For years now the Moroccan rap scene has been one of the most exciting in the Arab world, always in-line with the global scene, while also maintaining an authentic essense to hip-hop that doesn't come off as westernised. Emergence of hip-hop talent in Morocco is a recurring phenomenon, with the likes of L’morphine, El Grande Toto and ISSAM establishing their profile through releases that have reshaped Arabic hip-hop.

DADA comes through with his debut album, ‘M.I.M’ (Made in Morocco), paying homage to the roots and aesthetics that laid the foundation for Moroccan rap and its distinct sound. In a delicate balance, he infuses old school aetherics, freshness and contemporaneity with offbeat production in an experimental approach, coupled with his unmistakable delivery and unique writing style.

The rapper initiates his album with ‘WAHED’, an intro that sets the stage for an eclectic hip-hop feast. The track begins with a distinct oriental cello chord that underscores the authenticity of his approach. YAN’s production techniques give DADA’s delivery the centre stage. Unrestricted by a looped melody, he places these synthetic cuts to reinforce his flows, layered by hard-hitting, dynamic drum patterns, and DADA’s chant “DADA is everywhere” make for a promising introduction to the album.

In ‘B2’, DADA’s muffled voice initiates an eerie and mysterious vibe. Interrupted by a mellow drum pattern, he jumps in with a laid back flow, slowly evolving to harsh delivery accompanied by YAN’s horns section asserting his flows. In ‘212’, DADA collaborates with Rita Kamale and NAB FAKE for a refurbished old-school banger. DADA begins the track with a powerful verse, followed by an infectious hook, before Rita comes in to shift the vibe with her relaxed flow and smooth delivery, only for NAB FAKE to come and bring the energy back. The dynamic shifts in energy make it a standout track on the record.

The album is exclusively produced by YAN, a long time collaborator of DADA. The production on the record maintains a cohesive sonic experience, focused around DADA’s dynamic flows and eccentric lyrics. In ‘SWEETCHY’, the track opens with a delightful harmonica before DADA comes in with his distinct voice, showcasing his skillful word play and complex rhyme schemes. In the hook he introduces an infectious refrain coupled with saxophone lines, levelling up the track’s energy and vibe. 

Transitioning to the next track, ‘3ADI JIDAN’ lives up to its name, embodying DADA's nonchalant delivery and laid-back flows. The mellow percussion and sweet accordion chords provide a melodic backdrop, enriched further by YAN's skillful glitchy sample chops, infusing the vibe with a captivatingly noisy aesthetic. Shifting gears to ‘HELMA’ a profound transformation unfolds as DADA delves into an emotional and contemplative narrative. Reflecting on his Moroccan upbringing, dreams and vision, the dreamy sonic choices paint a vivid canvas. DADA's delivery, seamlessly fused with auto-tune, enhances the track's eerie feel, creating a sonic landscape that resonates with the depth of his personal journey.

The outro, ‘M.I.M’, encapsulates the album's narrative, as DADA excessively repeat “Made in Morocco” referring to himself and to the music. He delivers the phrase in an assertive delivery to the extent it becomes a mantra of his own. The track features Don Bigg, one of the pioneers of Moroccan hip-hop known for his raspy voice and distinct flows, as he delivers a masterful verse that concludes the album. DADA’s selective and smart collaborations throughout the record further establishes the album’s concept in returning to the sonic roots of the genre while keeping the sound fresh and contemporary.