After watching both “I love Hip Hop in Morocco” and “Slingshot Hip Hop”, I was inspired to learn more about Arab Hip-hop. Naturally the first thing I did was to enter “Arab Hip Hop” into a Google search. Though this is my natural response when I want to learn more about something, searching on Google also had the intended benefit of leading me to the most relevant and popular content (though it is very important to note this relates to only to its view in our country). I was fascinated by the result. After Wikipedia articles on “Arab hip hop” and “DAM”, there were two video suggestions. I want to focus on the second, a song by Shadia Mansour found here, as it really surprised me. Shadia, a Palestinian singer and MC, is known as the “first lady of Arabic hip hop and raps entirely in Arabic.
After watching the two documentaries I was shocked that one of the first songs I came across was created by a women. The documentaries really explored how tough it is for women who want to participate in Arab hip hop and the way in which they face severe societal pressures. For example, instances in which they cannot appear on stage for fear of their own safety.
What really fascinates me is the discrepancy between the difficulties and lower standing of women in Arab Hip hop that the films depict, and the inclusion and popularity that Google search results imply. I am not suggesting that the search results suggest anything about the actual popularity in the Middle East, but rather that we should consider how the way we are presented information may prevent us from seeing complex aspects of middle eastern media forms.