Ismail Khalidi

DJ Revolutions: Spinning Beats for Freedom

With the announcement earlier this month that the British group Massive Attack was holding a series of concerts in London to support Palestinian refugee communities was another piece of good news: that Checkpoint 303 was going to be performing a DJ set to open the three benefit shows. The international group of DJs or SCs (“Sound Catchers” and “Sound Cutters”) and musicians that make up Checkpoint 303 has quietly been bringing the noise on the internet by unleashing wickedly original sound tapestries and instrumentals (free of charge) on their website, for over two years now. 

The intellectual, the maestro, and the "piece process"

The recent Geneva performance by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, created by the late Edward Said and the world-famous musician Daniel Barenboim, was cultural diplomacy at its best, and at the same time represented the kind of politics that, quite simply, defies the very conventions of politics. Peace making made fun (and beautiful), but not watered down, the performance was a sophisticated, classic display of the pen’s superiority over the sword, the violin over the rifle. Ismail Khalidi reflects upon the orchedstra’s talent and significance for EI

Review: "Real DJs do Real Things" by DJ K-Salaam

Above: Real DJs do Real Things cover. Although over 20 years old, hip-hop culture does not seem to have fulfilled the potential it once showed to become a serious political force in the U.S. Is there any hope for rappers to speak up and have their voices heard in a political climate much in need of constructive and intelligent dissent, debate and resistance? Ismail Khalidi reviews DJ K-Salaam’s album, Real DJs do Real Things and discovers that DJ tackles the taboo of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — largely untouched in the music industry as well as in showbiz in general. Much like the inventive, hard-hitting beats and musical collages on his album, Salaam is similarly courageous in his liner notes as he makes a plea for justice for the Palestinian people.