Jan 20, 2013

Ramallah Underground: a voice against oppression


Ramallah Underground is a musical collective based in Ramallah, Palestine. The artists Stormtrap, Boikutt and Aswatt are co-founders of the collective. The style of music includes hip-hop, trip-hop, electronica, downtempo and also more traditional Arabic styles.

An In These Times article "Rap the Casbah" quotes Stormtrap as saying: “We consider our music to be very political, simply because our lives are very political... Just the mere fact that we know what’s happening puts a huge weight and responsibility on us to do something about it.” The collective delivers with music that inspires resistance and hope - a voice against oppression.

The above clip is from the track "Sijen ib Sijen" by Ramallah Underground.

In October last year I covered a story about the Salam.Orient cultural festival in Austria that was boycotted by Arab artists when it became evident that one of the sponsors of the event was the Israeli embassy. Among the artists who withdrew were Lena Chamamyan, Malikah and DJ Sotusura. MC Boikutt also quit the festival. He supports the call of Palestinian civil society for a cultural boycott on Israel.

Ramallah Underground member Abboud Hashem AKA MC Stormtrap, has a video out that accompanies a track titled "In This Prison." In an email to Electronic Intifada he said that the track “deals with life under occupation, the price of freedom and the right to self-defense.” It's a great video. You can check it out on YouTube here. It is performed in Arabic but if you click on "show more" for the text info you will get the English lyrics.