Few artists have crossed boundaries, age gaps, political views, and genre preferences like Palestinian rapper Shabjdeed. Be it with his imaginative, and at times profane lyricism, satirical sense of humour, or his unique point of view on his country’s strife, the artist has managed to find his way into the hearts of listeners all over the MENA region and beyond.
Shabjdeed’s intricate flows and sharp commentary have set him apart as a highly skilled rapper. In addition, his sheer attitude, personality and performability continue to resonate deeply with his listeners, thus turning the rapper into somewhat of an icon in the Arab world.
As part of BLTNM, a Palestinian record label that also features local rappers such as Daboor, Riyadiyat and production maestro Al Nather, Shabjdeed’s music has playlist a role in revitalising the Palestinian rap scene.
The rapper’s inventive use of autotune as a stylistic effect paired with Al Nather’s unique blend of Arabic musical ideas that blend trap, drill, and a hint of electronic influences combined over the years to make Shabjdeed an instantly recognisable and original sound coming out of the region.
Here are our picks for the top 15 Shabjdeed tracks:
15. Ana El Muteer (Prod. Al Nather)
Al Nather delivers an electronic-inspired trap beat with synthesiser trills and a round bassline. Shabjdeed is heard delivering tongue-in-cheek rhymes and rapping about his impact and accomplishments.
14. Jaw Ard (Prod. Molotof)
In ‘Jaw Ard’, Shabjdeed experiments with Egyptian Shaabi-inspired sonics driven by notorious Egyptian producer Molotof.
13. Subhi Lutfi (Prod. Al Nather)
Featuring a classic trap drum beat, bright pads, and a playful sliding bassline, Shabjdeed comes in full force with tight verses and a melodic chorus.
12. Wlad Quds (Prod. Al Nather)
In one of their rawer releases, Al Nather and Shabjdeed deliver a cathartic track that makes use of trap aesthetics, where Shabjdeed addresses themes of war and justice.
11. Bansak ft. Muqata'a (Prod. Al Nather)
In collaboration with Palestinian underground legend Muqata'a, Shabjdeed and Al Nather find themselves embracing a darker sonic style, with Shabjdeed rapping over bouncy 808s, eerie synthesizers, and a swirling cloudy atmosphere made up of processed sound effects.
10. Ya Ali (Prod. Al Nather)
One of the most experimental tracks off of Shabjdeed’s discography, seeing the rapper taking a more melodic approach over Al Nather’s eastern melodies and Khaleeji sonic aesthetics.
9. Ko7ol w 3atme (Prod. Ditty Beatz)
With a bass-heavy beat by Ditty Beatz and audio post-production by Al Nather, we see Shabjdeed performing in an over-the-top delivery style in Eminemeque verses, showing the range of his performance abilities.
8. Kteer Ktar (Prod. Al Nather)
Featuring inventive use of autotune, colourful arpeggios, and a groovy drum beat, this is one of Shabjdeed’s most light-hearted tracks.
7. NKD GLG (Prod. Al Nather)
Twinkly synths, ground-shaking 808s, eastern melodies, and unbelievably tight flows, Shabjdeed and Al Nather treat us to a trap banger while showing off their slightly awkward dance moves.
6. Amrikkka (Prod. Al Nather)
In Amrikkka, Shabjdeed and Al Nather express a deep rooted frustration with the state of global affairs in relation to MENA politics. With explicit lyrics and a defiant attitude, this track has helped voice a common concern among listeners all over the Arab world.
5. Aadi (Prod. Al Nather)
In one of his most melodic entries in his discography, ‘Aadi’ shows us Shabjdeed making full use of his vocal range, using autotune as a stylistic device on top of the slow and eerie instrumental.
4. Fi Harb ft. Riyadiyat (Prod. Al Nather)
With bright synthesisers, a danceable drum beat, metallic percussions, and plenty of ear candy, the intense-sounding instrumental lay the groundwork for Shabjdeed and Riyadiyat to showcase their complex flows and lyricism.
3. Sindibad (Prod. Al Nather)
This track sees Al Nather showing off his production skills with a sinister chord progression, sliding bass line, and infectious rhythmic ideas that will have your head spinning. Here, Shabjdeed heavily uses profanity to amplify his themes of resistance to authority.
2. Mtaktak (Prod. Al Nather)
Experimenting with drill sonics, this track sees Shabjdeed delivering rapid-fire verses with tight flows that showcase his ability as a rapper and songwriter. Al Nather also comes through with a danceable beat full of subtle production flexes, proving yet a gain that the duo is a force to be reckoned with.
1. Mantika (Prod. Al Nather)
With Al Nather’s subtle instrumental making use of a slower tempo, the penmanship takes the spotlight for this track, as Shabjdeed unapologetically raps about being brought up as a child of war, and about being raised and moulded by it. With a flippant effect, the rapper denies the authority of the occupation, clearly stating: I am not intimidated.