The battle on the fractured field of a war-strangled Syria-scape is shifting to a new scene that echews guns and chemical weapons for inflammatory insults and stinging slang. This is not the rheorical rebuttling of the failing diplomats but the dissing and hissing of renegade warriors in their gangsta's paradise: Syria's rapping rebels with a cause.
As violence rages across their homeland, Syrian rappers are finding their voice. Over the last 28 months, as the conflict escalated from a national uprising to a regional proxy war, Syrian hip hop has turned up the heat to reflect the tragedy. Social destruction, abandonment and betrayal by the international community are prominent themes among the latest releases.
Renegade raging members
Brooding Moudy Alarbe laments his inability to stop his country slipping away from him as he watches from a distance. Omar Offendum rages that amidst the diplomatic posturing, the world has lost sight of the human tragedy unfolding in Syria. Even the protesters themselves have come in for a lyrical lampooning from the feisty Eslam Jawaad who has thrown in his lot with the regime. Whoever they’ve got in their sights, these guys are not short of words or message and they’re using rap music as their medium.
Most are launching their lyrical revolts from outside the hood — and the stages range from Beirut to London. The collective has members from around the region — ranging from Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab uprising, to the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon — and vocalises the realities of a new generation carrying the baggage of the past and present.
Armed with more bling than bullets, here are the motley crew of Syrian rapsters in our gangster gallery.