12-Year-Old Rapper From Gaza Influenced By Eminem And 2Pac Advocates For Peace And Lands EMPIRE Contract Offer

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12-Year-Old Rapper From Gaza Influenced By Eminem And 2Pac Advocates For Peace And Lands EMPIRE Contract Offer

Photo: MCA Abdul, Courtesy of Saleh and Abdul Rahman al-Shantti

"I might be young and I wanna have fun / Don't wanna be rapping about bombs or about guns."

A post shared by MCA Abdul (@mca.rap) on

MCA Abdul, a young Palestinian from Gaza whose rap video went viral has been offered a contract by EMPIRE records, the same label that manages huge names such as Young Dolph and Iggy Azalea. In an interview with Tamer Nafar, one of the first major names to rap in Arabic, he explained his inspiration, his hopes for the future, and living his entire life under Israeli occupation. The interview was printed in Variety Magazine.

When MCA Abdul posted his rap video on Instagram on August 11th, he didn't think it would gather as much attention as it did. It has now been viewed over 600,000 times and gained plaudits from across the world.

A post shared by MCA Abdul (@mca.rap) on

In the video, the 12-year-old flanked by his schoolmates, rapped about the struggle of his family and, in particular, his mother's medical condition. His mother had received eye treatment in Egypt in 2007 as she suffered from CNV bleeding, and her condition improved, but since then, due to the Israeli halt on movement, his mother's condition has, without access to treatment, become much worse, seriously affecting her eyesight.

His lyrics also spoke of hope and peace:

"You don't have to be rich and powerful to make a difference / What holds this world back is ignorance in the system / Small actions of kindness they help us improve / Spitting good vibes on this track over laid-back grooves"

When asked about his motivation, MCA Abdul says he is not interested in politics and that his only message is one of peace for all people. He then goes on to say that Eminem was his first introduction to rap, he recounted vividly:

"I was like 4 or 5 years old. I listened to a song by Eminem that then my dad showed me [the video] and I liked it. It was "Not Afraid." And I asked, "Who is that guy?" Jumping and rapping with tattoos — I was shocked."

Though he also says he is inspired by Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z and NF.

His dream is simple, spread peace and, on a personal level, start a music career with concerts in Europe and the United States. However, part of that dream is no doubt fuelled by a hope to be able to leave Gaza, which has remained under siege for decades. Speaking of hope, MCA Abdul says:

"In the isolation, I need to be hopeful because without hope, we will die. I listen to a lot of music. Music is so powerful for me and to a lot of people in that you can be anywhere and hear a piece of music that gets you fired up and emotional. I want to use it to go anywhere in the world."

MCA Abdul now has 122,000 followers on Instagram and, with an EMPIRE records contract, it looks as though his dreams may very well soon become reality.

Tamer Nafar was one of the founders of DAM, one of the first-ever hip-hop groups to rap in Arabic, in the late 1990s. The act released their latest album 'Ben Haana Wa Maana' in 2019.

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Thinking Humanity: 12-Year-Old Rapper From Gaza Influenced By Eminem And 2Pac Advocates For Peace And Lands EMPIRE Contract Offer
12-Year-Old Rapper From Gaza Influenced By Eminem And 2Pac Advocates For Peace And Lands EMPIRE Contract Offer
MCA Abdul, a young Palestinian from Gaza whose rap video went viral has been signed by EMPIRE records.
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