For those who didn't catch it, the amazing documentary, Slingshot Hip-Hop , was screened on Saturday night at the University of Washington. It's>"/>
For those who didn't catch it, the amazing documentary, Slingshot Hip-Hop, was screened on Saturday night at the University of Washington. It's the story of how Palestinian MCs based in Gaza, the West Bank, and within Israel are using hip-hop as a means of fighting the oppression they feel on a daily basis. Local rapper and community activist, Gabriel Teodros, who was at the screening, called it one of the best hip-hop documentaries he's ever seen.
After the film was over, the after-party was held at the Hidmo, and two artists from the film were actually on hand to perform. There isn't much of a market for Arab MCs so it was good to see rappers straight out of the Middle East rocking a show to support their native land of Palestine and Gaza.
There were a few opening acts on the show: Canary Sing, 1st Quarter Storm, and Abysinnian Creole all did a good job of rocking the mic and making sure the energy inside of the Hidmo remained strong. A few other artists took the stage as well and if anybody knows their names, let us know.
But the highlight of the night was undeniably when the stars of the film took the stage.
First up was P.R. the Palestinian Rapper. The guy has hilarious stage presence and spent a good amount of time cracking jokes. A good portion of the film is dedicated to chronicling his journey as a rapper so it was crazy to see him with a microphone in his hand right here in Seattle.
He sort of had a rough start though on Saturday night.
He asked the crowd if they liked Ludacris. In a spot like the Hidmo, everyone sort of grumbled as if we did. Then he quoted Luda's "move bitch, get out the way," and all of the ladies in the house were nonplussed. Folks wanted to feel him, and his English isn't so good, so he got away with it. But if that was an American, in a venue with that many conscious women, it would have been ugly! Despite that false start, P.R.'s cadence and flow was so impressive that most people loved him anyway. His double-time raps, which were all in Arabic, were sharp, always to the beat, and it was obvious he had a deep love for rap and freestyling.
I'd say he performed about five or six songs before bringing up Abeer, who raps under the stage name, Sabreena Da Witch. She let us know from the moment she grabbed the mic that she was about to put a spell on the audience, and then promptly did exactly that. Her rap style isn't nearly as fast and tongue twisting as P.R.'s but that doesn't mean she's any less talented. Arguably, her stage presence was even better as she beautifully sang, laughed, and rapped her way into all of our hearts. As an Arab female MC, she's got one heck of an uphill battle, but there's a certain star quality to her that you just know would succeed if her music was heard by the right people.
All around, it was an amazing night of music that ended with all of the artists in the building coming back on stage and freestyling for like a half an hour. Teodros handled the beatboxing for everybody. As for the goodwill of the night, all of the proceeds from the film screening and the after party are slated to go directly to families in Gaza as well.