x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Rapper jailed over scandalous video

The rapper Dangour was arrested in June after posting a video online in which he raps about drug abuse, his hatred for white people and torturing those who disrespect him.

ABU DHABI // A rapper who scandalised Sharjah with a violent music video was today sentenced to what the Federal Supreme Court described as 'a light sentence'.

The court did not disclose the specific length of time the singer known as Dangour would serve, but noted that law required it to be a minimum of three months. It also confiscated his computer.

The rapper - whose performing name is a play on Danger - was arrested in June after posting a video online in which he raps about drug abuse, his hatred for white people and torturing those who disrespect him.

Several people complained to Sharjah Police after a clip of the video went viral on BlackBerry Messenger.

The video features a phone conversation between the rapper and a woman depicted as the mother of a man he has beaten. The mother pleads with the rapper to leave her son alone and threatens to call the police - but he responds with foul language and says he will kill her son.

The video also includes the face of a man covered with blood with text that says: "I swear I will torture him like I tortured others".

Police said they decided to arrest the rapper as the video had upset and frightened the public.

When officers searched his father's house in Ras Al Khaimah - where Dangour lives - they seized a number of knives, and discovered that he had been stabbed in Dubai six months earlier.

The rapper said that he formed the band DMY in his spare time from his official job - which was not disclosed - and uploaded the video, titled MIRDIF, on YouTube. He said the purpose of the video was to entertain people, not to terrorise them.

He said he did not know the person whose face is covered with blood, saying he only added the text and sound bites. His sister provided the voice-over for the mother.

The rapper's father said his son's nickname had been Dangour for the past five years, but that he was not the type to attack anyone personally.

However, the court ruled that the rapper created the video to make people scared of him. It added that broadcasting the clip promoted ideas that "harm public decency and order and spreads terror and panic among people".

hdajani@thenational.ae