On my last failed attempt to leave Gaza through Rafah, I met a lot of interesting travelers. When all you have is time waiting to leave Gaza, I usually start conversing with others to make new bonds. One of those travelers was a young man who looked like a Chicago bound hip-hop star. I was not sure what to make of him until a fellow traveler told me this guy is a rapper. The traveler was making a notice of the rapper’s funky hair and how it does not agree with him. I laughed but since I am interested in Arabic rap and Palestinian rap in particular I went to talk to the rapper.
I approach the young man and ask him about his destination he tells me to Egypt to attend school there. I tell him I am headed to the States and then ask him if he was a singer, he says yes. And I learn his a member of a Palestinian rap group called BL@cK Un!T BAnD, we start talking about his band and their songs. We spoke of DAM, the infamous Palestinian rap group as well as PR and the movie “Sling Shot Hip-Hop” He has a great background on Arab rappers—most of them he has already collaborate with.
The rapper complains of the hardship they face not being able to travel to perform and do publicity. He has just performed for an event in Gaza with the anti-war group Code Pink. Mohammed Wafy is his name and I got to listen to some of their tracks and I was pleasantly surprised with what I heard.
When Mohammed learned of my interest and since we had plenty of time to kill he brought out his laptop and I asked him to give me some of his songs and his contact information, he was kind enough to do that.
The one song that captured my attention and me heart is also their latest collaboration with other Palestinian rappers to bring attention to the misery of life in
Gaza, the song is simply titled “GAZA Menha E7na” From Gaza we are, Look for it among other songs on their myspace page.
Mohammed is hoping to do more work and collaborate with other rappers which he will be able to do as now he is on his way to Egypt where his freedom of movement would be better. To listen or contact BL@cK Un!T BAnD, here is their information
Their official myspace site ..
and facebook page :
P.S. Mohammed was able to leave Gaza because of his Egyptian passport, I was among 150 travelers asked to return home