IBMCs & Arabic Hip Hop

This article is about Arabic Hip Hop – specifically about rap in the Arabic language. There is a lot to be said about the political, social and cultural changes in recent history in the countries Arabic Hip Hop comes from (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Palestine and more) that would require a longer explanation and more expertise in the subject. This piece is intended only as an introduction to rap in Arabic, touching on some of the important releases and well-known artists since the movement began in the 90s. As well as my own research into Arabic Hip Hop online and in Morocco, IBMCs has been extremely fortunate to have other researchers provide materials and a more comprehensive understanding of Arabic Hip Hop music. This of course comes about first by understanding the Arabic language and secondly by experiencing the culture which creates the sound and just as important – by studying the music itself.

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(Boikutt,- حيوان ناطق  ) (2013) (Palestine)

IBMCs members have travelled extensively in Arabic countries, especially my brother Al who lived in Syria, Libya and Dubai, and Delta9 who has spent a lot of time in Morocco. Al speaks fluent Arabic and has collected many Hip Hop CDs on his travels. On our last trip to Morocco together in 2005 we scoured the streets of Fez and Rabat for signs of Hip Hop and collected a stack of music, from Moroccan artists and Algerians who rap mainly in Arabic but also often in French. The quality of a lot of it is dubious, keyboard produced beats and not-quite-there raps, well intended and sometimes listenable but nevertheless providing an insight into the early days of North African Hip Hop artists and rap in Arabic.

 

As well as these examples of underground Arabic Hip Hop, an awareness of more mainstream groups and artists began with French Algerian groups like M.B.S. who released the classic ‘Le Micro Brise Le Silence’ in 1999, and Intik’s ‘La Victoire’ in 2001. Tunisiano from the group Sniper also dropped verses in Arabic on the groups first 2 albums (Pris Pour Cible (2000), Entre Deux (2003)). The Algerap compilation album (Virgin France, 1999) is also an essential piece of the puzzle (one of the better groups featured on that compilation, Hamma, released 2 great tracks on ‘The Power of Unity’ compilation album as well (2000)). Clotaire K was the first Lebanese Hip Hop artist on wax (‘Lebanese Shortcut’, 2002).

Palestinian group Dam released their classic ‘Dedication’ in 2006 which made a lot of noise and helped provide a platform for more great Arabic Hip Hop artists like Shadia Mansour, Omar Offendum, Salah Edin and many others. Arabic rap in the Netherlands began with artists like Ali B, although Moroccans had already played a major part in the early years of Dutch Hip Hop. In 2009 Salah Edin released his album ‘Horr’, rapping in Arabic with hopes of expanding the reach of his music to Middle Eastern and North African countries and setting a new standard of Arabic Hip Hop generally (he recently quit rap and now does spoken word).

More recent Arabic Hip Hop artists I can recommend are Tunisia’s Medusa (her track ‘Naheb N3ch Hyati’ appeared on the Sawtuha compilation album (2014)), and Tripnol, an experimental collaborative Hip Hop album from Beirut, Lebanon (2013). The Khat Thaleth compilation is also a great album to check for (Stronghold Sound, 2013). Finally, another figure who cannot go unrecognized for his input in the Arabic Hip Hop scene is Lebanese DJ Lethal Skillz who has put in considerable work promoting many artists and pushing the movement forward.

(pictured: DJ Lethal Skillz, Shadia Mansour, Omar Offendum, Medusa)

I also recommend this book Arabic Graffiti for further study

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IBMCs Digital Label, 2017 second 1/4, One Year in

IBMCs Digital Label is now home to 10 heavy releases, having completed the first year! Once again with releases 8, 9 and 10 we have top quality material from producers Nonstop (France) and Dr.Drumah (Brazil), and emcee V’Zion (US), expanding the roster of dope underground Hip Hop affiliates.

Nonstop’s ‘Rare Pearl’ is the result of a Paris based, hardworking producer with a ton of styles and seriously dope emcee features – an amazing addition to the label which solidifies Nonstop’s position as one to watch as he continues to drop gems. ‘Rare Pearl’ is pure Hip Hop and deserves more accolades, 5 bangers on here.

May saw the release of Brazilian (Salvador) producer Dr.Drumah’s ‘Drumahmental’, a jazzy instrumental journey into the world of a very talented and diverse artist. This is summertime music, a collection of well crafted beats that radiate sunshine from the speakers. Serbia’s Beatchukaz keep it moving with turntable action throughout.

The 10th release on the label is from Miami based emcee/producer V’Zion who has been grinding for a long time, touring and working with his production company GRUV City Music and featured on MG Gost’s Waking Walk LP. For ‘Living Circles’ he collaborated with six different producers; Jondis, Trouble Child, Nakmuay, AB the Beatmaker, No Name and Ill Skillz to create a great introductory experience should you be new to his music.

Download all 10 releases now: https://ibmcs1.bandcamp.com/

(V’Zion – Nonstop – Dr.Drumah)

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IBMCs Digital Label, 2017 first 1/4

Thanks to the tireless work of MG Gost, we have 2 new projects to present on the IBMCs Digital Label for the first 1/4 of 2017  – and still more gems to drop as we progress through the year.

