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Rappers in our hood

Rappers in our hood

A new rap song puts Abu Dhabi in the spotlight - for better or for worse. This isn't the first time the region's been featured in a song, and Kipp suspects it won't be the last time.

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April 22, 2012 4:23 by



“We get money over here, money over there, money over here, money over there, all night and all day.” That’s a promising intro (not) to the latest Krizz Kaliko featuring 816 Boyz track, “Abu Dhabi”, which is making the rounds lately – to a lukewarm reception.

Busta Rhymes has been there and done that. His 2008 single “Arab Money” received mixed reviews in our hood; its religiously sensitive content, gaudy depiction of Dubai, and Busta’s twangy pronounciation of “Arab” may have offended more than just a few back in the day.

Less controversially and more recently, Flo Rida shot parts of the video to his hit “Wild Ones” across Dubai, where Flo and his entourage cavort around Dubai, and the singer skydives over the Palm Jumeirah. We also heard J.Cole namedropping the UAE capital on Beyonce’s 2011 single, “Party”: “We out in Abu Dhabi, we like to party. We don’t cause trouble, we just ride Bugatti.” And if that weren’t enough star quality, it’s been confirmed that Kanye West is filming a musical film in Doha, with reports of camels and horses on set.

So what gives? Is it the region’s money, beautiful girls, nightclubs, and crazy attractions that are luring the stars? A lot of commercial hip hop and R’n’B revolves around bling, partying, and ladies, and it seems the extravagances of the GCC have caught the eye of a few of its celebrities.

We’ll leave it up to you to decide if any publicity is good publicity when the region makes cameos on the hip hop and R’n’B scene. Some have speculated that certain artists are being paid to promote cities; in Flo Rida’s case, watching the singer have the time of his life in Dubai must have undoubtedly made a few want to fly over here. As for West, we’ll have to wait and see the result of the follow up to 2010’s Runaway, but meanwhile, there’s talk that his project is being subsidized. If that’s the case, we suspect the film will likely feature an ode to Doha.

But maybe we just need to get off our cynical high horses and admit that regional cities are now international players, and that in their quest to branch out from North America and Europe, artists are stumbling upon the Arab world and finding plenty to write home about. Even if it is about Arab Money.



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