Mexican-Lebanese producer and artist, Blu Fiefer, presents the latest instalment of the 'Fi Shway Budget' freestyle competition, hosted and produced through her independent record label, Mafi Budget.

Based in Lebanon, Mafi Budget centres its activities around nurturing Arab talent and promoting cultural exchanges through music. The label’s influence extends across the region, producing multiple collaborations between creators in the hip hop scene.

Launched in 2021, ‘Fi Shway Budget’s’ offers its participants the opportunity to win a USD 500 prize and the chance to be featured on a track released by the label. Over the past two editions, ‘Fi Shway Budget’ has garnered over 150 submissions from eight countries across the MENA region. Having already commenced on November 23rd, the competition will judge its participants on multiple criterias such as their flow, lyrics, performance and authenticity, with winners announced on December 10th.

In a collaboration with Late Knights - a platform exploring musical connections across the region - ‘Fi Shway Budget’ freestyle competition unfolds during an extremely precarious and critical period in the region, particularly with the bombardment of the Gaza Strip putting Palestinian lives and self-determination in peril.

“This initiative aims to give our creatives a platform to express as we serve our commitment to fight the extensive propaganda against Arabs,” Blu Fiefer tells SceneNoise. “I believe it’s the right moment for a new season of Fi Shway Budget. In these horrific times, it feels only right to shift our focus and resources towards nurturing and inspiring our community.”

Despite pausing various releases and shows in the wake of recent tragedies in Gaza, Blu Fiefer has decided to push forward with the competition. Her commitment to do so comes as an effort to uphold a culture under threat of erasure, and to showcase the diverse contributions of Arabs across various sectors.