When Lebanon was engulfed in a crisis ostensibly about garbage collection but essentially about so much more, many Beirut-based Hip Hop artists became – through their music – a sounding board to the unfolding events. The most prolific partnership that emerged during this period was that of rap stalwarts El Rass and Bu Nasser al Touffar, who together composed tunes such as Nahnu Wl Zabl Jeeran ‘We and the Rubbish are neighbours’ and Bein El’Asa Wl Skeen ‘Between the stick and the knife’.
And it’s the former song that serves as the main backdrop for the first episode of a new series titled Qarnet Al-Namrud ‘Nimrod’s Horn’, shot by Hamza Shamas and Ahmed Al Trabolsi, which chronicles the daily lives of a segment of Beirut’s Hip Hop artists, and includes a raucous live performance interspersed with footage from street protests. This is the first episode:
Staying with Beirut, genius Egyptian musician Maurice Louca will be performing later this week at Station Beirut as a precursor for the Beirut and Beyond music festival, which takes place later this year. But ahead of time, the festival will be hosting performing artists in run-up concerts such as Louca’s. Don’t miss it if you’re in town.
In a previous edition of the Digest we had taken a look at the very cool Mapping Possibilities series, which had included two separate performances, each one combining a musician and a visual artist. The second performance that night was of electronic music producer Ismael alongside Nurah from Alchem Studio. An excerpt from this performance has been posted online and it’s well worth a watch.
Finally, if you happen to be in Cairo over the weekend and want to soak up some musical Ramadan vibes, head to Room Art Space downtown on Friday for a night of traditional oriental music by the Ney/Percussion duo of Mohamed Antar and Ayman Mabrouk.
Past Week on Dandin: