Palestinian hip-hop: Beirut { 12 images } Created 14 Oct 2010

An increasing number of young Palestinians born in the refugee camps of Lebanon are turning to hip hop and rap, in order to voice their feelings and frustrations to the wider world. The refugee camp of Burj el-Barajneh, affectionately called "the BBC" by it's residents are among the most musically active community within the twelve official Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Palestinians make up roughly 10% of Lebanon's 4 million population, and their voice is becoming increasingly louder through their music.

At a time where extremism is becoming a growing problem around the world, many young Palestinian men are instead turning their backs on violence and using music as a form of resistance and expression. The music being made takes it's inspiration from the New York roots of the hip hop genre, along with the modern British, French and European styles, although has a distinct Middle Eastern feel. Lyrics are mostly in Arabic, traditional instruments of the region often included in the tracks, and references to significant Palestinian poets, artists and leaders are often made throughout.

In the opinion of many Palestinian and Lebanese artists, the hip hop scene in Lebanon is growing week by week; with more young performers starting out, break-dancing happening on the streets of central Beirut, and increasingly larger crowds attending gigs. Several Hip-hop artists, both Palestinian and Lebanese believe that the rap scene will be as big as that in New York in the 1980's and 90's in a couple of years in Lebanon and the Middle East.

For now the hip hop scene in Lebanon, especially that of Palestinians, remains relatively underground and unknown to wider Lebanese society, but it is hoped and believed by the artists and performers that this genre of home-grown music will soon break out of it's shell and be heard by all.
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