DAM is the first and leading Palestinian Rap Group. It is composed of Tamer Nafar, 27, his younger brother Suhell, 23, and Mahmoud Jreri, 24. The group has been performing together since the late 90s. Tamer, who had been performing Rap since 1998 with his brother, was first contacted by Mahmoud Jreri. Mahmoud was writing his own lyrics so they quickly decided to join forces and the group was born in 1999. All three members of the group were born and grew up in the slums of Lod, a mixed town of Arabs and Jews, 20 km from Jerusalem.
The group's name is the Arabic verb for "to last forever/eternity" (دام) and the Hebrew word for "blood" (דם), but can also be an acronym for "Da Arabian MCs." The Arabic word for "blood" (دم) is spelled similarly, but without an alif.
DAM's music is a unique fusion of East and West, combining Arabic percussion rhythms, Middle Eastern melodies and urban Hip Hop.
The lyrics of DAM are influenced by the continuing Israeli - Palestinian conflict as well as by the Palestinian struggle for freedom and equality. DAM also draw their influence from such controversial issues as terrorism, drugs and women’s rights.
Musically they take their inspiration from both Hip Hop artists (Nas, 2Pac, Mos Def, IAM, NTM, Saian Supa Crew, MBS etc.) and Arabic music (Marcel Khalifa,Kazem Saher,George Wassouf, Majda al Romi etc.)
The songs, lyrics and music, are written and arranged by all members of the group and musically produced by them and other known producers.
DAM's debut album "Stop Selling Drugs" was released locally in 1998, followed by the second album called "Min Irhabi" (“who's the terrorist?”) which was released in 2001.
DAM are now gaining increased international popularity around the world through their unique message and ground-breaking live shows.
The growing international profile and interest in this unique band have led to participation in various films, events and collaborations including:
- "Local Angel", a 2002 documentary by Israeli director and political activist Udi Aloni.
- Appearance in “Forgiveness”, Udi Aloni’s latest film selected at the Berlin Festival 2006.
- Key appearance in the documentary “Slingshot Hip Hop” about today’s Palestinian rap scene, by US director Jackie Salloum.
- Key appearance in the documentary film "Channel of rage", by Anat Halahmi, that showed the Israeli-Palestine struggle from the Israeli and Palestinian Rappers’ point of view
- Appearance in the soundtrack of the film “Ford Transit” by Palestinian director Hany Abu Assad, who won a golden Globe for his film “Paradise now”.
- Participation in the photoshoot by Magnum/National Geographic photographer David Alan Harvey about rap artists around the world.
- Many live shows in Europe (France, England, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland etc.) and in the USA.
The band will perform at the important TRANSMUSICALES DE RENNES festival in France in December 2006.
“IHDA” (Dedication) is DAM’s long-awaited first international album which will be released autumn 2006.