DAM (band)

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DAM
Origin Palestinian territories Palestine
Genres Arabic Hip Hop
Years active 1999–present
Website http://www.damrap.com/
Members Tamer Nafar
Suhell Nafar
Mahmoud Jreri

DAM (Arabic: دام‎; Hebrew: דאם‎) is a Palestinian hip-hop group.[1][2][3] Based in Lod, Israel, DAM was founded in 1999 by brothers Tamer and Suhell Nafar and their friend Mahmoud Jreri. Their songs are largely about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and poverty.[4] The group's name is the Arabic verb for "to last forever/eternity" (دام) and the Hebrew word for "blood" (דם), but can also be an acronym for "Da Arabian MCs." The Arabic word for "blood" (دم) is spelled similarly, but without an alif.

DAM raps primarily in Arabic, but it also raps in English and Hebrew. DAM has released more than 100 singles and one official album and as of Autumn, 2012, are working on a new album "Nudbok al Amar – Dabka on the moon", due for release around November 2012.[citation needed] DAM's lyrics are protest-driven, and their songs mainly talk about fighting oppression, the Israeli occupation, racism, poverty and drugs in their area and women's rights.

Life and career[edit]

(1979–1999) Beginning and Tamer’s solo career[edit]

Tamer Nafar, Suhell Nafar and Mahmoud Jreri were born and raised in Lod (47 km from Jerusalem), Tamer and Suhell were born to Fayez Nafar and Nadia Awadi, due to a car accident Fayez went through, he was disabled on a wheel chair on most of Tamer and Suhell’s lives, Mahmood Jreri was born to Ibrahim Jreri and Shadia Hassuneh. Tamer, Suhell and Mahmoud all grew on hard poverty neighborhoods that were full of drive by’s and drug dealing. At 1996, when he was 17 years old, Tamer discovered Hip Hop through Tupac Amaru Shakur's songs, and started to learn English while memorizing Tupac's lyrics and translating them into Arabic using an English-Arabic dictionary. Tamer recorded his first single "Untouchable," a reference to "The Untouchables” movie. In 1998, Tamer released his first EP "Stop Selling Drugs," featuring his younger brother, Suhell. The two met Mahmoud at a private show that they organized and together they decided to form DAM in late 1999.

(1999–2000) DAM’s first few singles, the start of a local career[edit]

DAM started recording songs on their home computer, and most of their songs back then where recorded over known Hip Hop instrumentals, their lyrics were basically concerning music and emotions without any political references. At the time, the Hip-Hop scene in the area was developed only in the Jewish clubs, that is why most of their songs at that time were in Hebrew, they used to perform in Tel Aviv as a part of the Israeli Hip Hop scene.

(2000) Booba’s death – personal awareness[edit]

At the 3rd of September 2000, Tamer's friend Booba (Hussam Abu Gazazae) was shot down and killed during a drive by, that incident made Tamer record his first protest song with a political reference, even though his friend was killed in an Arab on Arab crime. The song was called "Booba" it was a cover for Abd al Majeed Abdalla song "Ya Tayeb al Galb", and featured Ibraheem Sakallah in the hook.

(2000) October’s Palestinian’s second uprising (Intifada)[edit]

In October 2000, as a result of the entrance of then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Al Aqsa Mosque, the second Uprising of the Palestinian People began. Within a few weeks of the second Intifada's inception, Israeli forces had killed over 1000 Palestinians, 13 of whom were Israeli citizens. Tamer and Mahmood decided to write their first direct political song "Posheem Hapim me Peshaa' – Innocent Criminals" over the "Hail Mary" instrumental by Tupac and The Outlaws, using hard lines such as "When Jews protest the cops uses clubs, when Arabs protest the cops takes their souls" and "If it is a democracy how come I'm not mentioned in your Anthem" followed by the chorus "Before you judge me, before you understand me, walk in my shoes and you will hurt your feet, because we are criminal, innocent criminals." The song created a big buzz in the Israeli media and it put DAM in conflict with some of their fellow Israeli rappers; the song was later remixed by the Israeli Rock Star Aviv Geffen, and American Israeli director Udi Aloni decided to make a supporting video clip around 2003.

