ALBUM REVIEW: Arees El-Shamal by Satti

Ahmad Yaseen, commonly known as Satti, is a Jordanian rapper & songwriter based in Irbid. He has finally dropped his debut studio album on February 28th called Arees El-Shamal which means Groom Of The North. The title of the album is actually a wordplay on the nickname of the city he comes from, Aroos El-Samal, which means Bride Of The North.

This album is actually a transition for Satti, as he moved out from his hometown in Irbid straight to the capital. After dropping Bars With Benefits (EP) and 6alqa (Mixtape), they definitely got me eager to listen to this album and I honestly cannot wait to see what is in store.

1. “Elzaffeh”

The album starts off with the traditional Arabian zaffeh that you would see being performed at weddings, graduations, and other cheerful events. The very joyful vibe the woman gives at the beginning is just so beautiful. This intro had me when the bagpipes kicked off. I love this a lot, could be easily one of my favorite intros to an album.

2. “Blue”

The guitar in the background is ahhhhhhh!!!! My goodness. The flow of both Satti‘s voice and the guitar make a wonderful marriage on this track. The song talks about how the pen’s ink resembles the freedom he feels and how it is a getaway from all the pressure he has on his shoulders, hence why the track is named “Blue“. Satti’s making a statement that he’s here to claim the crown and that there’s no messing around with him. Also, the hook is catchy as hell. This album got me on the edge of my seat honestly.

3. “Shamalat”

Now this is different. I am in love with the percussion in the background, it works perfectly with the soothing sound of that guitar loop. Satti‘s rhyming & wordplay is impeccable man, jheez. His flow in the second verse slightly reminds me of Black Hippy‘s on Vice City, also commonly known as the “Obama Flow“.

4. “Commitment (ft. Natalie Demerjian)”

The production on this is just.. wow! Jazz Tha Process, I see you boy. Damn, son. His attention to the smallest details is absolutely astonishing. And now the kicks have joined the party and I love it! The way Jazz slowly introduced the soothing voice of Natalie into the hook is beautiful. I’ve said this before and i’ll say it again, Satti‘s references and wordplay game are second to none. Take the first bar from the second verse as an example. Satti asks the girl he likes about commitment, where she replies with her admiration towards the Jordanian based band Jadal. This is a reference towards the band’s hit song “Ana Bakhaf Min El Commitment“. Satti’s just doing his best to make me excited for what’s coming next.

5. “Eaish Bedak (Skit)”

Satti does a little comedic sketch where he does some sort of his own version to the famous song “عمان يا دار المعزة” by Faris Awad. He then carries on to have a conversation with his friends about Amman and how they feel trapped here, but they still love it. Don’t we all?

For those who don’t know, a skit in a hip-hop album is basically a short comedic sketch that is usually performed and written by the artists themselves. A skit can also appear at the beginning or end of a song.

6. “Bedi Asafer”

My word the beat is sensational!!! Brilliant job by DamarSatti is talking about how he wants to leave this country and the way he’s portraying the story is spot on. Once again, wordplay game on point. “والطواحين بطلت اتجيب هوا المراوح راحت”, where he references a famous restaurant in Amman called “Tawaheen Al Hawa”. In his second verse, he carries on how he tried his best to be a better person but it’s just not working out for him. Some emotional shit right here. I truly loved the ending where Damar introduced a very deep yet breathtaking female voice along with Satti doing the hook as they both created such a soothing sound.

7. “Batthakar”

Loving the kicks and how the beat started off. Satti starts to reminisce about his life as a young kid perhaps, and how his dream seems so difficult to achieve at the moment. I am absolutely in love with his flow on the first verse and the way he’s switching it up from Arabic to English. This genuinely feels like it could be his very own version of  J. Cole‘s “Neighbors“, and I dig its vibe.

8. “Nossain| Nassin”

That intro is beautiful!!! Satti sampled a small verse from one of Gibran Khalil Gibran‘s famous poems called “Half A Life“. The drums, the keys, my wooooord. He’s talking about how after achieving every goal he sets for himself, somehow he faces a huge obstacle which feels like a dead end. Not only did he excel in rapping on this track, Arees El-Shamal also produced it. The wave he’s adding to the song through both his rapping & production is what makes Satti different from the others, in a very good way.

9. “Hasik Mesh Madinti”

If Satti didn’t utter a single word over this beat, you could still feel his emotions and how how he truly feels mainly from those god damn heart-melting keys. Jheeeez. Loving the bassline and keys by both Satti and Damar, very nice touch. Am I the only one who heard Najat Al Sagheera in the background as soon as he referenced her??? His attention to the tiniest details is just mind-blowing. Again with that very nasty flow by Arees El-Shamal, keeps getting better and better.