Our 6th release is an album from Southern Californian producer Tactik, ‘Limitless’, a beautiful piece inviting you to drift off into his dreamy world of beats. Tactik is a prolific beatmaker, check his other projects here: https://audiotactics.bandcamp.com/

Our 7th release is an exclusive from another super prolific producer from France – Supafuh – alongside turntablist DJ Brasko and emcee Nero. On ‘Magnetik’ they join forces to put together these 5 tracks of banging Hip Hop, apparently made over a period of 4 days! Be sure to check the brand new video for Rap and Roll, bringing back that raw energy.

 

Pics: Tactik – Supafuh – DJ Brasko – Nero

Check Limitless and Magnetik out now on https://ibmcs1.bandcamp.com/ and stay tuned for more dope releases.

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IBMCs Worldwide Remixes EP vol 10

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IBMCs Worldwide Remixes EP vol 10 is the last chapter in the IBMCs Worldwide Remix Project*. The EP features production from DJ Grazzhoppa, TufKut, MG Gost & Crown.

The Quartzcrystalus remix is now available on a limited 7 inch (red vinyl) and is DJ Grazzhoppa’s 3rd remix for the overall project. Quartzcrysallus is an artist from Birmingham who made the original version (unreleased) with a South African producer.

The Joseph Blackwell remix came about thanks to TufKut (Beats in Progress/Breakin Bread) and even has a video version remixed from the original (thanks to Andy Higgs). Sadat-X from the legendary Brand Nubian, Mr Cream and Marquee (who you should remember from Lord Finesse’s Game Plan) feature – be sure to check the new material from Marquee who has an upcoming album “Femme Fatale” entirely produced by Lord Finesse, Venom and Kyo Itachi.

MG Gost did a great job with the Cannaholics remix, bringing in his fellow Hain Teny crew, Beatchukaz for the cuts and Dusan Kovacevic played rhodes. Finally, Crown of the mighty Grim Reaperz production crew came correct with his remix of Philly MC Sunwun’s track which features Cee-Knowledge from the world reknowned group Digable Planets.

*Although this is the final chapter, there are still 2 tracks we have left to drop in order to complete EP vol 6, so it’s not over yet!

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IBMCs 7 inches 2 and 3 released

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(Photo: Dren Throwdown)

We are extremely happy to present you with the second and third records in the IBMCs Worldwide Remixes Series. These pieces feature production from Muneshine/IceRocks (cream record) and Evil Ed/DJ Grazzhoppa (red record).

The Rodney P remix was released in 2013, produced by Muneshine in Toronto and features additional cuts from DJ Grazzhoppa. IceRocks’ remix of George Fields’ track (from his acclaimed Glad to Meet You LP) was released on the first day of this year and features additional verses from DXA members Doam Peace and DFace. Interestingly, IceRocks is the only American who produced a remix on the IBMCs Worldwide Remix Project, and this is the only track to feature only American artists – taking it back to New York City as we should.

The Evil Ed remix was originally released in 2010 and has kept heads steadily nodding with that timeless sound he is known for – via Concept a producer from New Zealand. Ed also laced the remix with additional cuts. DJ Grazzhoppa’s remix is of a track by UK artist Quartzcrystallus. The original version (unreleased) was produced by South African producer Critique Beats (not sure of the spelling) who gets a shout out on the track. This was the 3rd remix DJ Grazzhoppa produced for the IBMCs Worldwide Remix Project.

All the tracks are available for free download on bandcamp:
https://ibmcs.bandcamp.com/music

Order the records here:
http://ibmcs.bigcartel.com/

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IBMCs Worldwide Remixes EP Vol 8

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Of all 10 EPs in the IBMCs Worldwide Remix Project, Vol 8 is probably the jewel in the crown. With production from Canadian heavyweights Muneshine & Kick Back, New York’s finest IceRocks, and the UK’s producer du jour George Fields, we can be assured of bangers. George’s remix features cuts from UK legend Sir Beans OBE; Kick Back’s from fellow Shogunz member DJ Propo’88; and Muneshine’s remix was blessed by the masterful DJ Grazzhoppa. With emcees like Rodney P, Afu-Ra, Glad2Mecha, DXA and Language Arts, and artwork from EZPZ, this EP is a landmark achievement for IBMCs and for international Hip Hop cooperation generally. Special thanks again to all involved.

Download the project for free here:

https://ibmcs.bandcamp.com/album/ibmcs-worldwide-remixes-vol-8-2

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IBMCs in 2016

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Luckily for us 2016 is not here anymore. Bad things happened in the world. In the world of IBMCs it stayed productive and many good things happened. Here are some of them.

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George Fields’ inspiring double album ‘Beyond Realm’ (Under The Sun Records) exceeding all expectations (read review). Then the creation of the IBMCs digital label by MG Gost and 5 great subsequent releases from Innate & EP, Kespar, Hain Teny, IV The Polymath & I.deals, and we’re just getting warmed up!

More fresh Worldwide Remixes from Unda, Crimson, Klonazz, Tufkut, DJ Grazzhoppa & MG Gost,

Dope affiliate releases from MWP, DJ Veekash & Kidd Called Quest, the Village Live label and the continuation and expansion of events promotion with Rauwe School, Metaphyzik, Chop Shop and Urban Warfare (Netherlands/London/Canada),

a video, (shouts to Joseph Blackwell!)

and, a few reviews got done as well.

2017 is here. As always Peace, Love, Unity & Having Fun

Massive thanks to all the supporters and creators & special shout to Mike Cole for all his moaning!

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