A wave of Ethiopian Israeli artists has burst onto Israel’s vibrant hip-hop scene, using the stage to promote their community’s struggle against discrimination and police violence.
These musicians have gained new strength following days of protests over the recent fatal shooting of an unarmed Ethiopian Israeli teenager by an off-duty police officer.
Rapper Teddy Neguse recently performed his song “Handcuffed” live on the popular news website Ynet. The track addresses police brutality against young Israeli men of Ethiopian descent, and although the song came out in 2017, Neguse said the lyrics are relevant all the time.
Yael Mentesnot, 26, another up-and-coming Ethiopian Israeli musician, said that in the past, the community has been “restrained,” but this time, “the community has begun to really feel the despair.”