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Interview with Da Arab Mc’s – D.A.M.


7 May 2004 No Comment

DAM, Da Arabic Mc’s is the name of the crew who are repping hip hop from the land called Palestine. They invited me to come spend time with them but I could not find an airline that’s willing to transport me there. DAM have been featured on BBC and the Rolling Stone’s magazine. Despite the language barrier they got back to us with the questions we posted. Also check out the two tracks at the end of the article. Note: We had to translate this interview.

Could you give us a brief introduction by telling us who you are, what place you represent and how long you been into the hip-hop game?

My name is Tamer Nafar, I’m a part of a hip hop crew called DAM , it’s me, Suhell Nafar and Mahmud Jrere. We represent our human ideology. We represent da Palestinian people of the 48, we been into the hip hop scene almost 6-7 years.

What made you rather want to spread ya messages via hip hop than go out and fight a senseless war that’s not benefiting any of my people out there?

I’m a say it like Chuck D from Public Enemy, hip hop is the CNN of Palestine, the Israeli and the American propaganda present us as only fanatic people who wanna bomb everything that’s eatin’ pork. Well, we’re bringin’ u all what u wanna forget, we are showing that’s it’s deeper. While you just flipped the station and saw me as the evil we’re taking you back to the first episodes that you all missed. 

What does it feels like to be raised in that environment? What role is hip hop playing in raising awareness for those mouths that’s been shut?

You should use it as they did in the ghettos of the USA, into the stomach of that hungry Somalian , into the rocks that’s in my hand, into the 3rd world, so here in Israel we gotta double job, cuz the occupation (since 1948) it’s not only about the land, it’s also about minds, they made us forget who are we, and made us loose the knowledge by sellin’ drugz and eatin’ each other alive, so we tryin’ 2 educate our people, not make ’em hate or discriminate, but as u said, make them aware, 2 see the picture more clearly!

How was your group formed and how do you go about recording? Are there any laws prohibiting you from spreading your gospel?

Well , I started doing hip hop 1998, Su and Mahmud joined me at 99 and we started DAM. We get a lot of problems from the media here, either they show us as pro Hamas, or as a gimmick “ohhh cute Arabic wild xxl clothes”.

I heard a couple of your joints and the sound is unique. Can u tell us who does the production?

DAM is behind da productions with the big help of 2 producers called Magic and Shohat, our sound is unique because it’s a mix between 2 cultures – hip hop and traditional Arabic sounds.

Some of your tracks are in Arabic and some in Hebrew. Why fuse the two?

We use Hebrew because if I wanna make a common life with those in front of me I need a bridge, and language is the bridge here, we gotta talk, they gotta understand me before they judge me, that’s why I’m using my knowledge of Hebrew.

How easy is it to get hold of hip-hop and what artist are you guys listening to?

It’s hard 2 get music, because Israel and hip hop aint really friends. I mean you can find the mainstream rap, but I find it hard 2 get cd’z from Blackstar, Pharoah Monch, Dead Prez, Atmosphere, Gangstarr, IAM, Saian), Wutang and a lot that I forgot…

You currently searching for a record deal. What would a record deal do for you?

You got 600 million Arabs round the world, that’s the start , you have millions of hip hop fans, millions of pro Palestinian, and a curious world, but let’s just say that “I make muzik 4 my people”.

If people want to hear some of your sounds where can they find it and what’s ya plan as far as getting yourself heard in other parts of the world?

You can check it on the site of www.arabrap.net. My plans? Meeting people who got access 2 labels. 

Thanks for coming through and providing me with a lot of answers. Any final words from DAM?

Two things, Palestinian hip hop on da map, if not DAM den our sonz, we’ll reach u all!



Interview By Rush

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