Hip-hop highlight

Balkan Beat Box’s capital politics

The hip-hop trio starts its European summer tour with Jerusalem concert

The un-label-able Israeli hip-hop trio Balkan Beat Box opened its European summer tour Thursday night in Jerusalem’s Independence Park, displaying its usual capacity to defy any musical definition

Liberally promoting material from new album, “Give”, lead singer Tomer Yosef also used the opportunity to talk about his own politics. He brought his young son out on stage and explained to the crowd that children born in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza look exactly alike, asking everyone to forget politicians and work on creating an environment to produce an ideal future and befriend one another.

Yosef also explained how the band wrote new track, “Enemy in Economy,” after a little American girl mistook him for a terrorist before boarding an Alaskan Airlines flight.

The political talk didn’t seem to bother anyone in the crowd. As for the music, Balkan Beat Box’s, with its fusion of old-time Balkan, Middle-Eastern and Spanish sounds combined with modern dance hall electro beats, speaks for itself. The heavy drumming, thumping base and saxophone blasts, combined with creative video and lighting, had thousands of Israeli teens, soldiers, adults and even South African Birthright participants, dancing and enjoying the start of a summer vacation under the stars.

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