(2000–2001) DAM changes its language to Arabic[edit]

Around that time, and after listening to the Algerian French Hip Hop CD "MBS – Micro Brise le Silence" Tamer got convinced to give it a shot in Arabic, after a few experiences he released his first official single "Min al Ta lal Alef lal M E R – From the T to the A to the M E R" over the R. Kelly's instrumental feat Nas "Have you ever thought" the song hit number one charts in all of the Arab radios bringing DAM to the Palestinian mainstream and making them the group with the largest following and to a non stop shows in the years 2000 till 2003,a lot of Rappers and Hip Hop bands started their career after that single, the whole Palestinian Hip Hop scene started to spread, studios were opened and workshops for self-expression though rhymes started around.

(2001–2002) "Meen Irhabi – who is the terrorist?"[edit]

Around 2001, after a suicide bombing that happened in Tel Aviv, the whole world blamed terror and pointed at the Palestinians, after a few Extremist Israelis gathered around the Hassan Beck mosque in Yafa throwing stones at it and screaming Death to the Arabs, and Terrorists, DAM released their breakthrough single "Meen Erhabi? – Who is the terrorist?" the song opens with the screaming of the Israelis in front of the mosque, then over the Atmosphere instrumental "If I was Santa" they rap their verses. the song created an International buzz and was downloaded more than a million time in one month, The French magazine The Rolling Stone made a big article about the song and released a compilation with that magazine that featured DAM's Meen Erhabi and other International artists such as Manu Chao and Zibda, at that same time, Udi Aloni released his second documentary "Local Angel" that also featured DAM and they toured around Europe with the film, the tour included France, Germany and Belgium and it was the beginning of DAM's international career. Later on a video clip of the song was made by Palestinian/Syrian director Jackie Salloum.

(2003) Channels of Rage – the documentary[edit]

In 2003 Anat Halachmi an Israeli film director released the documentary Channels of Rage. The film follows Tamer Nafar and DAM on one side and on the other side the right wing Zionist rapper Kobi Shimoni (Subliminal and the Shadow). Anat followed them for almost 3 years. The film shows their relations and beefs through Hip Hop, the film won the Volgin Award for the best documentary in the Jerusalem film festival 2003.

(2004) The Born Here campaign[edit]

In 2004 the group was invited by Shateel organization to do a song that talks about the discrimination in the mixed cities in Israel, the Arab neighborhoods suffering from poverty, unemployment and house demolitions by the Israeli government, in Lyd the main entrance to the Arab neighborhoods is through 8 train tracks that you must cross them by walking and as a result of that more than 10 Arabs were killed by the train. The group featured a local Arab R&B singer Abir al Zinati and they created a song called "Kan Noladti – Born Here" as a reference to a known Israeli song by "Dats and Datsa" that said "I was born here, my children were born here and this is where we built our houses with our hands", DAM changed it to "I was born here, my grandparents were born here and this is where you destroyed our houses with your hands". The song was followed by a video clip by the late Juliano Mer Khamis (A Palestinian Jewish actor and director that was assassinated in Jenin's Refugee Camp in front of his Freedom Theatre on 4 April 2011). The Born Here Campaign also featured a bus tour for Israel’s top celebrities in the Arab ghettos in Israel. The campaign created a huge local media outrage. Many artists joined the ride among which were: Moni Moshonov, Aviv Geffen, Ha Yehudim, Yoav Kutner, Gila Almagor and many more. As a result of the video clip and the tour the Israeli government was forced to build bridges above the train tracks and ever since no one was killed by the train. "When we say Hip Hop is a bridge, we mean it metaphorically and Literary" said Tamer on his TEDEX speech at 2012, Nazareth. Tamer maintained to make political and historical tours after that, for schools, local and foreign groups, and for International artists such as Erykah Badu, Ezra Koenig from the American Rock band - Vampire's Weekend, Michael Franti, Gbenga Akinnagbe actor on the TV show The Wire,

The Born Here Campaign with DAM also toured Israel to spread awareness for the campaign, but Abir Zinati did not join the tour due to a threat she got from her cousins and family members claiming that the tour is a disgrace the honor of the family the day before the show. Tamer and Abir’s lives were threatened and thus they decided to cancel Abir’s participation in the tour. Tamer declares now that the incident was the first time that he felt the discrimination against women closely, and that DAM’s message was missing something, and that is women's rights.

