Looking into the Arab world, there has been a constant and gradual rise in artists taking the hip-hop route. From North Africa to the Middle East talents are steadily exploring global sounds to match their capabilities and artistry within the region.
Music from Arab hip-hop artists range amongst influences from trap, cloud-rap and dancehall to reggaeton and traditional Arabic music. The fusion of various sounds and ever-evolving genre come together to create the raw, underground flavors of Arabic hip-hop.
Just this year, the IFPI confirmed that the Middle East and North Africa is the fastest growing music region in the world. Young talents are building themselves from the ground up to establish a local music industry to make history.
Hypebeast breaks down different areas within the Middle East and North Africa to identify artists to keep on your radar. Read more to discover hip-hop stars from today's selected area, the Gulf (in no particular order).
Complemented by the release of his latest album Z5M, BLVXB is one of Saudi’s biggest names in music. His undeniably refreshing perspective creates space for easy listening. The laidback productions alongside his narratives mark BLVXB as a memorable artist to keep on your radar as we look forward to a global takeover.
Freek is one of the game-changers within the region. Taking from his Somali roots and UAE living, his approach to music comes with lyrical complexities and honesty. With his breakthrough hit “Aslan 3adi” and recent debut album 150, Freek is making a mark in the Middle East and North Africa’s hip-hop scene and continues to break barriers with his defying approach to music.
Saudi rapper Lil Eazy has quickly become one of the most streamed and recognisable talents of the Kingdom. From popular hits such as “Yemkn Kheera” and “Keef Ansa”, he plays with different sounds alongside a somewhat alter ego who appears in an immediately recognisable voice. Lil Eazy continues to elevate his art and add to his growing discography – making each release something to look forward to.
Tac has been on a rise as a one-to-watch artist in the UAE for a few years now. The exploration in storytelling with his low range and dreamlike productions makes it easy to fall into a deep dive of his discography. Tac’s latest multiple-artist collaboration on “LDNYCDXB” further certifies his recognisable vocals and flow which continues to be his identifiable musical style.
A captivating perspective diving into female power and feminine energy, N1YAH stands as a rare talent within the region. The UAE-based Lebanese artist isn’t afraid to explore different sounds to tell her story. N1YAH’s unapologetic cadence has created an unexplored approach to music within the region and continues to set her apart.
Lyrical's laid back productions, smooth everyday life storytelling and ethereal melodies create a space of relatability and easy listening. The Saudi artist is growing his collection and fanbase simultaneously and is one to watch as he gradually begins to become a quick favorite of many within the region.
Bahraini rapper Flipperachi is one of the most streamed artists from the Middle East. His upbeat productions with Arabic instrumentals has created an audience that looks forward to his energy inducing music. With a marriage of mainstream and hyper traditional Arabic music, Flipperachi has become one of the most recognisable talents of the region.
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