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  • Writer's pictureMajid Alhusseini

From The Middle East To The Bay, Sammy Shiblaq Is The Palestinian Rapper Set To Takeover The Game.

Sammy Yousef Shiblaq (Born April 2,1999), Better known as Sammy Shiblaq, is a Palestinian/American rapper who grew up in Detroit, Michigan before moving to the Bay Area, in hopes to achieve his Hip-Hop dreams. He began rapping at a young age, gaining inspiration from his older brother, who also was a rapper back in the day. In those times, Sammy was locally known as “Shibby” or “Young Shibby”. By age 15, Sammy Shiblaq had started to create a loyal fan base on Soundcloud dropping track after track, his listeners in Detroit and San Jose grew in numbers. His notable singles include Patience, The Man, Scheming, Stuck In My Ways and Hard, while also dropping 2 projects. His first mixtape was titled Faith & Hustle (2019) and one EP called 4 The People (2020). In March of 2020, Faith & Hustle passed 200,000 streams on Spotify. Still young and ambitious, there is only more to come from Sammy Shiblaq.

-Does the Bay Area sound have an influence on your music?

The Bay Area is a place I moved to back and forth in my life. I currently live in San Jose, so it’s no doubt that there is an influence from the things I see around me. But growing up in Detroit made me; my music, my whole sound, the way I move, my character, so in contrast to the Bay, it’s a different story. I would say the Detroit Sound has influenced my music more than anything, but the Bay area groove and hyphy beats are things I’m definitely hip to.

-What first got you into Hip Hop?

I grew up around Hip-Hop my whole life. In Detroit, we’ve produced some of this generation's greatest artists in both the mainstream and in the streets. I started freestyling and rapping under the name of "Young Shibby", when I turned 4 and I always dreamed of doing this.

-What's your favorite song of yours so far, and why?

My favorite song is the intro to my "Faith And Hustle" album, it tells my story as you listen to it.I feel like if you play that song to a new listener for the first time, they will become a fan in the near future, if they got a real ear for this Hip Hop stuff. One day, I know The Intro will be a classic in my catalogue and I’m happy it’s starting to get it’s respect and recognition now.

-You always make sure to represent the Middle East and Palestine in your music, what does Palestine mean to you and why do you feel the need to represent it the way you do?

All my life, I've voiced that I'm from Falasteen, I grew up with this as all I knew. My father would tell me the stories of what went down before the Shiblaq’s were forced out of Haifa, to this day our people still face one of the worst acts of oppression in history. I faced too many hardships because, I come from a land & culture that was taken away from my people, I just could never stay quiet about that. They told me “chill and don’t get political”, but I never listened ,telling my story as a Palestinian and painting out the oppression is not political; it’s real life.

-Are you aware of the hip hop scene in the Middle East and in Palestine specifically?

I try to be in touch as much as I can with the Palestinian hip hop scene. I’m still studying the rest of the Middle East scene, as I say Dubai is a hot spot for good artists, along with Morocco. Growing up, we used to listen to DAM, as their music was authentic and a blueprint for a lot of Arab & Palestinian rappers today. Eleyanna is also an amazing Palestinian singer breaking all barriers on her rise to the top. I try to stay in touch as much as I can, though it’s hard since I have to focus on my own craft and lane before I can get more in tune and do more for the Middle East hip hop scene.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

In the next 10 years, I see my self as a successful artist in the hip-hop industry trying to be a positive role model to the community and those who look up to me. I believe in 10 years, I’m going to want to work with the youth in making sure they don’t make the same mistakes I did.

5 artists you would like to collaborate with?

J. Cole, Lupe Fiasco, Royce Da 5’9, Kendrick Lamar, & A Boogie

Any Plans to visit the Middle East soon? Where would you go and what's the first thing you would do?

After the epidemic cools off, I plan on going back to Palestine and visiting my long lost family. Since the occupation started in 48, my family has been cut off from the Shiblaq's that live in Gaza, so my goal is to find them and help in any way I can.

Would you ever consider rapping in Arabic?

I have certain songs with Arabic phrases and words, though I have yet to make a full Arabic song. I want to make a full Arabic song in the future as well as work with other Arab artists who can bring a different sound to my music.

Anything you have coming out that we should look out for?

My new Mixtape “Between The Lines”recently dropped on August 21st, I think it’s going to wake people up because I put a lot of work and pain into this project.

What are 2 things you've learned from your journey so far?

Faith is always the most important thing & never trust nobody.

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