(2006) First official album "Ihdaa' – Dedication" – DAM’s international career[edit]

After touring the world and releasing number one singles in the Arab Radios, DAM signed with the British Label "RCM – Red Circle Music" to market the album in Europe and gave the licensing to EMI Arabia to distribute the album in the Arab countries, they also signed with the French booking agency 3D Family to tour in the biggest music festivals around the world. Such as Sundance's film festival, Womad, Doha DIFF (Doha International film festival), Dubai Film Festival, Trinity International HipHop Festival USA, Vine Rock, Taybeh Beer Festival Palestine, Casa Festival (Morocco) and it got them to share stages with many worldwide artists such as: GZA of the Wutang Clan, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Pharaoh Monch, Rachid Taha, Ahmad al khoushry, Immortal Technique and many more. The album included 15 tracks, and some number one hits.

(2008) Slingshot Hip Hop[edit]

In 2008 Slingshot Hip Hop – the official film about the Palestinian Hip Hop by Jackie Salloum was released, first screening was in the Sundance film festival, the film got a lot of attention and won many prizes, and featured guest appearances by international artists Chuck D from Public Enemy and Africa Bambataa. The film covers the Palestinian Hip Hop scene in general and DAM in particular, DAM member also attended and performed at Sundance and held a Q&A conference and the festival as well. The Film and its self-titled soundtrack features other Palestinian artists such as: Mahmoud Shalabi, Abir al Zinati (Sabreena the Witch), WE7, PR, Arapeyat, Khalifa E and many more), The soundtrack was mostly recorded at Sabreen Studio, East Jerusalem; the album had songs such "Who is the terrorist by DAM" "Tzakar by PR" "Blinded Freedom by Shalabi" "The witch's Uprising by Abeer and Suhell" and “Sot el Samt” by WE7. Following the film’s success, DAM started touring the USA, holding around 60 shows a year. For a list of slingshot awards see the full article Slingshot Hip Hop. 2009 Wanted: An Arab without a Memory At the year of 2009, Israeli government started to advertise their campaign for the Israel’s Arabs citizens to serve in the National Service instead of the Army, the campaign was fought back by all of the Palestinian organizations and activists. Baladna organization started a campaign against the National Service and have asked DAM to write and record a theme song for the campaign, the song was produced by Rimon Haddad and became the theme of the Palestinian agenda that refused to serve the occupation by any means, the campaign led in to a large tour in all of the Palestinian cities in Israel, the artists that participated in it were : DAM, Amer Hlehel, Ayman Nahas, Hanna Shammas, Tarez Suliman and many more. 2010 Targeted Citizen DAM were asked by Adaleh's organization to participate in a short film that describes the Israeli legal discrimination towards the Palestinians, DAM were offered to meet with Adaleh's lawyers, ask questions and regarding the answer they will go to the studio followed by the camera and record a song about it. DAM came out with the song "Muwaten Mustahdaf – Targeted Citizen", the directors liked the title of the song so they ended up using it for the title of the whole film and the campaign. The song was produced by Anan Kusseim from WE7 at the Underground Studio (That Ardi) and the inrtod was recorded by the Director Firas Khoushry.

(2011) A Letter from the Cell[edit]

After 5 years of performing and touring and participating in other Artists' projects, DAM decided to release the first single from their future album "Nudbok Al Amar – Dabka on the Moon". The name of the first single is "Risale min Zinzane - A Letter from the Cell", they featured in the song Trio Joubran and Bachar Marcell Khalifa. During the writing process of the song, DAM met with Addameer organization a few times to collect information, personal stories and letters so they can create three fictional characters that will be based on true stories. The song was supposed to be released with the album but after the Palestinians prisoners hunger strike DAM decided to release the unfinished version to support the prisoners. Other unofficial singles where released to the Internet by fans, songs from shows such as their first English song "Mama, I fell in love with a Jew" a funny story about an Arab guy who get stocked in the elevator with a beautiful Jewish girl and they fell in love, the difference is that in the elevator the girl was going up and the Arab guy was going down, a sarcastic view on the Co Existence that Israel is trying to promote, the massage of the song is Existence before Co Existence . Another song of the upcoming album is "Shi'r al Share' – Street Poetry" a club song with an Arabic pop sound composed and arranged by the Danish producer Billy Beautiful, the song is canceling the politicians and giving the leader role to the Artist, the true voice of the streets.

