An analysis of Drake's Arabic lyrics in his Only You Freestyle from the perspective of Palestinian national liberation. Drake calls upon poetic traditions to speak about the beauty of freedom for Palestinians and how the world will benefit from it inshallah.
For those who don't know, the famous Palestinian poet Fadwa Touqan once wrote a poem about a man from her hometown called Hamza. Hamza symbolises the steadfastness of the everyday Palestinian, who confronts the hardships of occupation and defies its demands of annihilation.
Mahmoud Darwish also wrote a poem called I Am Yusuf, My Father, in which he speaks of the way Arab countries have isolated Palestinians through the analogy of the story of the Prophet Yusuf (AS) who was rejected by his brothers.
In reality, the "ting" who Drake speaks about when he says "Arabic ting told me that I look like Youssef, look like Hamza" is freedom. Hurriyyah in Arabic is a feminine noun and thus takes feminine pronouns when being spoken of in Arabic.
Drake this puts himself in the place of the marginalised Palestinian everyman. Freedom recognises him as Touqan's Hamza and Darwish's Yusuf. He then says to freedom: Habibti, ana akeed inti wa ana ahla. He says that the world only increases in beauty with a free Palestine.
In rapping this way, Drake places himself firmly within the tradition of poets of Palestinian liberation who speak of liberation in personified metaphors and analogies. This tradition also manifests itself in Palestinian hip hop as well.
Thus, we must give credit where it is due. When DJ Khaled taught Drake Arabic, this is what he must have had in mind. Unbeknownst to Amreeka DJ Khaled is recruiting Drake to support the liberation of Palestine. Inshallah we will soon see them collab with more Palestinian artists.
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