Take Ziad Rahbani’s sharp, revolutionary discourse and the rhythmic punch of legendary rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Throw in a nod to old school hip hop, and get behind the wheel of a 1980s American crime-fighting sitcom.

Prepare to get schooled: the sound and soul of hip hop band Fareeq el Atrash’s debut album will challenge everything you think you know about a genre that’s bent on “keeping it real.”

The group consists of a rocker-turned-funkman, a political poet, an ex-heavy-metal head, a beatbox bumper and a fresh-rhymed rapper who know how to “represent.” To recap, that’s Goo on the guitar, MC Edd, John on the bass, beatboxer FZ and MC Chyno, respectively.

Take note. This diverse music mash-up is a defining moment in the rise of Arabic funk and a skilled demonstration in hip hop’s “cut ’n’ mix” culture.

“Njoom ’am te’rab/We’re reaching for the stars” is the first track on the self-titled work, and ripe for becoming the quintessential “Arabic hip hop anthem,” says FZ. It delivers drums, bass, horns and guitar with a distinctly Arabic-funk flavor. Undoubtedly Lebanese minus “the cheesy oud,” as John describes it. And just when you think the song can’t kick the beat any higher, the boys spin a stunning homage to the Sugarhill Gang’s 1979 hit “Rapper’s Delight.”

Longtime fans of the band will find Fareeq throwing down fresh spins over their new soundtrack. Look out for the neo-soul raps of “Biwa’ta/Back then” and “Sunshine,” or the rock-inspired makeover of “Demoqrati.”

You’re suffering? Who’s not suffering?
Constantly from physical, mental pain
From that democratic system

– “Demoqrati/Democracy”

Is our country free?
No, it’s a lie.
Do we have freedom of speech?
No, only for certain people…

– “Intikhabet/Elections”

Often irreverent (but don’t expect an apology), the lyrics deliver smart, social critiques slung with biting political commentary. But “we’re not going to talk about bribes/it happens on both sides,” as the lyrics to the song “Intikhabet” proclaim.

If there is one thing the album proves, this group of five young men wants to redefine how music should be dealt with: no longer background noise or a danceable rhythm, but something to actively construct and consciously take part in. The album “tells people to think… whatever you want to think, but just think for yourself,” John says.

No doubt, Fareeq el Atrash is a live band. So the greatest challenge this album faced was taking the group’s live sound and transferring it to a recorded venue that maintains their impossibly energetic essence. Local record label Forward Music brought in the addition of drums, tenor saxophone and trumpet to the production.

Source Now Lebanon

Listen to Corruption Fareeq el Atrash press link below 🙂