The Daily Star reports that Palestinian rap is thriving in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel as a way to express frustration, anger and despair. In the United States, a fledgling underground movement of politicized Arab-American rappers and MCs is gaining momentum. A 26-year-old known as the Iron Sheikh leads the pack. Will Youmans, an Oakland, California resident, is Palestinian-American. He took his stage name from a 1980’s Iranian World Wrestling Federation star who used the cliched image of the Middle-Eastern villain as his trademark and was known for his lethal chokehold called the Camel Clutch. Youmans adopted the name as a political statement, to re-define for the American public what it means to be Middle Eastern.
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