Saudis discover hip-hop scene

Saudi artists Moayed Al-Nofie, Badar Al-Mograbi and Slow Moe in Yalolo music video. (AN photo)
Updated 22 January 2018
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Saudis discover hip-hop scene

JEDDAH: Saudi and Arab hip-hop artists have been making great strides in the past couple of years and proving themselves through their lyrics and fan base.
From Morocco to Sudan, from Palestine to Syria and to the Arabian Gulf, listeners’ acceptance of the genre is evident. Through visuals, YouTube and other mediums, it has gained momentum in the past few years, especially in the Kingdom.
Separating themselves from Western performers, Arab hip-hop artists have their own agendas to sing about — whether it be war, love, acceptance, equality and inequality, or great-fun rap.
However, some artists are using profanity in their lyrics. Even more curious is their use of the “n-word.” Is this the new hype?
The question was raised late last year on Twitter by the Saudi hip-hop guru Big Hass. The MC, founder of the online Re-Volt Magazine and radio host of the popular Laish Hip-hop, is one of the loudest voices in the region supporting local Arab and Saudi artists.
“Our culture will not allow profanity in the music we listen to. We will shut it down. It doesn’t sum up Arab hip-hop, it’s the power of the word that makes it important. The n-word is not for us to use and, frankly speaking, we haven’t struggled to use it,” Big Hass said.
Many Saudi artists such as Klash, Slow Moe, Moe Flow, Majeed and Qusai have worked very hard to bring forth their music, making a household name for themselves by rapping in Arabic or English, talking about issues that matter, keeping the true essence of hip-hop alive.
They are influencers for those who seek to follow that path, but controversy still arises as some choose explicit lyrics.
“If you’re smart enough, you’ll listen carefully to the lyrics,” says Yousef Ammar A, a freshman at the University of Miami. “I listen to both American and Saudi artists and I’m a fan of hip-hop. I am a fan of the direction many artists are headed to.
“But I do see that my friends are using the n-word more often every time I go to Saudi. I don’t really understand why they do it. Maybe it sounds cool, but it really isn’t. If we as young men and women don’t realize the difference between lyrics and language we use on a daily basis early on, then we’re going to become a pariah in a society that doesn’t accept profanity in any way.” Wise words, Yousef.
Having been in the game for some time, Big Hass believes there has been a lot of “copy-pasting” without understanding the true essence of the word. The n-word is a hideous pejorative that should be removed from common use.
“It’s our duty as writers, bloggers, radio hosts, journalists to point that out,” he says. “The use of profanity and the n-word, for example, is not allowed in our society. We’re better than that.”


Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sponsors military graduation ceremony

Updated 5 min 50 sec ago
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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sponsors military graduation ceremony

JEDDAH: Makkah’s Deputy Gov. Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz on Monday sponsored the 15th graduation ceremony of the King Abdullah Air Defense College on behalf of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
It was attended by Air Defense Forces Commander Lt. Gen. Mazyad bin Sulaiman Al-Amro. Maj. Gen. Abdullah bin Mohammed Mishary, commander of the college, welcomed Prince Abdullah and the other attendees.
“The crown prince’s sponsorship is a clear indication of his support to the graduates as he shares their joy of graduating and joining the fields of pride, dignity and honor as part of the Saudi Armed Forces,” Mishary said in his speech.
“In particular, they will be taking part in the Air Defense Forces and the Strategic Missile Force, which has become a source of pride for Saudis and a force armed with knowledge, faith and modern weapons under the generous support of King Salman and his crown prince,” Mishary added.
“This year’s graduates include a number of students from fraternal and friendly states… They grew in education and knowledge through the latest education and training techniques under the supervision of distinguished Saudi teachers and trainers,” he said.
“The excellent training helped the graduates acquire the skills that qualify them to be leaders armed with education and faith, so they can defend the homeland and gain this great honor.”
Mishary congratulated the graduates and wished them good luck in their professional life, telling them that “the journey of giving goes on as long as one is faithful to his religion, leadership and homeland.”
The graduates presented a military parade, after which they took the oath. At the end of the ceremony, Prince Abdullah honored outstanding students and received a gift.