Hosted by UK hip hop lynchpin DJ MK (KISS FM, Roots Manuva, Dizzee Rascal), Lyrical Alliance is a ground-breaking, international urban music event that transcends language and cultural barriers to celebrate the common pillars of hip hop all over the world: the beat and the word. Lyrical Alliance is collaboration between leading hip hop artists from the Arab world alongside the cream of European hip hop with featured artists from the UK and US headline act Talib Kweli.
The artists will be developing new work together in a series of live sessions and workshops throughout the year that will reach a climax with a series of major concerts in Europe in Autumn 2010. The nights take the classical Arabic Mu'Allaqat poems as a starting point and builds on these to bring an event which will link into hip hop’s metrical and rhythmic roots as never before.
Topping the bill will be major US star Talib Kweli. Ever since emerging alongside Mos Def as a member of Black Star in the late 90s, Talib Kweli is one of the few artists making commercially viable music that matters – hard hitting and able simultaneously to educate and entertain, his socially conscious brand of rap counts Jay-Z and 50 Cent amongst its biggest fans. Kweli released his highly anticipated second Reflection Eternal LP “Revolutions Per Minute” via Blacksmith Music / WBR in May this year and is touring the US with his partner Hi Tek.
Talib Kweli will be joined by members of the Lyrical Alliance Posse for a momentous finale to this righteous and inspirational hip hop collaboration.
Lyrical Alliance Artists:
DJ MK (UK)
One of the UKs leading Hip Hop deejays, MK has been a favourite on the club scene for the last 10 years, displaying his turntable dexterity up and down the UK and throughout Europe, Australia and the United States. What sets MK apart from many of his peers is his ability to rock a crowd wherever he plays, be it London's Ministry Of Sound, an Underground UK Hip Hop Jam, Pacha in Ibiza or an Arctic Monkeys after-party.
Rabah Donquishoot aka Rabah Ourrad (MBS) (Algeria) One of the cleverest and most courageous rappers around, Rabah Ourrad of Le Micro Brise Le Silence, describes the state of things in Algeria with the blackest of sarcasm. When he released the album "Rabah Président", the MBS rapper landed a media coup.
Shadia Mansour (Palestine) "First Lady of Arabic Hip Hop" British born Palestinian, Shadia Mansour has independently become one of the leading female Arabian MCs, with a velvety voice and a flawless ability to switch from rapping to singing. She has performed alongside Hip Hop luminaries including Q-Tip, EPMD and opened for Busta Rhymes and Mobb Deep and international touring has ranged from the US to the West Bank.
Rayess Bek (Lebanon) At a time when all rappers in the Middle-East were putting out records in English and French, Wael (a.k.a. Rayess Bek) decided to flip the script and rap in Arabic, adapting rap music to his background to create his own sound and style. His lyrics – always polished, sharp and committed – speak about Lebanon, its crisis, its war, its youth and disillusionment with politics by the new generation.
Samm (Jordan) Samer Zaki AKA "Samm" is a Jordanian rapper, who started rapping in 2001. At the beginning of 2009 Samm was chosen among 6000 Arab rappers to represent his country in the Hip Hop talent show "Beit El Hip Hop".
Tamer Nafar (DAM) (Palestine) Tamer Nafar is a Palestinian Israeli rap artist who began writing and making rap music in 1998. In 2000 his brother Suhell and their friend Mahmoud Jrere started the first Palestinian-Arab rap group, DAM. Singing mostly in Arabic but also in Hebrew and English, DAM has become a popular Palestinian rap crew in recent years.
VJ Jana Saleh (Lebanon)
"If skills sold, truth be told / I'd probably be, lyrically, Talib Kweli" – Jay-Z, The Black Album
Date: Sat 16th October 2010
Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH
Tickets: £22.50 in advance
Booking: 08444 828008 http://www.roundhouse.org.uk
Part of Dash Arts Arabic series
New music, theatre and contemporary dance
For more info on the Arabic Series visit http://www.dasharts.org.uk
Series launched: May 18th 2010 with Babel (words) at Sadler’s Wells