Lebanese hip hop
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Well known Up-ground Artists
Sari Abboud (Arabic: ساري عبّود), better known by his stage name Massari (pronounced mə-SAH-ree) (born in Beirut, Lebanon on December 10, 1980) is a Lebanese Canadian R&B, Pop, and hip hop singer. His music combines Middle Eastern melodies with western culture. He started his musical career in 2001-2002, and has released two albums, Massari in 2005 and Forever Massari in 2009. He has had a number of hit singles in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and internationally.
Carl Abou Samah (Arabic: كارل أبو سمح; born April 18, 1979) better known by his stage name Karl Wolf is a Lebanese-born Canadian musician based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has been a singer, songwriter and producer since 2001, releasing his first solo album Face Behind the Face on MapleNationwide/Universal in January 2006, followed by a second album Bite the Bullet in November 2007. His third album Nightlife was released on November 17, 2009. After 9 years with EMI Music, in March 2010 he signed a new recording contract in the United States with Universal Republic followed by a worldwide deal with Universal Music Canada in 2011. EMI Japan and EMI Middle East who still had exclusive license to Karl Wolf's upcoming album released Finally Free, his fourth album on July 10, 2012. Through his company, Lone Wolf Management, Karl Wolf also manages a number of new artists.
Well known MCs
Lebanese rapper who was nominated by BBC Radio 3 for "World Music Award" in 2005.
Wael Kodeih was born in 1979 in the south of Lebanon. 1982 the family fled upon the Israeli invasion campaign to Paris, where Wael lived until the family moved back to Lebanon in 1992.
At a time when all rappers in the Middle-East were putting out records in English and French, Wael (a.k.a. Rayess Bek) decided to flip the script and rap in Arabic. His lyrics speak about Lebanon, its crisis, its war, its youth and disillusionment with politics by the new generation. Rayess Bek, with his band AKS’SER, had their debut at the ‘Fete de la Musique’ concert summer of 1997 in Beirut. In 2003, Rayess Bek released his first solo album ’3am behkeh bil sokout’ as independent.
In 2007, Wael was commissioned by the UN to compose and produce a song for a special awareness campaign on disability.In June 2007 Wael completed his Doctorate in Fine Arts in Paris (France),and began to work on another campaign for the UN.
Today, Wael is working with musicians in his new band, The Rayess Bek Orchestra. The musicians use traditional instruments like the oud (oriental luth) and nay (oriental flute) with bass, upright bass and groove box to form orchestral hip-hop in French and Arabic.
Dj Lethal Skillz
A Turntablist, DJ and Producer, Hussein Mao Atwi, also known as DJ Lethal Skillz (Maharat Katilah) and the “PhonoSapien Monk of da 3rd World.” is the first Arab DJ to fuse the art of turntablism into Oriental Arabic music. Moreover, Skillz is founder and member of Lebanese hip-hop collective “ 961 Underground ,” and is also the one behind the exposure of most of Lebanon’s hot MC’s. Skillz seeks to offer the world a different angle to view and judge the Arab world from and to create a platform where Arab youths can express themselves peacefully and away from politics and war. Skillz has been in the industry for over a decade. A master in his art, he is growing world wide and is considered a Living Lebanese Legend!
The crew is composed of identical twin brothers: MIJRIM KALEIM (born Mohamed Kabbani) MC/Producer and CARBONN (born Omar Kabbani) MC/Producer, both university graduates (Graphic Design major) from the Lebanese American University (L.A.U) and Graffiti Artists. The style adopted by ASHEKMAN is Lebanese rap, with Arabic lyrics/Lebanese dialect, with an aggressive/cynical tonality and underground topics that created problems with the censorship/organizers and led ASHEKMAN to be shutdown/censored in 5 concerts, but on the other hand created a street buzz and a notorious reputation for this duo crew, as the true voice of the society. The name ASHEKMAN means in slang Lebanese the exhaust pipe of a vehicle, signifying the toxic lyrics used in the songs of the crew.
RGB is a talented MC and beatboxer from Lebanon.
He was born in 1980, in the popular Muslim area of Basta. As a kid he spent a lot of time roaming the streets of his neighborhood, taking all sorts of small jobs.
In 1995 he met Waldo, who used to rap in English and Arabic and introduced him to the beatbox technique. Together they joined other rappers like Billy Boy from Basta, and Banelli from Ashrafieh,the opposite Christian quarter.They created their first crew, "secteur B" RGB stopped working to devote himself entirely to Hip Hop.
In 1999, the crew became Kitaa Beirut, with the joining of new members: 6k, Mc Stress and Mc Joker.The crew and its furious energy became famous in the Lebanese underground scene.
