Taking the Rap

As the late 1990s shooting deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. demonstrated, the rap life can be a dangerous existence. But being a rapper in Gaza? Now that presents some unique hazards. At a concert by the Palestinian Rapperz (PR) last summer, Islamic youths, outraged by the group's arm thrusts and crotch grabs, rushed onstage and beat up its four members. Soon after, a Palestinian M.C. known as Sompol was also assailed for immorality. He was kidnapped midperformance and let go three hours later, after a warning at gunpoint to stop bringing un-Islamic Western behavior into...

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