Israeli Hip Hop

*The following video contains censored profanity. 

In this video, Chloé jumps headfirst into the world of Israeli hip hop.  Focusing on three different hip hop groups with three opposing ideologies, we learn about the diversity of Israelis through their music, as well as the tensions within Israeli society. With the group Hadag Nachash advocating for social justice, Subliminal advocating nationalism, and Tamer Nafar advocating for the Arab community, hip hop is a powerful tool for social change among Israelis of varying backgrounds.

  • Review
  • Discussion
  • Activities
  • Reflection
  • Further Learning
  1. What was the name of rapper Tamer Nafar’s Palestinian-Israeli rap group:
    • Balkan Beat Box
    • Dam
    • Rise
    • Blood
  2. With the intention of increasing Jewish and Israeli pride, which Jewish symbol did rapper Subliminal turn into a fashion statement?
    • The Israeli flag
    • A Kippah
    • Tefillin
    • The Star of David
  3. What is the name of the festival Hadag Nachash throws every year that features Israeli and Palestinian performers in impoverished neighborhoods?
    • Come Together Fest
    • MidBurn Fest
    • One Shekel Fest
    • Hadag Nachash Fest
  4. According to Chloé in this video, what is arguably the most popular Israeli hip hop group of all time?
    • Hadag Nachash
    • Tamer Nafar
    • Subliminal
    • Cafe Shahor Hazak
  1. Why do you think that hip hop, more than other genres of music, has been effective in creating social and political change? Come up with examples of hip hop artists or songs that had an impact on society and politics, and discuss why you think they made such an impact.
  2. Does a greater understanding of Israeli hip hop help you better understand hip hop in your country? Why or why not? Discuss.
  1. Why do you think Hadag Nachash’s “Sticker Song” struck such a chord in Israeli society? Split your students into pairs for a Think-Pair-Share.
  2. Play the Sticker Song by Hadag Nachash for your class. Analyze the lyrics of the song by learning about the origins of the various bumper stickers at this link. To delve deep into the meaning of the song and what it teaches us about Israeli society, click here to use some ready-made resources.
  3. Have your students listen to and analyze the lyrics of both a Hadag Nachash song as well as a Subliminal song (in small groups or as a class). Compare and contrast the lyrics and discuss the messages of both songs and what they teach us about the diversity of political discourse in Israel.
  4. Using the following link, divide your group into small groups of 2-3 and assign them each a different Israeli hip hop group. Have them present their respective artists and share their favorite song or music video for the rest of the group.
  5. Give your students our Kahoot on Israeli hip hop!
  1. Do any of the hip hop artists presented in this video remind you of some of your own favorite hip hop artists? If so, how are they similar? If not, how are they different? After thinking this through, share examples.
  2. In the United States, there have been countless hip hop artists that have had an extraordinary impact on society and politics. Tupac often rapped about racism and poverty in America. More recently, Kendrick Lamar has rapped about American politics and the struggles of the African American community. How are these artists similar to or different from the Israeli artists you have learned about? Discuss.  
  3. Do you prefer to listen to music that is political or apolitical? What kind of lyrics do you connect to? Have your students share their thoughts and ask a couple of students to share their favorite hip hop song, explaining why it’s meaningful to them.

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