On April 12, I attended a hip hop benefit concert to raise money for the people of Gaza at the Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago. The concert, put on by the Gaza Aid Project brought together performers representing a wide range of ethnicities in the revolutionary spirit of resistance that is the lifeblood of Hip Hop.
One of the performing artists was a Palestinian sister named Shadia Mansour. I had previously heard of her, but never saw her perform. I have to tell you, she brings to mind the soulful connection generated by a performer like Lauryn Hill (who by the way, is one of her favorites) or Erykah Badu, in fact, some have even referred to the Palestinian female hip-hop artist and singer as the Palestinian Erykah Badu.
However, Shadia Mansour has her own spirit, her own skill and we discussed, among other things, her entry into hip hop, her dedication to the cause of the Palestinian people, and her spirit of activism.
Here is a portion of an upcoming interview you will read in its entirety in The Final Call.
Ashahed M. Muhammad: How is it for you being a female and a Palestinian in the world of hip hop?
Shadia Mansour: I am a big feminist, I represent women from all over not just as a Palestinian representative, but Arabic women. I represent strong women of the world, meaning women of Africa, women of the Middle East, women of South America, women all over the world. I stand up for the rights of women, if (other) people have a problem with it, that is there problem. I know the women are under a lot of pressure in hip-hop and that is what inspired me to do even more. It is not enough women in Arabic hip-hop.
Check her out @ http://www.myspace.com/shadiamusic