Hip-hop gigs in the UAE: four big performances to look forward to in March

From Ja Rule to Rick Ross, we take a look at the key shows coming our way this month

Rick Ross scored his first hit with the single Hustlin’ in 2006, and has gone on to clock up five US number one albums. AP
Rick Ross scored his first hit with the single Hustlin’ in 2006, and has gone on to clock up five US number one albums. AP

Rappers love the UAE: but you already know that because of the long and steady list of hip-hop artists streaming into the country to shoot videos, or play in glitzy night spots.

But the guest list for the next few weeks is truly exceptional, from rap heavyweight Rick Ross and future star Lil Yachty to regional stalwart Narcy and veteran rapper Ja Rule, UAE clubs will be burning up to the sounds of the best when it comes to commercial and indie hip-hop.

Here are the acts coming our way:

Rick Ross

This man just gets better with age. Whereas before Ross was a rather rigid performer on stage, his club shows are now more energetic. A lot of that comes from the increasing number of club anthems he has clocked up over the last five years. With hits such as B.M.F, Hold Me Back and Box Chevy, a Rick Ross set is always a party.

Rick Ross performs at Drais DXB on Friday and White Dubai on Saturday. For details go to draisdxb.com and whitedubai.com


The Iraqi-Canadian is one of the leading lights of the Middle Eastern hip-hop scene. He will perform as part of the next installment of the live music series The Beat DXB. Hosted by local music personality Big Hass, the event will have Narcy leading a bill of regional hip-hop talent that includes Lebanese DJ Lethal Skillz, Australian-Iranian-soul singer Layla Kardan and fellow Dubai-based artist, Syrian rapper Moh Flow. All of these acts will hit the stage with new music to showcase.

The Beat DXB is on Wednesday March 13 at The Fridge, Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are Dh20 from www.dubai.platinumlist.net and the door.

Lil Yachty

He is one of the rappers of the moment and his quirky delivery, pared with equally zany beats sample everything from popular computer game Super Mario Bros to the children’s television show The Rug Rats. With club favourites One Night, Minnesota and Wanna Be Us, Lil Yachty will have plenty of energy to burn in Dubai, and the crowd will be right there with him.

Lil Yachty performs at 1 OAK Dubai, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai. Sunday March 17. For reservations call 052 881 8888

Ja Rule

Infamy can be as powerful as fame, and rapper Ja Rule is presently experiencing the latter after being the face of the disastrous Fyre Festival, the Bahamian music event that was the subject of the Netflix documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. That said, the extra attention didn’t dent his career and Rule continues to tour on the back of his hits It's Murda, Always on Time and Livin it Up.

Ja Rule performs at Billionaire's Mansion, Taj Hotel, Dubai. Sunday March 24. For details go to billionairemansiondubai.com and 04 510 3100.

Updated: March 14, 2019 07:30 AM


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