When it comes to the Arab world, there has been a steady and gradual increase in the number of artists taking the hip-hop route. From North Africa to the Middle East, talents regularly explore global sounds to match their abilities and artistry in the region.
The music of Arab hip-hop artists ranges from influences from trap, cloud-rap and dancehall to reggaeton and traditional Arabic music. The fusion of diverse sounds and an ever-evolving genre come together to create the raw, underground flavors of Arabic hip-hop.
This year again, IFPI has confirmed that the Middle East and North Africa is the fastest growing music region in the world. Young talent is building from the ground up to establish a local music industry that will make history.
Hypebeast breaks down different areas in the Middle East and North Africa to identify artists to keep on your radar. Read on to check out the hip-hop stars from today’s selected region, the Gulf (in no particular order).
Completed by the release of his latest album Z5M, BLVXB is one of the biggest names in Saudi music. Its undeniably refreshing perspective creates space for easy listening. The laid-back productions alongside his narratives make BLVXB a memorable artist to keep on your radar as we look forward to a global takeover.
Freek is one of the game changers in the region. Drawing inspiration from his Somalian roots and life in the United Arab Emirates, his approach to music comes with lyrical complexities and honesty. With his breakthrough hit “Aslan 3adi” and recent debut album 150Freek is making his mark on the Middle Eastern and North African hip-hop scene and continues to break down barriers with his defiant approach to music.
Saudi rapper Lil Eazy has quickly become one of the Kingdom’s most listened to and recognizable talents. From popular hits such as “Yemkn Kheera” and “Keef Ansa”, he performs with different sounds alongside a bit alter ego that appears in an instantly recognizable voice. Lil Eazy continues to elevate his art and add to his growing discography – making every release something to look forward to.
Tac has been on the rise as an artist to watch in the UAE for a few years now. Exploration in storytelling with his low-end, dreamlike productions makes it easy to fall into a deep dive into his discography. Tac’s latest multi-artist collaboration on “LDNYCDXB” further certifies his recognizable voice and flow that continues to be his identifiable musical style.
A captivating perspective delving into female power and feminine energy, N1YAH presents herself as a rare talent in the region. The Lebanese artist based in the United Arab Emirates is not afraid to explore different sounds to tell her story. N1YAH’s unabashed cadence created an uncharted approach to music in the region and continues to set it apart.
Lyrical’s laid-back productions, fluid narration of daily life, and ethereal melodies create a space of relatability and easy listening. The Saudi artist is simultaneously growing his collection and his fanbase and is one to watch as he gradually begins to become a fast favorite of many in the region.
Bahraini rapper Flipperachi is one of the most listened to artists in the Middle East. His upbeat productions with Arabic instrumentals have created an audience that eagerly awaits his energizing music. With a marriage of mainstream and hyper-traditional Arabic music, Flipperachi has become one of the region’s most recognizable talents.
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