Hip Hop will get you


Listen: Dam hip hop
Listen:Joel Turner & the Modern Day Poets
Listen:Cuban Hip Hop All Stars

The universal appeal of hip hop staggers me. This musical form is cropping up all over the place. From the exciting Beatbox attack of local lad, Joel Turner & the Modern Day Poets, to the new sounds coming out of Cuba, 'tis an extraordinary movement that is sweeping the globe each and everywhere with its own national variation and lyrical focus.

The world-music in me may wonder why the locals seem to reject their national sounds and rhythmns for the all-in global hip hop mix -- but when you start touring the globe, comparing the tracks the patina is very complex and rich despite the shared roots.

I've selected some examples here for listening. Of these Dam is most exciting, as it is a group singing in both Arabic and Hebrew who are based in Palestine with a very strong take on the occupation. Dam is also sponsoring a portal, from their base in Nazareth, into the world of Arab-Rap.

So I guess the best we can all do is listen up! Here's what Dam has to say:

You call me the terrorist?
Who's the terrorist?
I'm the terrorist?
How am I the terrorist
When you've taken my land?!
Who's the terrorist?
You're the terrorist!
You've taken everything I own
while I'm living in my homeland.

and Joel Turner's These Kids

so many songs, so many times
tha world had to hear so many rhymes
about how life is for strugglers
minority groups, kids with single mothers
young hommy's turn hustlers, stealing for money
it's kinda funny how tha crime rate is so high
in suburbs where family ties are low, n suicides on tha rise
oh why - so many die coz in their eyes
tha mistake they made, cant be erased tha only way out is to take their life
n if they dont do it sudden then they do it slowly
polluting themselves with drugs, because they on this world lonely
so we as a nation just class em as a waste of space
n if they dont help the economy then strip em naked
put em on tha streets n make sure tha police hate em
n feed tha public phony information on tha evening news
"kids may bomb police stations, to get at tha boys in blue"
this song goes out to tha whole justice system
instead of listening to tha kids with tha problems
you just tick them off more
until these kids in prison or dead before they 24