Calling themselves ‘Wolf Pack,’ Qatar's very own rapping group is here to make a social change through their hard hitting lyrics which have raised eyebrows locally due to the sensitive issues they sing about. Rabis. M talks to the group about their inspiration, challenges and how they plan to become Qatar's hip hop icons.
One of the first impressions you get when you meet the Wolf Pack, a group of Qatari rappers, is how dedicated they are towards creating a social change in the attitudes, behaviors and mentality of the local culture through their music. The group is made up of five members, though only three of them were present at the interview, namely; Mc Naif (Naif), Shadow Ghost (Ibrahim), and DJ King (Abdulrahman). The other two had prior commitments.
Three of the members started off as solo performers, and were connected by coincidence back in 2009. It was only after they formed a group, that they realized their true potential and things started to change for the best. They merged their positive energy and like-minded thinking and formed ‘Wolf Pack’. The group’s name depicts their fearless approach in writing and humming songs that address problems in society, the local culture and how they could go about finding potential solutions for them. Ibrahim, the vocalist, pointed out a song they wrote about how getting married in Qatar can be expensive. In the song, they highlighted the need to cut down on the high financial expectations the bride’s family has from the groom.
Initially they performed at local parties and attracted the attention of the local crowd. It was an instant success, but was a lot of hard work especially as they were juggling their real professions.
Each member writes his own lyrics and creating his own beats, and then the group discusses it. They tend to agree or disagree on differences and work on improvising their weaknesses.
Things were not easy for the group when they started, they did not receive sufficient support from their families, and it seemed like a challenge for them to comprehend the entire concept. It was only after the group gained success and their work became notable, that their families started appreciating their work and supported them. “One of the major obstacles was creating a bridge between the old thinking of our elders and the younger generation.” said Abdulrahman.
Despite that, the group has gained popularity in Qatar, the number of hits keep increasing daily on YouTube and Facebook, not to mention the number of songs downloaded. The group has yet to officially produce an album, pointing out that they felt nailed down by record company requirements. “We have been approached in the past by record companies, but we refuse to change our way of producing music just because it’s okay for the record company and they think they can own us like that.” says Abdulrahman.
While the group is passionate about rapping, they do not believe they are a representation of the typical hip hop culture. According to Ibrahim, “We do not believe we fit in the ideal hip hop culture icon image, not the American style one. We do not represent such an image of dressing up in triple XL sized clothes with 'bling bling' accessories. We have created a simple and fashionable style for ourselves.”
Rapping in Qatar seems unusual considering how as a country it is fairly conservative. But with Qatar’s economy booming and innovative projects being heavily invested in, would it be possible for a Qatari entrepreneur or businessmen to approach the group and invest in them? Ibrahim pauses for a moment and explains “One of the major problems in Qatar is the risk factor, as to how a businessman is not prepared to invest in a new concept such as ours unless he has conducted a comprehensive research study beforehand.”
The group has been swamped with positive feedback regarding their music, and they describe it as “very encouraging” to receive comments from the older generation who supported the group’s efforts in highlighting social problems and fixing them.
With a passion to thrive and constantly coming up with creative ideas and stories to sing and rap about, the group is looking forward to a bright year ahead with some upcoming performances in the region. They've also recently finished producing a song on the Syrian Revolution, hoping to promote peace and social change through music, a universal mode of communication with a global appeal.