American society persistently interrogates the lack of “positive” mainstream Hip-Hop messages on the radio, but when you hail from the State of Palestine–arguably one of the most conflict-ridden regions on the planet today— messages becomes less of an interesting quirk worth having as an artist; deliberate sociopolitical messages become more of a necessity worth applying. Simply put, there is too much happening in that part of the world for a Palestinian native rapper not to have something profound to say.
Rapper Boikutt doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
Although commonly known by fans by his Arabic name “Muqata’a,” he also answers to Boikutt, which roughly translates into exactly what it sounds like-“Boycott”(مُقاطَعَة). The name is fitting, not only due to his prolific and thought-provoking rhymes that highlights the defiance of enslaving ideologies and belief systems, but because of his consistent defiance of what is expected of him.
For one of the most prevalent rappers on the Palestinian Hip-Hop scene, he doesn’t have much buzz surrounding him. He isn’t fond of the interviews or celebrity appearances you would expect from someone of with his talent. Beginning his career as one of the original members of Ramallah Underground, a rap group born out of a need “to give voice to a generation of Palestinians and Arabs who face a turbulent and uncertain political landscape,” he toured the globe receiving critical acclaim for his method of connecting issues plaguing Palestine.
Since the group’s amicable split in 2009 for mostly logistical reasons (geographical distance being one of them), Boikutt has continued to rise as one of its most outspoken prevalent members, lending his production skills and blitzkrieg method of Arabic rhyming to a number of projects.
His most notable project is of course his own-2013 released “Hayawan Nateq.” Boikutt produced, composed, recorded and mixed the entire album.
“You don’t need money or big sound engineers to create your music. Today, it’s possible to build yourself and teach yourself,” said Boikutt during a rare interview with AhramOnline.com, “And, my other statement with this album is that we [as Palestinians] have to strengthen ourselves. We can’t sit and wait for Israel to break down, because it’s not going to happen and they are busy working all the time. We have to be able to stand for ourselves and to gain a certain self-respect for ourselves.”
Boikutt’s agenda is simple: he wants to make us think and respond to those thoughts. And rather than simply carry out this agenda through his lyrics, his and most rappers weapon of choice, Boikutt has managed to infuse this agenda into every fiber of his being.
His music isn’t in English, and you can certainly hear the high level of distortion and mixture of genres, particularly glitch and electronic.