by Dalya Mohamed (www.nasjota.com)
Lebanese Queen of Rap Lynn Fattouh, known as Malikah “Queen” aka Lix, is a role model to many female Arabs who fear following in her footsteps due to society’s view of the hip hop industry, especially Arab female hip hop!
From the wars in Lebanon to haters in the industry, Malikah has had her fair share of road blocks along the way. Shining all over the Middle East, Malikah has managed not to stumble and fall and has taken her rightful place amongst all the Arab Male rappers and MC’s.
Born in Marseille, France in 1986, Malikah is a Lebanese Algerian raised in Beirut. What makes her a unique Arab rapper, singer, and MC, that stands out in the industry, is that she is not only a female but she also raps fluently in Arabic, English, and French. “I have a collaboration track on Aks’seir’ album, that was released a couple of years ago where I rap in French and Arabic (Algerian accent),” she said. This track was the retake of the famous Abdel Kader for Algerian Singer Cheb Khaled.
Malikah describes her “2 personalities” when it comes to music. “Malikah is the rough, serious, hardcore, Arabic woman who raps about politics, religion, and social issues; and MC Lix is my alter-ego, the feminine, sexy lady who is more commercial and talks about love, friendship and so on,” she added.
Malikah first hit the Lebanese hip hop scene in 2003 when she performed in front of a number of Lebanese Male rappers at the “Peak Hall,” Lebanon. “Back then, I had to cover my face because my parents were against me rapping,” she said. She secretly continued doing her thing until she was asked to perform on Lebanon’s Future Television show “Zaven” in 2003. “This is where I had to face my parents. Eventually we spoke and made a deal that they would let me do my music as long as I keep up with school,” she explained. Three years later Malikah started MC’ing.
Being a female rapper with such a unique talent bought a lot of hating towards Malikah by many people, mostly the male Lebanese MC’s. But as they say, what does not break you only makes u stronger. She had the support of her friends and Producer Mighty Thor, founder of the House of Representatives Production label in the U.S, whom she met a while after she started rapping. “He is the person who believed in me the most and encouraged me to keep going,” she explained.
With this support Malikah continued to grow, develop, and shine as a female Arab rapper and MC in the Lebanese underground Arab hip hop scene. She became a member of Lebanese hip hop group “961 Underground” with DJ Lethal Skillz, RGB, MC Moe, and Siska. RGB and Siska are both members of the old school Lebanese hip hop group Kitaa3 Beirut. “Now I have the support of my family, my 961 family, my friends, and many fans Alhamdulillah,” she said.
Like other MC’s, Malikah was influenced by all the U.S MC’s. Added to the list are Arab MC’s “like Ramallah Underground, Kita3 Beirut, and many more,” she said.
Through her music Malikah seeks to “reunite Arabia, but most of all to unite the world. I’m trying to spread peace and unity. My dream is to live in a united peaceful world,” she notes.
Malikah was one of the top contestants on MTV Arabia’s Season 1 Hip HopNa show. She was selected as one of the top two MC’s in the Lebanon audition. Malikah recorded “Raskon bel 3ali” for the show. The track was produced by Fareed ”Fredwreck” Nassar, who has collaborated with rappers such as Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, 50 Cent and Dr. Dre.
Participating in Hip HopNa gave Malikah the exposure she was looking for. Not only did fans from all over the Arab world contact Malikah to show love, respect, and to ask about the release of her album; “Many producers and MC’s approached me for collaborations. Record companies also offered me record deals. Hip HopNa opened a lot of doors for me and I am thankful for that,” she said.
Malikah has collaborated with talents such as Beirut Biloma, Cheb Mami, Hasna and Aks’ser. She is a regular performer in events held in Lebanon and was hosted on “New TV” channel on May, along with DJ Lethal Skillz and Ragtop. She has also reached the U.S and Canada to spit her rhymes. Malikah is also featured prominently in the 961 underground documentary, produced by Phonomefodz, which will be released in the summer and will be available on DVD in music stores such as Virgin megastore and online.
Many of Malikah’s tracks can be found on the internet. These include “Sam bel Dam” ft Mc Moe and produced by Mighty Thor, “Ibedeh” a Phonomefodz production also released on DJ Lethal Skillz’ album “New World Disorder” which is set for release in summer, “Heik Sayra Bledna” ft RGB and produced by Mighty Thor, “Buggin” produced by Mighty Thor, and “Raskon Bel 3ali” which will also be released on the upcoming 2008 release of Hip HopNa’s album.
Currently, Malikah is working on her first album with her Producer Mighty Thor. “With the critical situation in Lebanon I can’t tell you when it will be released, it all depends on how the situation is going to evolve. I am done with half of the album already; let’s hope things are going to work out in order for me to finish it,” she explained. Once complete the album will be released in the Middle East and in the US, Canada, and Europe.
Understanding how crucial education is in our lives, Malikah will be graduating next year with a BA in Marketing and Advertising from the American University of Science in Beirut. She advises all those wishing to pursue music as a career to complete their education. “Education is a blessing. If you have the chance to be educated, it would be a huge mistake to sacrifice it for music like many artists do,” she said. “In this industry, success is uncertain with all the competitors. That’s why I manage to do both, I can’t tell how much my music might sell and I won’t risk my life for it,” she added.
On a final note, Malikah urges all Arab females to stand up for their rights and freedom. “I encourage them to be active in their societies; to work, study, and vote. Moreover, they should respect themselves and their cultures and keep their head up at all times.”
More about Malikah and her music can be found on:
• www.facebook.com user name : Malikah Lynn network: Lebanon