x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Rappers have beef with arrested colleague 'Dangour'

A rapper who calls himself Dangour was arrested last week after posting a video online in which he raps about torturing those who disrespect him, drug abuse, and hating white people.

Khalifa Al Romaithi, who opened for Snoop Dogg in Abu Dhabi, says Dangour had offended the whole country. Lee Hoagland / The National
Khalifa Al Romaithi, who opened for Snoop Dogg in Abu Dhabi, says Dangour had offended the whole country. Lee Hoagland / The National

Rap artists have defended their style of music after it was plunged into controversy by the arrest of a performer who posted inappropriate videos online.

A 24-year-old self-styled gangster who calls himself "Dangour" (an Arabic play on the English word danger) or "the Real G" was arrested by Sharjah Police last week on charges of inciting gangsterism. He had posted a video online in which he rapped about torturing those who disrespect him, drug abuse, and hating white people. Police said the torture scenes in his videos were faked.

Dangour's arrest was ordered by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Minister of Interior, who said the video was childish but nonetheless potentially harmful to the country's reputation. Dangour's case has yet to be heard in court.

Khalifa Al Romaithi, a 22-year-old Emirati rapper known as K-Multi who opened for Snoop Dogg when the US rapper 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."

Their fellow rapper Mohammed Al Amry believes Dangour 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."

Dangour's mother, a teacher, stood at the gate of her house in Khor Fakkan 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. "What will happen to my baby?" she said.

Dangour's family, originally from Sudan, have lived in Khor Fakkan for 25 years and are respected by the community.

"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 car park, he said the only man he recognised was Dangour. The rest were from Ajman, he said. "He's like a child," said the man, who did not want to be named. "When he was small, if anybody touched him he would start crying. It's immature, all this talk about hashish. I was the same before but now I'm over it, al humdulillah. I grew up."

 

csimpson@thenational.ae

azacharias@thenational.ae