Rapping For Themselves

A reader perfectly captures our sentiments regarding the latest Hathos Alert:

I'm sure the artists in that "Freedom for Palestine" video mean well, but there's a paternalistic and even imperialist strain to music videos like this and its predecessors (Band-Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas," USA for Africa's "We Are the World"), as if Palestinians require a bunch of Western pop stars (or non-stars) to articulate the Palestinian case for human rights, dignity, and an independent Palestinian state. Why listen to a bunch of Brits sing a bad pop song when we can listen to the music and lyrics of Palestinians themselves, who have found in hip-hop a powerful way of giving voice to their grievances? 

For instance, check out DAM and their songs "Who's the Terrorist?" and "Born Here" [embedded above].  And watch the documentary "Slingshop Hiphop" (trailer here) to learn more about Palestinian hip-hop, from both '48ers like DAM and '67ers in Gaza and the West Bank.  It's a window into the Palestinian experience, but also a look at how the music of the U.S. black inner-city has gone global, becoming the music of the oppressed worldwide.