“Palestinian rap trio DAM dropped their latest video “If I Could Go Back in Time” a week ago at a press conference in Ramallah. Working in cooperation with UN Women, the subject of the song is domestic violence and crimes against women. With this release, DAM members Mahmoud Jreri, Suhell Nafar, and Tamer Nafar affirm their reputation as audacious socially-conscious rappers by continuing to take on taboo issues in Palestinian society. They do so through hip-hop, whose mainstream stars are all too often themselves guilty of propagating intensely sexist and homophobic content. In so doing, DAM are contributing to transforming hip-hop into a safe space for women and women’s issues domestically while breaking the social silence surrounding controversial socio-political topics and offering an opening salvo in an indigenous conversation about internal problems.
The story of the song is that of a single heroine whose experiences relayed in the video unfold in reverse chronology, from end to beginning, thereby interrupting the linear temporal convention. The first scene shows her lifeless body, immediately followed, in reverse, by the bullet retreating from her head and back into her brother’s gun. The audience pieces the violent narrative together as both the video and the lyrics work backward through time to tell the full story of her murder. The chorus is an interruption of the story that showcases singer Amal Murkus singing in the presence of other women in a place that is the dead protagonist’s posthumous utopian fantasyscape. The women merrily and smilingly participate in various playful creative activities such as knitting and drawing, to Murkus’ words as she laments the life she did not live.”
— Read more on DAM: Crime, Honor, and Hip-Hop