Cover Image by: Mazen Shahin
After taking a hiatus from releasing music, Palestinian power duo, and BLTNM co-founders, Shabjdeed & Al Nather return with a bang on their new Single ‘Nasheed’. In the track, Shabjdeed begins by elaborating how the repression of his people will always lead to the same outcome, which he describes as volcanoes that will inevitably erupt. Despite the global opinion shifting towards sympathizing with the Palestinian cause, Shabjdeed refuses to present his music through the lens of victimization, yet contrarily, his attitude rightfully highlights and supports the power of resistance against the current state of occupation and injustice.
The lyrics are delivered over Al Nather’s trademark mellow instrumental style. The track introduces a rising chord followed by a breakbeat and a sub bass which glues the track together and keeps the listener hooked to the lyrics. Although the beat is slightly repetitive, Al Nather keeps listeners on their feet as he highlights different elements of his sound design through smoothly removing and adding different sounds. For example in the second half of Shabjdeed’s verse, he smoothly adds a different bouncy bass line which sounds similar to the one typically used in Afro Techno. This goes to show the genre bending nature of modern hip hop in our region as well as Al Nather’s versatility in production.
The track was released on YouTube, accompanied by a visualizer which uses the same font as historic Arabic scriptures paying tribute to the rich history of the Arabic language and culture. Throughout the video, a waving flag is portrayed with a statement written on it which could be roughly translated to “Life is hard and sour, but I am strong”. This shift in narrative is crucial in understanding how Palestnians view their experience of living on occupied lands.