(2012) Second Official album: Dabke on the Moon[edit]

(2012) First Music Video Single from Dabke: "If I could go back in time"[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums
Contributing artist

DAM in TV and cinema[edit]

  • (2002) Local angel (as DAM)
  • (2003) Channels of Rage by Anat Halachmi (as DAM)
  • (2007) Forgiveness (as DAM)
  • (2007) DAM – UK London by Eliot Manches (as DAM)
  • (2008) Slingshot Hip Hop by Jackie Salloum (as DAM and Suhell Nafar as the narrator)
  • (2008) Salt of the sea by Annemarie Jacir (DAM's Song Shidu al Himme produced by K Salaam, and a Small part by Tamer Nafar as a waiter)
  • (2008) Where in the world is Osama Ben Laden? By Morgan Spurlock (In the soundtrack – Mali Huriye – I have no freedom song)
  • (2009) Checkpoint Rock – Songs for Palestine by Fermin Muguruza and Javier Corcuera (as DAM and Suhell Nafar as the narrator)
  • (2010) Targeted citizen by Rahel Lea Jones (as DAM)
  • (2011) Habibi Rasak Kharban by Susan Youssef (Tamer & Suhell Nafar in a small part as fishermen)
  • (2012) I'lam Media Center: I have the right! By Firas Khoury (Tamer Nafar as himself)
  • (2012) Yala on the Moon (Yala al Amar) by Jackie Salloum and Suhell Nafar (DAM in the soundtrack and Tamer Nafar in a small part as a driver)
  • (2012) Art/Violence, A Documentary by Udi Aloni, Cinema fairbindet Prize awarded in the Berlinale film festival 2012, DAM were part of the characters in the movie and there music video "If I Could Go Back in TIme-Law Arjaa bil Zaman" was used in the movie, as well Tamer Nafar was part of the Producers of the movie.
  • (2012) Insha'Allah a Canadian/French feature film directed by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, the movie uses in one of the scenes 2 songs "Love us and Buy us - Hibuna Ishtruna ( from Ihdaa/Dedication) and the single "Targeted Citizen - Muwaten Mustahdaf"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Orwell, Victoria (4/11/11). "Bethlehem Hosts Festival for Palestinian Hope". Palestine News Network. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Corne, Jonah (1 May 2010). "Hip-hop Palestinian style: an interview with DAM.". Canadian Dimension 44 (3): 56–7. 
  3. ^ "About DAM". About DAM, DAM's homepage. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Nabi, Hira (2010-12-17). ""We will continue to sing": DAM’s Suhell Nafar interviewed". Electronic Intifada. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 

DAM in the Press[edit]

