So starting in 83 they were getting some hip hop. Mostly American stuff they got from the Brits. By 90 there was MTV. Still a lot of American stuff, technically from the Brits, since it was MTV Europe, but it was MTV, so it was really just good old American music from good old Americans. Something like that. Then in 93, Nigel Ha'Admore busts out with Hummus Makes You Stupid. A full album of rap in Hebrew. It sounds a lot like reggae, or ragga. He calls it Camel Muffin. Cause he's in the Middle East. But ragga isn't what they get on MTV. So it's awesome, but they don't really buy it. And Ha'admor says fuck it, you don't buy me stuff, I won't make it. So Ha'admor disappears. And Shabak S' says fuck it too, except they say it so much that their album is too vulgar to ever get released. So Is Hop comes, and they basically just suck, so they go. And Shabak comes back, still talking about drugs, still talking about sex, but Israelis dig it. And suddenly, Shabak wants to be like the ghetto. "Straight Outta Yavneh?" As in the home of the Palestinian Talmud? Uggh, something tells me that Yavneh ain't a whole lot like Compton. But Shabak says so, cause hip hop is from the ghetto. And Israelis dig.
See they want to be like America. And why the hell not? America's the only country in the world that's not always shitting on Israel's parade. why would israelis want to be like the french, anyway? except for maybe the eurotrash in Tel Aviv. And no offense to Hadag Nahash, cause they know that they're Israelis, and israelis are supposed to be from the Middle East, and when they're not, they're like Europeans. Cause America is far away. But Israelis hear the American stuff, they want to be like Americans. So they act like Americans. Or they act like the world thinks is cool. Whatever.
And hip hop is political as shit. Why? Cause Israel is political. Cause when you spend two months a year occupying territory that you might not even want to be in to begin with (or you do, but you're still a soldier amongst a lot of people who aren't Israelis) and you worry about being blown up every time you get on a bus, you're political. You might not have a clear idea of how to fix the situation, but you know it's pretty shitty the way it is.
So Israelis give their answers. And Subliminal says it's cause Israelis aren't being Zionist and Jewish enough. And then he delivers a monstrous Fuck You to the Palestinians, in Arabic no less. And Israelis dig it. And he's a pretty good rapper, no question. So he makes it big. And brings 10 of his friends with him.
But he isn't the only angry one. There are lots of angry Israelis who are angry not just cause the situation is fucked up, but the fucked-up situation stops Israeli society from fixing any of its other problems. Like the poverty gap. Yea, there are poor people in Israel. And they rap about that. Or the sexism. Women are part of israeli pop music for 50 years, and suddenly hip hop puts them back in the kitchen? Well you got some pissed-off women. And someone who like being sex objects, but on their terms, not anybody elses. So they say it. And you've got one really pissed Israeli. What's he pissed about? The Chechens cut off his fingers. So now, what's his is his. And no Palestinian is gonna take away his land.
But who's really pissed? The Palestinians inside of the Green Line. Cause they've been in Israel for over 50 years, and they still feel like they don't have rights. Sure, they're better off as second-class citizens in Israel than as no-class citizens in some dictatorship. But why should they be treated any worse than the Jews. They were living there for a long time, and they didn't tell Europe to become rabid anti-Semites. So they're pissed. And sometimes they're heard as Israelis. In Hebrew. And sometimes not. But they're there, and not just in some token look at me I'm a left-winger I sing with Arabs sort of way. They're just there. And T.N. is a hell of a rapper.
But not even T.N. hates Zionism as much as Rocky B. He thinks all right-wingers in Israel are racist. But no one listens to him. Except his friends in Jerusalem. And people who like good music. But he doesn't seem to have any followers just yet. Zionism seems to be cool with most Israelis, even if they need some changes.
So those guys turn to Hadag Nahash, or Sagol 59, or Mookie. Cause they're all about Israel, but it needs to change. People need to stop fighting, stop occupying, stop treating each other like they don't know how to have a conversation. Cause people deserve more than knowing what someone else's bumper sticker is.
And if hip hop does nothing else, it causes lots of israelis to like each other. cause if you live in hadera and want to rap with a guy in eilat, you can meet in jerusalem and do it, and it's still a day trip. so they hang out, and record with each other, and cypher on the streets. just don't piss of HaTzel. He's a big guy, and he's tough-looking, but he doesn't like to take shit. So just don't talk shit. Otherwise, it's all good.