In 2002, RGB, after a concert with Kitaa Beirut in Cahors in the south of France decided not to come back to Lebanon where he was expected to serve in the Lebanese army. He then spent 3 difficult years in France, strugling to survive on the sreets of Lyon and Paris where he entered open mike events and discovered the French hip hop scene.
in 2005 RGB came back to Beirut and after paying his duty to the army (a few month in jail) he joined the band "Kita'youn"(Boys of The sector) with 6k, MC stress and Mc Joker who had continued recording and performing . They toured together in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan .
In 2006 RGB signed his first record deal with Mooz record a young alternativ label from Beirut and recorded his first demos with Zeid Hamdan the young producer behind soapkills, The New Government and most of the best bands on the Lebanese underground scene. Zeid Hamdan at that time was coaching an Iraki boys band called UTN1 produced by an American compagnie, LCI entertainment. When the war irrupted in July 2006 Mooz records gave RGB his contract back, he and 6K then followed Zeid Hamdan (who became his manager )to Jordan to perform in a charity concert with UTNI for the benefit of Lebanese war refugees. He met there after a brilliant performance the people who would become his future producers, the owners of LCI entertainment.
In 2007 his manager and LCI produced a hip hop show called Cha'er bil chare' (a poet in the streets ) he had the main role in the first Arabic hip hop play in the middle east . He there started collaborating with DJ Lethal Skillz, a well known turntablist and producer in the Lebanese and Arab underground scene, and together they later formed the 961 family with Malika (Mc Lix), 6k and Mc Moe.
Late 2007 RGB officially signed with LCI entertainment and has been working since on his first solo album,"Blacklisted". The project includes the collaboration of several parisian producers, such as Drixxxé, Rouf, Sureshot Brothers, and Alsoprodby. It addresses the new generations, the Arabic and international audience, as the marriage of western production and Arabic flow gives birth to an awesomely efficient sound.
Lebanese hip-hop MC, born June 7, 1984 in Beirut, Lebanon and raised in Nigeria. MC Moe aka Gemini 7 (G7) moved back to his home town Beirut end of 1997. Fueled with African soul, life, and experience, he created an original fusion of African roots, Lebanese struggle and American Hip Hop culture. From there on, he set out to perfect his lyrics and understanding of the genre as he dwelled into the inner strife of Arab citizenship.
From the streets, to the clubs, to the beach parties, to the live radio show and eventually across the borders landing international events as a hype man mc and rapper, the name of MC Moe was passed on from tongue to tongue. As an MC, he is the region's finest Entertainers. He started his career with the notorious Hip Hop night club – Egzit – as the Resident MC from 2002 until the club shut down early 2006. One of the fruits of his labors was teaming up with the Middle East’s Number one Hip Hop and R&B DJ, Mix FM’s (Middle East’s Number One Radio Station of 2006) DJ Rapbase (May God Rest His Soul in Peace – passed away March 2008).
He became Mix FM’s official MC in 2004, taking the region by storm as the new duo set the precedence in Hip Hop clubbing experience. He created his own unique style that as most people would agree has been imitated by all the seedlings trying to follow his path. Hosted events across Lebanon’s night clubs and the region (concentrated in Cyprus). Also single handedly responsible for the Hip Hop sets at Mix FM’s infamous yearly One Big Sundays (All day beach party). As of 2005 he was officially hosting the weekly live Mix FM R&B show with DJ Rapbase. A show that brought prime time Hip Hop and R&B music with MC Moe’s original touch to the Lebanese scene. In 2007 he devoured a 7000 strong crowd at the opening set of Mix FM’s Massari concert.
As a Hip Hop artist, he teamed up with Lebanon’s finest to form an elite crew known to the world as 961 Underground. Since the early 2000s they have put together a massive collection of original tracks, from the Hip Hop banging to the Club oriented. All of course with an original touch.
Latest MC Moe releases include two hit videos co-produced by Malaysia’s finest DJ Fuzz. First video (KL to Beirut) aired on MTV Arabia.
Academically, he graduated from the American University of Beirut along with the class of 2008, with Distinction, achieving a B.S in Computer Science and a minor in Economics. He instantly landed a job with a well reputable Multi National Financial Services Software company in their Paris office. He now lives there, making capital, only to put it back into the Hip Hop game.
One of the first Arab female hip-hop artists, she has been vocal about Lebanon and the struggles of a woman in the region. Malikah, who is this Lebanese-Algerian, has rapped in different languages and represents the region as a whole.
Fareeq El Atrash
Fareeq el Atrash is an Arabic hip hop band from Beirut with a sound that is distinguished by its true-school style, topical flows and live instrumentation.
