DAM - album review (4 stars)

DAM

Ihda (Dedication) (RedCircle Music)

HIP HOP

Being Palestinians residing inside Israel, and one of the first breakthrough acts to rap in Arabic, DAM’s are truly unique in the hip hop world. This might have been more curse than blessing - there was always the risk that their novel ouevre would mean them ending up as nothing more than a diverting footnote in the genre’s history. However, with Ihda (Dedication), their first album to be released outside of Israel, they have announced themselves as far more than a tricksy world music proposition.

Influenced equally by Nas and traditional Arabic musicians like Marcel Khalifa, Tamer Nafar’s claustrophobic productions capture the dark mood of the Middle East in songs like ‘Stranger in My Own Country’, the record brimming with rage at the plight of the Palestinian people. As Public Enemy go gradually grey and US hip hop forgets all but bling, DAM are a refreshing reminder of the blistering power rap can still have as social commentary.

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