From Drake to Kendrick Lamar; International Rappers Who Embraced Arabic Lyrics in Their Songs

By Malak Khaled

Arabic is one of the most well-known languages, and one of the hardest to use. However, in recent years we’ve seen it used in many artistic ways, one of which is in western music. The Arabic language has been used many times in music, especially in Hip-Hop and Rap. 

Social media has been aflutter after famous Canadian Rapper Drake released his new song with British Rapper Headie One called “Only You Freestyle”, which went viral due to a specific verse that people were really interested to know the meaning of. Many people actually looked up what the artist is saying, which turned out to be, “Arabic ting told me that I look like Youssef, look like Hamza. Habibti please! Ana akeed, inti wa ana ahla.” Drake expresses that he has middle eastern features.

However, what most people don’t really know is that this isn’t the first time rappers use Arabic in their music. As a matter of fact, Drake also uses Arabic in his 2015 song “Sweeterman Remix” saying “This is a blessing, Mashallah Wallahi” and his 2018 song “Diplomatic Immunity” singing “The TV playin’ Al Jazeera. Inshallah, I hope the mission keeps on getting’ clearer.”

Besides Drake, in 2017 Jay Z used Arabic in a couple of his songs too” “Blue’s Freestyle/ We Family” with his daughter Blue Ivy saying “Bismillah, All the gods around me” and in “Family Feud” saying “I told my wife the spiritual [things] really work. Alhamdulillah, I run through ’em all.”

In 2017, the song “Plain Jane Remix” sees A$ap Ferg and Nicki Minaj rap, “Ride with the mob, Alhamdulillah,” and, “Ride with Minaj, mmh Mashallah.”

In 2016, Kendrick Lamar sang, “I paid my way through, praying to Allah,” in his song Untitled 02, on Blue Faces.

Even in 2005, Kanye West said “Allahu Akbar and throw ’em some hot cars” in his song “Heard ‘Em Say” featuring Adam Levine from his second studio album “Late Registration”. 

WE SAID THIS: Which one is your favorite song?

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