Time today looks at the rise of hip-hop in Israel and Palestine, where aspiring rappers face some particularly harsh working conditions:
At a concert (in Gaza) by the Palestinian Rapperz (PR) last summer, Islamic youths, outraged by the group’s arm thrusts and crotch grabs, rushed onstage and beat up its four members. Soon after, a Palestinian M.C. known as Sompol was also assailed for immorality. He was kidnapped mid-performance and let go three hours later, after a warning at gunpoint to stop bringing un-Islamic Western behavior into Gaza.
On-stage violence isn’t the only difficulty these artists are facing: Radio airplay is impossible to obtain, as are record deals (not surprisingly, many acts have turned to MySpace for promotional help). Then there are the inherent religious-related obstacles, such as when one Israeli performer frets over whether he should appear in a video “with shimmying women dancers.” If American rappers adopted similar stances, the average 106 & Park episode would run about four minutes long.
Taking The Rap [Time.com]