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  • Writer's pictureMajid Alhusseini

14 Female Rappers Breaking Boundaries in The Middle East




The Middle East is witnessing a powerful wave of female rappers who are challenging norms and redefining the music landscape. These trailblazing artists are breaking boundaries with their fearless lyrics, innovative styles, and compelling stories. From addressing social and political issues to celebrating cultural identity, these women are using hip-hop as a platform to amplify their voices and inspire change. In this article, we spotlight ten remarkable female rappers who are making their mark in the Middle Eastern music scene. Their contributions are not only transforming the genre but also paving the way for future generations of women in hip-hop. Join us as we explore the journeys, challenges, and triumphs of these groundbreaking artists who are reshaping the soundscape of the region.


N1yah



N1YAH, a Lebanese native raised in Dubai, is a multifaceted musician whose approach to music is characterized by a blend of sensory elements and imaginative exploration. As the Lebanese rap queen of Dubai, she consistently transforms her experiences into memorable and meaningful tracks. N1YAH showcases her prowess as a triple threat, with her captivating lyricism, powerful vocals, and commanding stage presence shining through in her debut EP, "Midnight Run." This collection of three songs offers a personal narrative, sharing N1YAH's struggles, triumphs, and reflections as an artist straddling life between Dubai and Lebanon. Having embarked on her musical journey at the age of 11 alongside her sister, N1YAH exhibits a clear vision for her career trajectory, with "Midnight Run" serving as just the beginning of her artistic evolution.


Shadia Mansour



Shadia Mansour, often hailed as “the first lady of Arabic hip hop,” is a British Palestinian singer and MC who performs in both Arabic and English. Her music is deeply rooted in the political landscape of the Middle East, using her powerful voice and poignant lyrics to address issues such as occupation, identity, and resistance. Mansour's work transcends cultural and linguistic barriers, resonating with audiences worldwide and establishing her as a significant voice in the genre. Through her art, she not only entertains but also educates and inspires, making her an influential figure in both the music industry and the broader sociopolitical discourse.


Perrie



Perrie is rapidly emerging as a major figure in the rap scene and has made history as the first Egyptian rapper to be featured on a billboard in Times Square. This versatile artist is not only a rapper but also a singer, songwriter, producer, and sound engineer. She has earned acclaim for her support of women and gained significant attention with her anthem "Shigella," which critiques toxic patriarchal norms. Additionally, she was a member of the now-disbanded group Mexico, led by Abyusif.


Meryem Saci



Montreal-based Algerian singer and MC Meryem Saci is infusing a fresh wave of energy into the electronic music scene. Drawing inspiration from nature, movement, and self-expression, Meryem's music raises vibrations by blending North African and Arabic rhythms and melodies. This unique fusion injects a spiritual pulse into her work, combining her love for hip-hop, RnB, soul, jazz, and reggae.


With the release of her debut solo album, "On My Way," Meryem has carved out a distinct space for herself, liberating and rejuvenating her identity as a musician. Best known for her role in the multilingual supergroup Nomadic Massive, Meryem Saci discusses with Cyd Eva the juxtaposition of her Algerian upbringing and how she uses music to connect with traditions and fellow creatives.


Dareen



Dareen Salama (born August 15, 2002), better known by her stage name Dareen, is an emerging Egyptian hip hop recording artist from Alexandria, Egypt. She made her debut with the release of her single "Leila" in March 2020. Despite her young age, Dareen is making waves in the music scene with her unique sound and perspective.


L O P P A



Moroccan Femcee Loppa burst onto the scene in 2022, quickly gaining attention with her bold style and unique energy. Hailing from the beautiful Dokkayla region, Loppa is clearly hungry to leave her mark on the rap game. Her distinctive approach and vibrant presence are making waves in the music industry, promising an exciting future for this emerging artist.


Sonoshee Cloud



Emerging from the Middle East and North Africa, Sonoshee Cloud (real name Yasmine) blends English, French, and Arabic flows into a global sound.


Raised in Switzerland and the UAE, her music captivates audiences worldwide. As a pioneering artist, she defies norms with her versatile musical style. Her dreamy trap melodies and energetic rap vocals fuse diverse influences into compelling symphonies. Sonoshee Cloud's feisty, charming performances invite audiences on a unique musical journey.



Asayel



Asayel Slay is a Saudi artist who first gained prominence with her song "Bint Mecca," a celebration of Saudi women. In the song, she raps about her pride in the women of her country. However, the song also drew significant criticism, particularly from conservative circles, which led to her being jailed. Despite the controversy, Asayel Slay's music continues to resonate, highlighting the complexities of cultural expression in Saudi Arabia.


Rana



Based out of Qatar, Sudanese rapper Rana has been steadily building an audience over the years by merging Sudanese slang and colloquial expressions with hip-hop. As part of the impressive hip-hop movement emerging from Sudan, Rana continues to make strides in her music career. Her latest single, "Seven," distributed by Empire Records, showcases her unique style and growing influence in the music scene.


Taffy



Taffy, an up-and-coming Egyptian rapper, is quickly making a name for herself in the music scene. Citing Nicki Minaj as one of her biggest influences, Taffy's dynamic style and bold lyrics reflect her ambition and creativity. She is on a self-described path to “change the rap game in the Arab world,” bringing a fresh perspective and energetic presence to the genre. Her dedication and unique voice are already capturing attention, marking her as a rising star to watch closely.


Soultana



This trailblazing Moroccan emcee is the country's first female rapper and a fervent advocate for women's rights. As an activist, she leverages her lyrical skills to address pressing social issues in Morocco. Her international hit, "Sawt Nssa" (The Voice of Women), boldly confronts the problem of sexual harassment. With a no-nonsense attitude and fearless lyrics, she powerfully aligns her flow with her message, making a significant impact in the fight for social justice and equality.


Mayam Mahmoud



Not only is Mayam recognized as the first Egyptian female rapper, but she also stands as a passionate advocate for women's rights and a successful model. Her tireless work to promote women's rights and combat sexual harassment in Egypt has garnered widespread attention, leading to features on prominent platforms such as CNN, the BBC, and The Guardian. Her significant contributions were further recognized when she received the Index Art Award in London in 2014.


Salome MC



Salome MC, the critically acclaimed Iranian rapper, has received recognition from major media outlets such as MTV, Time magazine, and The Guardian. Based in Seattle, she made her mark with the release of her debut album, "I Officially Exist," in 2013. Salome is distinguished by her light voice, which serves as a contrast to her intense delivery. While her raps are often politically charged, her music extends beyond politics, showcasing a diverse range of themes and topics.


Chanel



Tania Chanel, a Spanish Moroccan trap rapper, has made waves in the traditionally male-dominated rap scene in Spain. At just 18 years old, she broke into the industry with her trap music, which reflects her everyday experiences and independence. Chanel's success in Spain is a testament to her talent and the thriving rap scene she contributes to.


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