Hailed as one of the faces of Palestine’s underground hip-hop scene, Haykal has released a new video for his latest track, ‘Skamleh’, which was produced by another of the scene’s big names, Muqataa’.
Celebrated in hip-hop circles as lyrical master, the new song bears the trademark of much of the recent hip-hop coming out of Palestine and the Occupied Territories: heavily-coded lyrics.
‘Skamleh’ – meaning ‘small table’ in the Palestinian dialect – discusses issues around the tediousness everyday life in Palestine. As a common notion that arises from living under the occupation, the minimalistic video, to an extent, also reflects this tedium. There’s an eerie stillness that washes over the video, which alternates between Haykal roaming the exterior of a building on an abandoned street and scenes of him sitting at a table in a room that gives the impression of him being holed up.
Haykal, however, calls for an end to the repetition and even proclaims the undeniable power of women in a song that speaks of the modern Palestinian experience, not unlike his 2019 hit, ‘Sot Ramallah’ (The Sound of Ramallah).