5 – Inkilab – Revolution
6 – Ya sayidati – My Lady
7 – Al huriye unt’a – Freedom For My Sister
8 – Da Dam – It’s Dam
9 – Hibuna ishtruna – Love Us And Buy Us
10 – Mes endroits – My Hood
11 – Usset hub – A Love Story
12 – G’areeb fi bladi – Stranger In My Own Country
13 – Kalimat – Words
14 – Sawa’ al zaman – Driver Of Fate
15 – Ihda’ – Dedication

DAM – Dedication (2006)

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The video “Born Here” with subtitles
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Meen er habi? (Who’s the Terrorist?), again with subtitles
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Trailer for Palestine Hip-Hop documentary “Slingshot Hip-Hop” which portrays DAM and the new generation of Palestinian hip-hoppers within Israel (Palestine48) and the territories (yes, also with subtitles)
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DAM website

DAM myspace (touring worldwide!)

Slingshot Hip-Hop (buy the DVD or one of their dope shirts)

Shalom Aleikum, 9@home