Shabjdeed just knows how to make an entrance, doesn’t he? A staple of the pan-Arabic rap scene at this point, his hot takes and even hotter flows, combined with his raspy production and wry, street-conscious presence and humor has made him an enduring figure in the minds of most Arabs who listen to rap, anywhere over the world, despite controversy. Straight out of the Palestinian town of Kufr Aqab, and with a sharp, edgy stance towards global politics, Shabjdeed is particularly dear to our hearts.

Abu Othaina, the name by which Shabjdeed emerged onto the scene as a new talent, has been anticipated to drop a new track for months now, with his latest release with Molotof dropping last January. Enter Superdude. When the Ramallah-based indie label for which Shabjdeed releases put out a teaser reel on their instagram in which Shabjdeed is cosplaying as dollar store versions of Leonidas and Goku, as well as a fictional version of himself dubbed ‘Superdude’. A stir was caused and anticipation filled the air for a couple of days, until ‘Kalbi’ dropped. Whether a standalone release or a part of a bigger project is unknown, but nonetheless, we’re quite happy with what we got.

In Shabjdeed’s latest single and the accompanying video his humorous charm is in full force. In a handful of locations, Shabjdeed raps about his dog’s dislike for cops and how that keeps getting them both in trouble, among other things. Not necessarily introducing any beef with anybody, Shab raps that not all who rap, produce, or release tracks could be subject of comparison. More cryptic bars flow with equally cryptic and whimsical visuals, barely offering any explanation to anything, but the infectious, trademark flow keeps the music perfectly compelling throughout. The production by BabyBoi is dramatic and the sub bass is brooding and the samples create a suitable backdrop for Shabjdeed’s multi-phased performance. 

‘Kalbi’ is bound to go viral, not just because it is Shabjdeed’s long anticipated drop, but because the track is just good. The bars are pure Shabjdeed energy, and the video is a tapestry of his usual inexplicable visuals, full of his chaotic humor. We want more. But for now, ‘Kalbi’ is enough to quench our Shabjdeed thirst.