Known as the First Lady of Arabic Hip Hop, British born, Palestinian, Shadia Monsour has been kicking up dust and making moves for a minute. Her politically charged songs in which she both sings and raps have been a source of pride for many who are in the liberation struggle for Palestine…
Shadia began rapping in 2003 and has gained recognition in the Middle East, Europe and the United States for her own songs and collaborations with other artists. She performs wearing a traditional Palestinian thawb and has said that she considers herself to be part of a “musical intifada” against the occupation of Palestine, conservatism and oppression of women.
Mansour’s first single, “Al Kufiya Arabiya” (The Kufiya is Arab), featured rapper M-1 of dead prez and lyrics emphasizing the kufiya’s role as a symbol of Arab nationalism. The song was written when Mansour discovered an American made blue-and-white colored Arab scarf with Stars of David on it. Mansour introduced her song on stage in New York: “You can take my falafel and hummus, but don’t fucking touch my keffiyeh”.
Mansour has recorded music with producer Johnny “Juice” Rosado of Public Enemy and was featured on Chuck D‘s website shemovement.com.She has also collaborated with artists like Iraqi rappers Lowkey and The Narcicyst, and Palestinian hip-hop group DAM. Mansour has toured with Existence is Resistance, an organization supporting hip-hop shows in Palestine, and is part of the “Arab League” of Hip Hop, a collection of performers who share views on the Middle East.
Shadia Mansour w/ M1 of dead prez Al Kufiya Arabiya
Shadia Mansour w/ Omar Offendum We Have to Change
Shadia Mansour Sho Eli Saar
Ana Tijoux w/ Shadia Mansour Live Performance in Chile