From the camps with Hip Hop
The last time we posted something Hip Hop it was about our work with some of the top artists in the industry, guys like Nas, Damian Marley, Jay Electronica, Eryka Badu and Mr. Porter; today we take you to the other side of what we do. The underground side of things.
This time our journey took us to AL- Hussein refugee camp in Amman, to document the wonderful work done by Danish group of DJ and MC’s, a project whose “ Overall aim was to include a marginalized group of young Palestinian boys and girls in the global youth culture of dj-ing and give them the possibility to make it their own.” The project also teaches kids how to write their own lyrics and verses.
I could go on and on about how wonderful this group is, and how important their work is in bringing hope, compassion and understanding to a marginalized part of our society, but honestly if I have to explain it to you then I am talking to the wrong audience. All I can say however is thank you. There is a lot of effort, time, hard work and travel that goes into this, to go through all that in order to bridge cultures closer and for the love of music ,is humbling to say the least.
Two Jordanian artists helped the Danish crew at the workshop, and these two happen to be some of my favorite people in the Jordanian artistic scene. Ustaz Sam (whom you have probably seen in the Arabs Got talent show on MBC, and Damar, Jordan’s finest beat maker), I admire these guys not only because of their artistic talents but because they understand the social and community aspects of their work and are always willing to help others in the community.
What impressed me the most was the communal brotherly feeling of the workshop, the kids don’t speak English very well, yet they formed a beautiful bond with the Danish DJ’s and rappers. To me that’s what hip hop is all about, that unexplainable bond between people from different background, races, cultures and countries coming together to make music and share a wonderful experience. The only bond being their shared humanity and music.
I guess that tough upbringing conditions make kids understand the world around them a lot better and at a younger age. I say this because when I heard the kids rap, they spoke of some real serious problems they face in their daily lives, some talked about the conditions in school, others talked about how religion is taught at schools and others talked about how hard it is to do something different in society. I mean a couple of these kids were wearing Che Guevara t-shirts, for them to draw parallels between Che and Hip Hop and their own personal conditions shows a level of maturity that is seldom seen in kids that age.
Finally, we would like to thank the Danish team for allowing us to tag along and for all the love and kindness they showed the kids. We hope to continue working together in the future and build the project further.