Like Young Rebels before it, Slingshot Hip Hop illustrates how hip-hop appeals to the world’s oppressed. For Palestinian acts like DAM, Palestinian Rapperz, and the most fierce Abeer, Palestine’s First Lady of R&B, their fascination with hip-hop came naturally: Pioneers like 2Pac echoed their social frustrations and confirmed that their reality could be given a voice. “We saw our hood” is how one of Jackie Reem Salloum’s subjects describes what he felt when he saw 2Pac’s “Holla If Ya Hear Me” music video for the first time, and when they meet Chuck “Hip-Hop is our CNN” D, the boys of DAM practically flip, their eyes beaming as brightly as the bombs that fly overhead in Lyd, Israel. It is there that Salloum and her camera ventures, showing us how young people are opening a window into their impoverished lives, shunning violence and choosing to fight the power of the Israeli occupation through words. Their music is crude in ways bad and good, but the film understands that Palestinian hip-hop is still very much in its infancy, and the need for acts like DAM and Palestinian Rapperz to foster a healthy sense of community through music and articulate and attempt to make sense of the diaspora of enslavement and displacement resonates strongly throughout. You can’t say that Salloum keeps it as real as her subjects, tipping her hat to the School of Michael Moore by needlessly cluttering the film with sleek informational graphics, but you also can’t say that Slingshot Hip Hop isn’t good for one’s conscience.
- 89 min
- Jackie Reem Salloum
- Tamer Nafar, Mahmoud Jreri, Shuhell, Mohammed Al-Farra, Mahmoud Fayyad, Motaz Huaihi, Ayman Meghames, Abeer Alzinaty
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: