DAM – the first ever Palestinian Hip Hop group and one of the most influential exponents of the genre in the Middle East – are delighted to announce the UK release of a brand new EP Street Poetry on June 16 through Cooking Vinyl.
Formed in 1999 DAM were one of the first acts to popularise rapping in Arabic (although they also rap in English and Hebrew) and have since become renowned for their unique fusion of East and West which combines Arabic percussion rhythms, Middle Eastern melodies and urban hip-hop. Their first single Min Irhabi (‘Who’s the terrorist?’) racked up over 1 million downloads and brought the group to the attention of young people across the Middle East for both their distinctive musical style and the political and humanitarian subtext of their music.
Street Poetry EP is a searing fusion of traditional Middle Eastern sounds and the uniquely sonorous rhythm and intonation of Arabic-language rap with an unmistakeably hip-hop attitude.
The four-track release coincides with the re-release of the group’s first two albums, also through Cooking Vinyl; their much-anticipated first international album, IHDA (Dedication) led to songs and band members featuring in a slew of films, including ‘Ford Transit’ (Dir. Hany Abu Assad); ‘Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?’ (Dir. Morgan Spurlock); ‘Salt of this Sea’ (Dir. Annemarie Jacir); ‘Local Angel’ and ‘Forgiveness’ (Dir. Udi Aloni).
Follow-up album Dabke on the Moon (Nudbok al Amar) – eleven tracks spanning political issues and complex musical compositions – was released in December 2012. One of the most powerful songs on the album – the tragic If I Could Go Back in Time – targets domestic violence and ‘honor’ killings, and gained widespread international attention through co-operation with UN Women.
In April 2017 DAM founding member Mahmood Jrere – together with another composer, a journalist, and a British record label boss – organised the first ever Palestine Music Expo (PMX). A brand new annual music event and industry initiative, PMX showcased a blossoming of musical talent among a people whose voices have struggled to be heard. DAM performed at the Expo’s grand opening, and are currently scheduled to perform twice at the Glastonbury Festival in June 2017, following a warm up show at Kamio in London on 20 June.
In 2018: DAM will release their third album, also with British label Cooking Vinyl, and announce a tour, planned by the booking agency XRay.