By Rakan Diab
Ladies and gentlemen this just came in: Gangsters are invading Lebanon. They are taking over the scene and terrorizing our neighborhoods. Be aware!
Alright so now that I got you reading, I’m actually talking about gangsters but not the typical murderers and criminals who happen to know how to rap, but instead they seek to spread “the truth” and they are Lebanese gangster rappers. Born, raised and had an awful life, locally.
Not only do they rap about women, “bling”, fancy cars and money, but also they rap against poverty and drug dealers, speak out about war and peace, and criticize government corruption. You can tell they’re Lebanese.
They adopted the same style of the known gangster rap in their songs, nicknames, and even clothes. Some of the popular rap crews are “Erhab records”, “Modehame”, “Mafia Crew” and many others. Some of them have begun rapping and producing albums since 2001.
On September 24, Erhab records in association with Mafia Crew, held their first ever gangster rap concert in Lebanon at Electro Mechanique in Gemayzeh and fortunately for you, I was there. The tickets to the concert were only 5,000 L.L. and as the crew explained the price was reasonable so that anybody can afford to come. I guess there are a couple of things they didn’t adopt.
The rap crews were fashionably late; let’s face it if they were on time they wouldn’t be Lebanese.
The crowd was excited to witness this new genre on the Lebanese local scene. They were also excited to experience music that actually spoke to them in some way. They found refuge in this music or perhaps the truth about experiences they all were living. To put it simply, some came to see their lives being narrated in music.
The band came on stage, the music became louder and what I saw was unexpected. The crowd simply went wild. They started singing along as if they heard these song a million times before, people were dancing and some even went on stage to rap with the guys. I think it was an electrifying performance; one can’t help but notice the power of their songs and its effect on their fans. Music possesses an influential power and witnessing this “rapping power” was an eye-opener.
And for this I call upon you peaceful gangsters of Lebanon to use the power you now posses for the greater good of the community by spreading the word against drugs and violence and encouraging peaceful living and music.
Plus, we have it all for gangster rap to become popular; we have the “pimped out” yet rundown cars, the pretty girls and the talent…except for one thing: Cool names!