- Edd Abbas (raps):Lyricist/MC/Music Composer/Producer/Event Organizer.
- Chyno (raps):Far-Eastern birth, Middle-Eastern upbringing, Westernized-World living.
- FZ (beatboxes)
- Fouad Afra (plays drums)
- Tarek Khuluki (plays guitar, keyboards)
- Jeremy Chapman (plays flute, tenor saxophone)
- Nidal Abou Samra (plays soprano and tenor saxophones, trumpet)
- John Imad Nasr (plays bass)
+ they also support: Qarar (Sary El sabbagh) and Samer (Samer Abed El Karim)
Music producer/beatmaker/lyricist, For those who follow Theology,history,politics,psychology,tarab,funk. Also known as: Ram6, AL Hamorabi, The 13th Imam, Creator & Ayatollah.
He was born on the 18th of August 1988 in Besançon (France) where his Lebanese parents had settled during the civil war. Growing up, he often enjoyed listening to his parents' records, mostly Lebanese music like Fairuz and Majida Al Roumi to name a few. He discovered Hip-Hop in 1997 through the local French scene in Paris which he considers as his first influence as he started writing lyrics in 2000. In 2001, his family moved back to Beirut (Lebanon) where they are still currently living. Back in his country of origin, Ram6 found his roots and rapidly switched his rap to Arabic. Through his music, he is aiming to naturalize Lebanese Hip-Hop, using powerful lyrics and a truly original flow accompanied by funky beats, produced by Ram6 himself. He mainly raps about the social and political situation in Lebanon, hoping to inspire freedom and equality amongst his peers. Influenced by artists like James Brown and Ziad El Rahbany, Ram6's sound is a beautiful marriage of oriental beats and urban Hip-Hop.
Born in Tripoli-Lebanon, started writing poetry in literary Arabic when he was 11, and started rhyming in spoken Lebanese dialect in 1999, when he was 15. At that time they were a group of 3 mc's going under the name of "Mlouk el Mic" (kings of the mic). They recorded an album that was shared for free, and they did some concerts in their hometown. There were no ngo's then, and no one cared about giving them any support except for their friends and the young people who liked what they were doing. Unfortunately, he had to leave to France after two years, when he was 17, to study math finance and economics. Studies were hard, money was rare, and exile was tough, but music and poetry never left him, he kept on rhyming with some underground French mc's like Medline and Moebius, and he developed new musical capacities, on percussions, classical Arabic singing and baglama (Turkish buzuk). After finishing his studies and working for almost 2 years in the hell of banking and market finance, he decided to come back to Lebanon. He spent a year just re-discovering Beirut and making/learning music. After that year he got a job as a journalist in the newspaper Assafir. 3 years with at Assafir in Arab and international affairs, covered the Arab revolutions. Left Assafir after a lot of divergences, participated in creating Almodon as the head of Arab and international affairs department, between September 2012 and July 2013 when he left for deontological reasons. After the first album “Kachf el Mahjoub” with the talented music maker Jawad Nawfal aka Munma released in February 2012, and the success it had regionally from tunis to Syria Palestine Egypt Jordan and the gulf countries, the second album with Munma “Adam, Darwin and the penguin” was released too in May 2014, alongside many other projects on the Arab scale.
A.k.a Dee, is an inspiring Lebanese Hip Hop artist. His journey in HipHop started in his early years and eventually turned into a passionate writer (at 16). He uses his music to relate to his listeners and to find new ways to deliver a message. His first album "Min Beirut" was released in April 2011 and is available on iTunes, Amazon, emusic and Spotify.
The incendiary Lebanese hip-hop duo Touffar has become a local rap phenomenon, despite their scarce financial resources and modest musical experience. Nasser al-Din and Jaafar, the two members of the group.
Updated info: The band have disintegrated, back in 2012, leaving behind only this most unique and beautiful of albums.
Well Known Producers
Dj Lethal Skillz, Clotaire K, Rayess Bek, Munma, Ram6, Edd Abaas, Chyno, OkyDoky, Fadi Tabbal, Dj Goadman, Jhon Nasser, BigFlow, Omar Al Fil, Jnood Beirut, Kenzo, 961blink and many more!
Menace, Brother-Bull, Fahrass, Bill Amaliyeh, Eben Foulen, Double A, Venus, Flen L Foulene, M-thrax, Mad Prophet, Lipos, Chakk, Sawet Al Damer, Al Jari2, Big Jay, Greg Taylor, Jaww Safeh, Afro, Karma, Deep Cipher, SeVeN-R, Sayed Jeem, E-Hash, Kicka DeLight, XZE, Mobar, El Lallous, M16, DeepRaw, Basbous, Abou Layla and many more...