The UAE summer has a packed roster of concerts.
And judging by Saturday's near-capacity show by Wegz at The Agenda in Dubai Media City, the crowds are willing to beat the heat for them.
When it comes to Wegz, there are no artists bigger in the Arabic hip-hop scene.
Responsible for the most-streamed Arabic song on Anghami in 2022, with El Bakht racking up 45 million plays on the platform, the Egyptian rapper received a hero’s welcome as he took to the stage for a rare solo show.
Kicking off the Beat the Heat series of weekly concerts, the gig was also a comfortable launch pad for Wegz ahead of a world tour hitting venues across Europe and North America, a rarity for an Arab hip-hop artist.
Judging by what we saw, Wegz has the charisma and, more importantly, the anthems, to convert new audiences to the cause.
Wegz stalked the stage in a summer shirt and baggy trousers as he tore through his hits, such as Dorak Gai, El Gashala and El Dunya Eh.
Wegz’s songs are often taut and demanding, as he not only delivers barrelling raps, but also large anthemic choruses.
It is little wonder, then, that the crowd allowed him the occasional break to catch his breath.
The relationship between Wegz and his fan base – shall we call them Wegzies? – is something to behold.
From the opening track, the crowd sang along word for word throughout the show, even while bellowing various Egyptian colloquial greetings.
A reason for that bond is the subjects Wegz talks about.
The aforementioned El Bakht delves into the insecurities and fears that come with the onset of adulthood, while Hawari surveys the social characteristics of Egyptian urban life with all its joys and risks.
These are hard-hitting topics rarely discussed in the often-cliched and lovelorn works of modern Egyptian pop.
Paired with percolating beats, borrowing from the snare-heavy sounds of trap music and pensive synths of gangster rap, Wegz is living up to his reported status of being one of the most prominent voices of Egypt’s youth.
Judging by the strong reception Wegz received in the UAE, the world is ready to hear his message.
Organised by Anghami Spotlight and running as part of Dubai Summer Surprises, Beat the Heat continues with weekly concerts, including Egyptian rock group Cairokee and Palestinian-Jordanian rapper El Far3i on July 22, and Tunisian rapper Balti and Egyptian artist Afroto on July 29.
Tickets and information are available at dubai.platinumlist.net