KHOR FAKKAN // A self-styled “gangster” arrested last week for inciting indecency and lawlessness in an online video is nothing more than a “cry baby”, according to his former classmates.
The 24-year-old, who calls himself “Dangour” or “the Real G”, posted a video online in which he raps about torturing those who disrespect him, drug abuse, and hating white people.
At the end of the video, he includes audio of a phone conversation allegedly between himself and the mother of a man he has beaten. The mother pleads with him to leave her son alone and threatens to call the police; he responds with foul language and says he will kill her son.
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Minister of the Interior, ordered his arrest following complaints from online social sites after he posted the video. The minister noted that the video was childish but nonetheless potentially harmful to the country's reputation.
Police said Dangour was unemployed and has not finished his schooling.
His mother, a teacher, stood at her gate last week lecturing teenage boys on the street about her son’s situation in the days that followed his arrest.
She said she had been crying for days. "This is not my son,” she said. What will happen to my baby?"
Dangour's family, originally from Sudan, have lived in Khor Fakkan for 25 years and are respected by the community.
The sleepy seaside town on the East Coast has a population of about 33,000 and does not even boast so much as a shisha cafe. Downtown is a green corniche where families picnic in peace at all hours of the night. It's a far cry from the ghetto life hinted at in Dangour’s video, showcasing knives, Dobermans and parking lots.
Khor Fakkan youth seem largely disinterested in Dangour.
"Yeah, I knew him," said a policeman who did not want to be named. "He was in the same class as me at school. But I don't know why he makes those videos. He was not tough then – he used to cry all the time."
One 18-year-old blamed the influence of gangs outside Khor Fakkan. Pointing to a portion of the video showing men break-dancing in a parking lot, he said the only man he recognised was Dangour. The rest are from Ajman, he said.
"He's like a child," said the young man, who did not want to be named. "It's immature, all this talk about hashish. I was the same before but now I'm over it, al humdullah. I grew up. I got a brain."
"When he was small, if anybody touched him he would start crying."
Beside him, a 15-year-old named Mishal Khamis, nodded his head.
"It's the drugs," said Mr Khamis. "When people take drugs, they don't know what they're saying. All of my friends know this is not good. It's about drugs."
Khalifa al Romaithi, a 22-year-old Emirati rapper known as K-Multi who opened for US rapper Snoop Dogg when he appeared in Abu Dhabi last month, said: “I felt Dangour offended the whole country because of what he did. He lives in an illusion, his own fantasy.”
Fellow rapper Mohammed Al Amry said he believed Dangour had made the videos because he was looking to create an image for himself. “He wanted people to talk about him like he’s a criminal and he was looking to be arrested,” said Mr Al Amry, better known as Los. “But don’t blame rap music; it’s not about the music, it’s about him.”