  • [1] BBC News - Rival rappers reflect Mid-East conflict (English) Nov 26, 2004.
  • [2] Duke Chronicle - DAM raps on Palestinian nation (English), June 15, 2006.
  • [3] Common Ground News - Palestinian political rap attracts growing crowds (English) Jan 09, 2007.
  • [4] Palestine Chronicle - Tariq Shadid: Palestinian Group DAM – Music Review (English) June 29, 2007.
  • [5] "Short Documentary" - DAM in the UK (English Video), July 2007.
  • [6] "'Channel 10" - 7 Years la DAM (Arabic Video), 2007.
  • [7] Time Magazine - How Phat Conquered Palestine (English), Dec 05, 2007.
  • [8] Hip Hop Diplomacy - DAM Lyd (English), 2008.
  • [9] The Washington Post - LOST TRACKS Good CDs We Overlooked Last Year (English) Jan 9, 2008.
  • [10] Democracy Now (Video Interview) - Palestinian Rap Group DAM Use Hip-Hop to Convey the Frustrations, Hopes of a Dispossessed People (English), May 15, 2008.
  • [11] Direct Action - How could Palestinians not love hip hop? (English) August 3, 2008.
  • [12] Manassat - Palestinian rap godfathers DAM represent for the '48ers (English), March 31, 2009.
  • [13] "Democracy NOW" - Palestinian Rap Group DAM (English Video), 2009.
  • [14] Arabic Hip Hop Heads - Album Review - DAM - Dedication (Ihda') (English), August 15, 2009.
  • [15] Al Hurra TV - Hayati - My Life (Arabic), Aug 21, 2009.
  • [16] Sabayaz - مقابلة مع محمود جريري من فرقة 'دام' DAM (Arabic), 2010.
  • [17] Le Monde Diplomatique - Palestinian rap (English), August, 2010.
  • [18] Naked Punch - Born Here: Interview with Dam (English), Dec 16, 2010.
  • [19] DAM Celebrating 10 Years - (Arabic), Dec 21, 2010.
  • [20] MTV Iggy - Backstage with Palestinian Rappers in Brooklyn (English) May 25, 2011.
  • [21] Haaretz - From Baltimore to Lod By Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire) (English), Jul 15, 2011.
  • [22] Vanguard - Palestinian rap hits Portland (English), Nov 03, 2011.
  • [23] Brown Daily Herald - Palestinian hip-hop group raps politics (English), Nov 13, 2011.
  • [24] Jewish Review - Lincoln High hosts panel on appearance by Palestinian rap group (English), Nov 15, 2011.
  • [25] Portland State University - Hip Hop as Part of the Palestinian Poetic Tradition (English), 2012.
  • [26] Middle East Studies Center - Hip-Hop as Part of the Palestinian Poetic Tradition (English), 2012/
  • [27] Mid East Dynasty - DAM pays homage with “Juliano’s Way” (English), May 7, 2012.
  • [28] Electronic Intifada - by Ali Abu Nimah, (English), Nov 6, 2012.
  • [29] Al-Bawaba - Palestinian rap band slams honor crimes in YouTube hit (English) Nov 09, 2012.
  • [30] UN Women - Palestinian hip hop group DAM raises awareness of ‘honour killings’ through a powerful music video (English), Nov 09, 2012.
  • [31] Jadaliyya - Crime, Honor and Hip Hop (English), Nov 14, 2012.
  • [32] Jadaliyya - Palestinian rap trio DAM dropped their latest video “If I Could Go Back in Time (English), Nov 16, 2012.
  • [33] Haaretz - הרכב ההיפ־הופ “DAM” רוצה להגיע לירח (Hebrew), Nov 21, 2012.
  • [34] Jadaliyya - Tradition and the Anti-Politics Machine: DAM Seduced by the “Honor Crime” (English), Nov 23, 2012.
  • [35] The Poetic Politic - Response to Jadaliyya’s “Tradition and the Anti-Politics Machine,” article re: DAM’s new video (English), Nov 25, 2012.
  • [36] Al Hurra TV - A Video Interview at Al Yawm - The Today Show (Arabic), Nov 27, 2012.
  • [37] World Music Network - DAM: Rap, Rights, And Revolution (English), Dec 05, 2012
  • [38] XXL Mag - Pioneering Palestinian Rappers DAM Drop Second Album (English), Dec 10, 2012.
  • [39] Ha-Aretz - It’s more than a hip-hop and a jump to the moon for this Arab-Israeli band (English), December 7, 2013.
  • [40] World Music Network - Jan Video Chart: Sam Lee, Rupa & The April Fishes, Mokoomba And More (English), Jan 3, 2013.
  • [41] Rolling Stones Middle East - DAM Stir Controversy With Second Album (English), Jan 07, 2013.
