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  • Writer's pictureMajid Alhusseini

Meet the Artists Shaping the UAE’s Hip-Hop Scene

Updated: Jun 2



The United Arab Emirates is rapidly emerging as a hub for hip-hop talent, with an eclectic mix of rappers who are redefining the genre while infusing it with rich cultural influences. The UAE's vibrant music scene is flourishing, driven by artists who are not only pushing the boundaries of creativity but also challenging societal norms and stereotypes. These rappers are weaving their unique narratives into their music, reflecting the diverse and dynamic environment of the UAE. From trap and hip-hop to RnB and soul, these artists are making waves both regionally and internationally, attracting a growing fanbase and earning critical acclaim. As we step into 2024, here are the UAE-based artists who are poised to take the music world by storm.



Freek



Mustafa Ismail, also known as FREEK, is a 26-year-old rapper of Somali descent, pushing the boundaries of trap culture in the United Arab Emirates and the wider Middle East. While Arabic trap is gaining momentum, it's still in its nascent stages, making the 247k views on one of Freek’s videos even more remarkable. Following his impressive debut in the Arab trap scene, Freek expanded his fanbase with the highly acclaimed track "Wala Kilma" ("ولا كلمة"). This was followed by his recent appearance on "Fire In The Booth," hosted by Charlie Sloth, indicating that Freek's popularity shows no signs of slowing down.


MohFlow



Dubai-based, Syrian-born songwriter and rapper Moh Flow has been making music since 2006/2007. Drawing inspiration from 90s R&B to modern rap, his unique sound transcends borders and genres. A key element of his success is his collaboration with his older brother, music producer AY. This dynamic duo thrives on their compelling storytelling, vibrant energy, and international appeal, carving a distinctive niche in the music industry.


Santo



Tayeb Santo is emerging as a prominent figure in the Arab hip-hop scene, drawing from his upbringing in the UAE to infuse his music with personal anecdotes and insights. Known for his smooth flows and clever wordplay, Santo has earned acclaim as a skilled lyricist. Armed with dual master's degrees and fluency in multiple Arabic dialects, including Arabic Fusha, Algerian Darija, Emirati, and Egyptian, Tayeb stands out as a versatile artist within the hip-hop genre.


Despite facing obstacles, he has solidified his presence in the Dubai music scene, gracing esteemed venues and festivals across the city. With his exceptional talent, resilience, and distinctive style, Santo has cultivated a dedicated fanbase and is poised for even greater success on the international stage.



Tac



Featured on the Dubai edition of Charlie Sloth’s Fire in the Booth, Tac aka “The Wa7ed” is recognized for his emotive and impactful lyrics, which encapsulate his feelings, emotions, and personal experiences. Often accompanied by gentle old-school beats, His delivery is both sharp and smooth, with a flow that seamlessly intersects with the rhythm. Known for exploring diverse genres such as soul, boom-bap rap, pop, and RnB, Tac consistently keeps fans intrigued and engaged. As a lyricist, he is undoubtedly one to watch closely.


Young Tribez



Young Tribez, a British rapper from South Kilburn, is now making waves in Dubai. Since his arrival, he has been dropping hit songs paired with captivating visuals that showcase his Dubai lifestyle and the grind that got him there. As part of the ER (Everybody Eats Right) Wave, alongside fellow ER rapper C-Biz, Young Tribez continues to represent the movement with authenticity and energy right from Dubai.



Foreign Geechi



Residing in the epicenter of luxury and affluence, Dubai-based artist Foreign Geechi is a master of many trades. His sonic diversity reflects his Zambian roots and the progressive nature of his adopted city. Geechi has cultivated a wealthy fanbase and established a solid reputation as a solo act, sharing stages with international stars like Wiz Khalifa. He headlined with SOS Music at Abu Dhabi’s ‘Beats On The Beach Festival,’ performing alongside J Cole, Travis Scott, Big Sean, Krept & Konan, and Enrique Iglesias.


Adamillion



Yaseen Adam, also known as Adamillion, has gained recognition for his unique approach to blending languages in his music, which has become his signature style. Beginning his journey in songwriting and rapping at the age of 15 in 2006, Adam has continued to create music ever since. Based in Dubai, UAE, with Somali roots, he has made a significant impact on the underground Arabic hip-hop scene in the country.


Adam's distinct voice, clever wordplay, and mastery of three languages—Arabic, English, and Somali—have set him apart as a dynamic force in the music industry.


The Recipe



Dubai’s original rap group, featuring three MCs from diverse backgrounds, started in 2009 with a mission to unite talented hip-hop artists across the UAE. Over the years, they've witnessed and contributed to the evolution of the hip-hop scene in the region, remaining a formidable presence in the industry. Their journey reflects the dynamic and multicultural essence of Dubai, showcasing the city as the 'third culture' community capital of the world.

Their persistent influence and commitment to their craft not only highlight the rich tapestry of Dubai's music scene but also underscore the city's role as a melting pot of cultural expression and artistic innovation. This group stands as a testament to the power of music in bridging cultural divides and fostering a vibrant, inclusive community.



UglyMoss



Uglymoss, a Syrian-Egyptian rap/trap/hip-hop artist, is at the forefront of pioneering subgenres like Rage and Supertrap. Based in Dubai, UAE, he has been making significant strides in the regional music scene. With each release, Uglymoss has witnessed substantial growth in his loyal fanbase and has received endorsements from some of the biggest Arab hip-hop artists. His numbers on Spotify have also seen remarkable growth, with his latest release "EL SARA7A" surpassing 70k streams, marking a significant milestone in his career.




MOLHAM



Molham, a Saudi artist who splits his time between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, performs in both Arabic and English. He combines Arabic rap with Western pop melodies to create a distinctive sub-genre, addressing societal issues in an engaging manner.


KAFV


Sharjah-based rapper and producer KAFV stands out with his exceptional skills in sampling and lyricism. Influenced by 90s hip-hop and classic films, KAFV thrives on creating art driven by passion rather than rigid structures and formulas.


His best work is rooted in spontaneity, which often serves as the catalyst for original ideas and compelling lyrics. Embracing the creative process, KAFV crafts music that resonates with authenticity and engages listeners on a deep level, making him a notable figure in the UAE's vibrant music scene.



Saud SG & Ahmeedo Biggie



Saudi G and Ahmeedoo Biggie are Emirati rappers who excel in connecting with the citizens of the UAE. In a region where rap culture has faced misconceptions and negative perceptions, particularly among Emirati communities due to its origins in the GCC, Saudi G and Ahmeedoo are pioneers in changing these attitudes.


Their efforts are evident through the establishment of their own label/production house called Levelz, aimed at showcasing that the rap scene embodies artistry and high-quality production on par with any other genre. Through their music and initiatives, they are reshaping perceptions and fostering an appreciation for rap within the UAE.


Sizer



British-Jordanian rapper and producer Sizer, who grew up in the UK, Al Ain, and Dubai, is a blend of diverse cultural influences. This rich background gives him a unique sound, especially when producing for others, making his music truly distinctive.



Seki



Seki, a half-Filipino, half-Balooshi rapper based in Dubai, isn't afraid to rap with a ruthless and infectiously fun attitude. Known for his distinctive style, he effortlessly shifts from a sing-rap flow to more aggressive hymning. His lyrics, rooted in personal experiences, resonate on a global scale as he narrates his life as a young hustler.



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