United Arab Emirates: Censored rap duo ready with new album



United Arab Emirates / (Saudi Arabia / Kuwait):
Censored rap duo publishes new album

The first and only album of the Emirati hip-hop duo Desert Heat which came out in 2008, was banned in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, reported AFP.

It is still unknown if censorship will also be the fate of their next album which is due to be published on 10 October 2010.

The news agency AFP interviewed the two Emirati rappers of Desert Heat – 24-year-old Arableak (fusing Arab and bleak) and 29-year-old Illmiyah (Arabic for knowledgeable) – in Dubai where they have their music studio.

Arableak (real name: Abdullah Ali) and his brother, Illmiyah (real name: Salem Ali) view themselves as an alternative to Western rap that Arab and Muslim youths can relate to and say they aim to create “positive change” through their songs.

When AFP asked them why their songs were banned in Saudi Arabia, Illmiyah replied angrily: “Exactly, why? We don’t know why. (…) It’s funny that we’re getting banned in Saudi and Kuwait when Snoop Dogg is being sold in Jeddah.”

Desert Heat

United Arab Emirates

Desert Heat: ‘Under Her Feet’
– the official debut single on YouTube.com


AFP – 4 July 2010:
‘Arab rappers banned’

Sydney Morning Herald’s version
The Independent’s version

Desert Heat’s official home page:


Desert Heat’s profile on MySpace.com:


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