  • [42] Electronical Intifada - DAM’s new album “Dabke on the Moon”: an interview with Tamer Nafar (English), Jan 9, 2013.
  • [43] The National - Palestinian Rap Group DAM Reach for the Moon (English), Jan 09, 2013.
  • [44] Funk Hauseuropa – Dabke on the Moon Album of the Week (German), Jan 14, 2013.
  • [45] The Blaze - Arabic Rapper says U.S. and Israel to blame for Palestinians not sending man to the moon (English), Jan 14, 2013.
  • [46] Le Philistin - DAM, Dabke on the Moon (French), Jan 17, 2013.
  • [47] Arab News - DAM: Music for freedom, for women and greater rights (English), March 6, 2013.
  • [48] Birth Place Magazine - The Hip-Hop Sounds of Palestine: DAM in Concert (English), March 31, 2013.
  • [49] Princeton - DAM - Palestinian Hip Hop Group to Perform and Discuss their Work (English), April 2, 2013.
  • [50] Electronic Intifada - Listen! New music from Palestinian hip hop legends DAM as they kick off US tour (English), April 2, 2013.
  • [51] Al - Quds - شبان "خط تالت" ينقلون بموسيقى الراب نبض "الربيع العربي" (Arabic), March 4, 2013.
  • [52] Al-Sharq - “خط تالت”.. تجربة “راب” تعبر عن نبض “الربيع العربي” (Arabic), March 5, 2013.
  • [53] Qantara - "خط تالت" عندما تنقل موسيقى الراب نبض "الربيع العربي" (Arabic) March 6, 2013.
  • [54] Al-Ghad - "خط تالت" عندما تنقل موسيقى الراب نبض "الربيع العربي" (Arabic), March 6, 2013.
  • [55] Chicago Reader - Straight outta the Middle East: Reflecting on personal experiences with Israeli and Palestinian hip-hop (English), April 3, 2013.
  • [56] Hoffpost Live - Original Palestinian Hip-Hop Group DAM Live (English), April 3, 2013.
  • [57] WBEZ - Palestinian hip hop group DAM channels their frustration through music (English Radio), April 5, 2013.
  • [58] Kasrelrafd - الطفار والراس: "خط تالت" راديكالي (Arabic), April 10, 2013.
  • [59] Nassau Weekly - Fuck Tha Police (English), April 11, 2013.
  • [60] Radio Sawa (Arabic Radio), April 12, 2013.
  • [61] Al-Monitor - Palestinian Rappers Spark Debate With New Album (English), April 23, 2013.
  • [62] Al Arab - "قوليلو بنت صفك" لفريق الدام الاولى في سباق فن فنانينا مع شادي بلان" (Tell Him its your Classmate reaches #1 Charts on Shadi Ballan's Show) (Arabic) ِApril 24, 2013.
  • [63] CNN USA - DAM on CNN Christiane Amanpour (English), April 26, 2013.
  • [64] MBC الدبكة على القمر "المحتل"... فرقة دام الفلسطينية (Dabke on the Occupied Moon) (Arabic) April 28, 2013.
  • [65] Sky News Arabia (Arabic), May 5, 2013.
  • [66] News Stanford - The music of the Arab Spring finds a home on the Stanford campus (English), May 15, 2013.
  • [67] Al-Arab - أعضاء فريق الدام يجولون العالم بألبوم ندبك ع القمر - DAM tours the world with Dabke on the Moon Album (Arabic), May 16, 2013.
  • [68] FAZ - Und alle sehen weg (German), May 25, 2013.
  • [69] The Local East Village - Palestinian Rappers Bring World Stage to Drom (English) May 29, 2013.
  • [70] Yahala Voice - Dam Rap Group on Yahala Voice (English), May 29, 2013.
  • [71] Poor Magazine - Palestine Disability Through Political Hip-Hop & Advocacy (English) June 16, 2013.
  • [72] DNA India - Rap fills the blanks in Kashmir story (English) Jul 14, 2013.
  • [73] Mako - Super Lancer (Hebrew), July 21, 2013.
  • [74] Ansa - Arrivano i Dam, band arabo-israeliana (Italian), August 9, 2013.
  • [75] Online News - MUSICA/In Italia arrivano in Dam, band arabo-israeliana (Italian), August 9, 2013.
  • [76] Nena News Global - Il 19 luglio a Bologna la band palestinese Dam (Italian) August 10, 2013.
  • [77] La Repubblica - Balla il Dabke con i Dam: quel sound è irresistibile (Italian) August 11, 2013.
  • [78] Ansamed - Musica: in Italia in arrivo i Dam, band arabo-israeliana (Italian), August 12, 2013.
  • [79] XXL Mag - Palestinian Rap Group DAM On The Political Difficulties Facing Palestinian Hip-Hop (English) October 17, 2013.

External links[edit]