Shadia Monsour

The term ‘Femcee’ or ‘Female Emcee’ has been floating around the WIB emails quite a lot recently. It seems the Female rhyme sayer is back on the rise. Some might say due to the commercial appeal of Niki Minaj it’s now “OK” for girls to spit again. Amanda Diva and Jasmine Solano had their short underground stint of fame,  though it was clear they lacked the consistency to ever break through from appealing only to the Williamsburg crowd. Though perhaps it’s the recent declaration of the undisputed Queen of Hip Hop, Lauryn Hill, that has caused a flurry of female activity in the booth. Whatever it is, just know that Female emcees are about to hit the game thick and fast. So without further nattering,I present to you the First Lady of Arabic Hip Hop, a British-born Palestinian named Shadia Mansour…..

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“Shadia explains the meaning behind the track The song represents the Arab scarf “Kofeyye”. In this song, I am claiming back its historical, political and revolutionary purpose. As you are aware, the ‘Kofeyye’ has been tastelessly commercialized and economically exploited worldwide. I feel that it is only right to give the people a thorough introduction and understanding of its symbolic existence.”

I know, I know, she’s not spittin’ in English. Subtitles would be nice, but this is Hip Hop. It comes in all forms, genders, shapes and sizes. What can we gather from the video and description? Well, for starters she’s no fool. The fact that Shadia is trying to explain something through rhyme should instantly remove her from any gimmicky Female emcee category we were all about to place her in. Her flow is viscious and the beat goes hard, real hard. When producers and critics speak of an emcee needing ‘more hunger’ in their voice, Shadia has exactly what their speaking of. She’s got a punch in her speech that makes the lines hard-hitting even in Arabic. If anyone has watched the special features on the ‘Wild Style 25th Anniversary’ DVD, when the African dude walks in to the barbershop where Fred ‘Fab Five Freddy’ Brathwaite is getting a trim, and he starts rapping along in swahili….yeah you’ll feel me on this one.

This post has inspired me to devote time to two things in particular. One being the search for a young UK Muslim Female emcee. Regardless of whether we think religion and politics is relevant in Hip Hop you would be a fool to suggest those with Middle-Eastern roots don’t have an interesting story to tell. And the other being a article dealing with Revolutionary rappers. The UK rhyme-sayer LowKey has been dropping some bombs recently in anticipation of his debut album. So expect to see me delve in to those two subjects over the next week or so.

Be sure to check out her album ‘El Kofeyye 3arabeyye’ when it drops and peep her feature in The Narcicyst video HERE.



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