Critically acclaimed and wildly successful in Israel, hip-hop/funk tour-de-force Hadag Nachash will performing at the Canopy Club tonight. Meaning “The Snake Fish” in Hebrew, Hadag Nahash was formed in Jerusalem in 1996 by its charismatic frontman Sha’anan Streett. Nearly twelve years later, Hadag Nahash has released four albums, tours extensively throughout Israel and internationally, and have been carving a niche and making a name for Israeli hip-hop in the international music scene.
The seven-piece outfit is celebrated for their positive, political approach to hip-hop in an industry that often glamorizes violence and objectifies women. Their breakout hit, “Shirat HaSticker” (The Sticker Song), written by Israel novelist David Grossman, attempts to take the pulse of modern Israeli society. The song is a rapped compilation of bumper stickers seen on cars all through Israel, expressing the myriad of opinions, beliefs, and political stances that together comprise the pubic opinion of the country. They have been often labeled as “Israel’s answer to the Roots” due to the political and social content of their music, but their style transcends many traditional boundaries.
After many years of performing throughout Israel, the band branched out in 2003 for their first international show in London. Since then, Hadag Nachash has embarked on multiple US tours and even recorded their fourth album, Be’ezrat Ha’Jam stateside. The group documents their experience in their song “California,” a frantic and fun fusion of jazz and funk accompanied by a tart, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. They have been often labeled as “Israel’s answer to The Roots” due to the political and social content of their music, but their style transcends many traditional boundaries. So, why check them out in concert tonight? Here are the top 5 reasons why:
If you like hip-hop, funk, reggae, and jazz with shades of Middle Eastern influence, you can’t really go wrong here. Hadag Nachash’s music is neither completely Western nor Eastern; it brings both worlds together engages its listener, no matter what their location is.
The energy they bring to their show. All of the songs are rapped in Hebrew (all band members speak English as well), and are underscored by diverse, catchy beats. The pace of their performance is frenetic and invites everyone in the crowd to join along.
It’s the perfect opportunity to take a break from finals studying to dance, dance and then dance some more. And if you don’t like to dance? Just hang in the back…until they get you dancing eventually.
Dreadlocks. Dance 2XS and Greg Spero Trio, too. But let us not forget, dreadlocks.
Hadag Nachash is a group that continues to deliver poignant messages of hope while working to triumph over pain and struggle. Their positivity, humor and talent make them an unforgettable act and an onstage force not to be missed.