hip hop music

November 7, 2003

Hip-Hop in the Middle East

USA Today has taken notice of hip-hop's rising influence among youth in Israel. Just like in Cuba, South Africa, Brazil and elsewhere, seems like young people who have something to say are finding hip-hop the perfect medium to make their voice heard. Interestingly this case it is the chosen medium for both the left and the right, it would appear..

Israeli hip-hop takes on Mideast politics

Thousands of teenagers shrieking at the sight of Israel's hottest pop idol packed a soccer field in this Tel Aviv suburb late this summer, two days after twin suicide bombings killed 15 and wounded dozens.

Wearing baggy sweat pants, a baseball cap pushed off-center and a glittering, rhinestone-studded Star of David necklace, Kobi Shimoni (known by the stage name Subliminal) swaggered on stage as if he were the Israeli incarnation of Eminem. With a booming rhythm track and an Israeli flag draped from the DJ stand, the show turned out to be as much a patriotic pep rally as a rapper's delight.

"Who has an Israeli army dog tag, put your hands in the air!" Subliminal called out in a mix of Hebrew and English. Hundreds of hands shot up. "Who is proud to be a Zionist in the state of Israel, put your hands in the air! Hell yeah!"

The patriotic appeal at the concert won chants of support from the rocking crowd, mostly adolescents grappling with weekly terrorist attacks and a crippling economic recession.

With sidekick Yoav Eliasi (aka The Shadow), Subliminal has parlayed nationalist themes into a chart-topping album, transformed the Star of David into a fashion statement and helped integrate the music of urban America into the fold of Israeli pop...

Posted by jsmooth995 at November 7, 2003 1:30 PM

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