Looking into the Arab world, there has been a constant and gradual increase in artists taking the hip-hop route. From North Africa to the Middle East, talent is constantly exploring global sounds to match their abilities and artistry in the region.
Music from Arab hip-hop artists ranges from influences from trap, cloud-rap and dancehall to reggaeton and traditional Arabic music. The fusion of different sounds and ever-evolving genres 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 build themselves from the ground up to establish a local music industry to make history.
Hypebeast breaks down different areas of the Middle East and North Africa to identify artists you can keep on your radar. Read more to discover hip-hop stars from today’s featured area, the Gulf (in no particular order).
Supplemented by the release of his latest album Z5M, BLVXB is one of Saudi’s biggest names in music. His undeniably refreshing perspective makes room for easy listening. The relaxed productions along with his storytelling mark BLVXB as a memorable artist to keep on the radar as we look forward to a global takeover.
Freek is one of the players in the region. Drawing on his Somali roots and UAE life, his approach to music comes with lyrical complexities and honesty. With his breakthrough hit “Aslan 3adi” and fresh debut album 150Making his mark on the Middle East and North Africa hip-hop scene, Freek continues to break barriers with his defiant approach to music.
Saudi rapper Lil Eazy has quickly become one of the most streamed and recognizable talents in the kingdom. From popular hits like ‘Yemkn Kheera’ and ‘Keef Ansa’, he plays with different sounds along with a somewhat alter ego that emerges with an instantly recognizable 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 the rise as a must-see artist in the UAE for a few years now. The exploration of storytelling with his low range and dreamlike productions makes it easy to fall into a deep dive into his discography. Tac’s latest multi-artist collaboration on “LDNYCDXB” further confirms his recognizable vocals and flow that continue to be his identifiable musical style.
A captivating perspective that delves into female power and feminine energy, N1YAH stands as a rare talent in the region. The UAE-based Lebanese artist is not afraid to explore different sounds to tell his story. N1YAH’s unapologetic beat has created an unexplored approach to music in the region and continues to set her apart.
Lyrical’s laid-back productions, smooth everyday storytelling and ethereal melodies create a space of relatability and easy listening. Growing his collection and fan base at the same time, the Saudi artist is one to watch as he gradually becomes a fast favorite among many in the region.
Bahraini rapper Flipperachi is one of the most streamed artists from the Middle East. His upbeat productions with Arabic instrumentals have created an audience that looks forward to his energizing music. With a marriage of mainstream and hyper traditional Arabic music, Flipperachi has become one of the most recognizable talents in the region.
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