Fierce, Strong and Unforgettable; Meet Lebanese Rapper Malikah
Words: Bethany Burgoyne
Described by Vogue Arabia as ‘The Queen of Arab Hip Hop’, rapper Malikah is setting an example for females on a global scale. Having grown up in Beirut and developed a name for herself across Europe and the Middle East, Malikah’s music is delivered with a dose of fire and fight.
Malikah raps in her mother tongue of Arabic, licking through lyrics and spitting out rhymes with vivacity and defiant passion. For fear of not understand the literal meaning of Malikah’s words when language barriers come into play, she engages you with an emotionally driven delivery. A fierce pace of energy flies through this performer, echoing desires to rebel and be heard.
Having been on the music scene since the age of 15 and performing for decades after, Malkiah’s latest work is a reflection of her artistic growth. In past project, ‘Sma3’, her strong narrative is accompanied by an equally impressive music video, whose creative concept acts as an insight into Malikah’s maturity. We see her stand, mummified, in a tableau of austerity - an image that questions a freedom of expression. Snippets of Malikah dressed in a dark, witchlike gown holding a rag doll reflects expectations of womanhood. Throughout, we see a puppet like figure struggle on his walk through the track, offering a metaphor for the continual journey of resistance that often appears in her work.
To be female and working in the industry is acknowledged to be a challenge. To be an Arabic woman and rapping is sure to ensue many more barriers within societal situations. It is for this reason that Malikah’s presence within the music scene is so important. She is setting a new standard for what a rapper looks and sounds like, providing a different face for younger generations to look up to and be inspired by. Middle Eastern women have multiple narratives and it is strong figures like Malkiah that are helping to shake up the world’s preconceived ideas. Let’s hope she has more to deliver soon.
You can follow Malikah on Instagram @malika961music