10. “Gasheh”

Such a soothing introduction, feels very dreamy and calming. Kicks, kicks, and even more kicks. Sounds like something J Dilla would produce. Whoever thought of adding that oud in the background, you’re a genius my friend. Even though I love the beat, this track just got me a bit underwhelmed. Maybe it’ll grow on me later on. I still can’t get over the kicks though, they sound like that annoying neighbor who just keeps on banging on your door so you could turn the volume down. Enjoy the beautiful music, homie.

11. “Meen Hatoul”

That bassline in the background is sexy as hell. What a gorgeous sound it is making along with the percussion and the piano, I am loving it. Satti feels very lost and he simply doesn’t want to revisit the past, then again who does? This feels too short though, just two verses without any hooks or bridges. I wanted more honestly, this is such a beautiful track.

12. “Y.K.N.A.M (ft .Ra’ad Al-Tabari)”

Who is playing that guitar???? Is that Ra’ad singing? Holy shit man, now you’re talking. Satti is perhaps talking about how the general public are shedding light on somewhat irrelevant news and events whereas we need to focus on much more bigger issues happening in our world, mainly the Middle East such as Syria, Palestine, etc. Hence why he keeps on saying “بتعرفوش عني اشي” at the beginning of every bar, as he abbreviated that phrase and made it the title for this track which is “You Know Nothing About Me“. This type of rhythm may be out of Satti’s comfort zone, yet it feels like he took a risk which was definitely worth taking. Arguably my favorite track so far. That violin at the end was a very nice touch as well.

13. “A’ali Ma’ak (ft. Jazz Tha Process)”

Probably the feature I am excited for the most, I love Jazz Tha Process and the wave he’s creating in the Middle East. That bassline, piano, kicks in the background, jheeeeeez man. This song needs to be blasted out so loud, got me pumped uuuuuppppp. Jazz came in strong with that sick flow, saying that he doesn’t give a single shit about the doubters. That hook is catchy as hell. I think I found my new favorite song, both Satti and Jazz are just spitting absolute fire over that sick beat. This duo just might be what the rap scene needed the most within the region. Watch The Throne.

14. “Meshan El-Ghwali (Skit)”

I hear Isaiah Rashad‘s “Park” in the background and that’s the only reason I need to love this skit. Satti is talking about a dream he had where hip-hop was actually a human being following him in a suit and he’s rapping for him, telling him to leave him alone. Just the thought of Satti not rapping anymore makes me sad. IT WAS JUST A DREAM, REMEMBER THAT MY MANS.

15. “E’ategni (ft. El-Donni)”

Satti is sick of hip-hop where it basically turned into a daily routine for him, constantly stuck in his mind. It has its advantages and disadvantages, but I understand where that frustration is coming from. Don’t stick to one genre, explore music people. It’s a wonderful world. The singing Satti has made an appearance in a few bars and it sounds super organic. I’ve personally never seen Satti this blunt, he’s been real to himself and that’s the most important thing in life and as an artist.

16. “Hoon Whoon (ft. Elfar3i)

Super happy to see Elfar3i make an appearance on this album as a producer and a featuring artist. He came in smoother than labaneh and his vocals are such a wonderful marriage with that very soothing beat. Now he’s going back and forth on that hook as if he’s having a conversation with Arees El-Shamal. Elfar3i’s somewhat complex elements to his production really brought something different to this album, and that is one of the reasons why he’s an iconic artist within the region. I like this a lot.

17. “El-mojam’a (ft. Khotta Ba)”

That guitar sounds so groovy with that bassline. The kicks in the background are so aggressive, you can feel the anger of both Satti and Khotta Ba sonically and lyrically which sounds absolutely gorgeous. Im so happy to see Khotta Ba slowly making a comeback into the scene, he’s basically one of the founders of the underground rap scene in Jordan. Lyrically he’s insane and he definitely proved that in his verse here, his rhyming skills is second to none.

18. “Ehtermati (ft. DJ Chrisfader)”

Satti is giving props to the painter, the plumber, the beggar. Those who get looked down on from the majority just because of their profession. He’s trying to deliver a message to the public, urging them to get rid of such mindset. Loving the incorporation of the violins in the background. What a very nice touch from Arees El-Shamal, Ehteramati la ilak Satti.

19. “HEDDAYEH ELORES (1983)”

This is actually an old footage from Satti‘s parents’ wedding. I actually love this, what a great idea to end such a beautiful album and story by him.

I absolutely loved this album. Satti shed some light on very important topics and made it speak to us on a deeper level which I find truly fascinating. The way he portrayed the entire story behind the album was on-point and I urge you to listen to the whole thing as soon as possible. Even though its quite a lengthy project, I still enjoyed listening to it a lot. Okay enough, why are you still reading this review? Go buy it now god damn it, bless your ears.

Rating: 8/10

Ya’ll don’t have to agree with me, you know. 


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